Thorpe has not ruled out London comeback

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Thorpe has not ruled out London comeback

BRISBANE, Australia - Ian Thorpe is back training in the pool and has not ruled out a return to competition in time for the London 2012 Olympics.

Dave Flaskas, manager for the 28-year-old five-time Olympic gold medalist, told The Associated Press on Sunday that while “it’s a long way from here to London,” Thorpe is enjoying swimming again and “never say never.”

Flaskas said in order to be eligible for the London Games, Thorpe would have to begin drug-testing in the next six to eight weeks to make him eligible a year out from the Australian trials next February or March.

Thorpe retired in 2006 after setting 13 world records and winning 11 world championship golds. His wins in the 200- and 400-meter freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympics were in his last major international meet.

Flaskas said “2011 is already wiped out” as far as competitive swimming was concerned because of the lack of drug testing.

“At the moment, he is just enjoying training, and we’ll see where it goes,” Flaskas told the AP.

“He’s working out on his own, his shoulder problems [a broken shoulder blade] seem to be gone, but he’s still a long way from competitive training.”

Thorpe told Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph, which sighted him training at Sydney’s Caringbah Leisure Center pool on Saturday, that “I never really stopped swimming, I’m just doing more of it now, and I’m really enjoying getting into shape.”

Flaskas said Thorpe was “delighted” with 30-year-old Geoff Huegill’s gold-medal comeback at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games but that was not his inspiration for a return to training.

“Ian knows what it requires, and he’s over the moon for Geoff, they are good mates,” Flaskas said. “But Ian knows he still has to do the work.”

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