US swimmer Tyler Clary made national headlines on Tuesday for his critical comments about fellow swimmer Michael Phelps, and the 14-time Olympic gold medalist is said to be “upset” with his teammate.
In comments to The Riverside Press-Enterprise published on Monday, Clary questioned Phelps’ work ethic and said the swimming star is “asking to get beat.” Former University of Michigan swim coach Jon Urbanchek, who is Clary’s coach and also close with Phelps, says Michael is bothered by the comments.
“It wasn’t called for, and the timing — this should not be the news going into the Olympics,” said Urbanchek, according to The Baltimore Sun. “I hope the two boys will sit down and talk about it. I know Michael is a little bit upset.”
Clary meanwhile spent part of his day trying to do some damage control. He claimed his words were taken out of context and apologized to Phelps via Twitter.
“It’s too bad that what I was actually trying to say was twisted,” he told one fan. “I am honored to represent USA and swim alongside Michael.”
Clary’s backtracking could have been predicted for anyone who followed the Clyde Drexler-Magic Johnson mess, but it’s hard to take his words as anything other than an attack on Phelps.
I guess we’ll have to wait until later this month to have the mattered sorted out in the pool. And here I was thinking Ryan Lochte was trying to become Phelps’ biggest rival this summer. Looks like the amount of people targeting him is rising.
Note: This post also appeared on Medal Detector
Photo credits: Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE, Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE