(Reuters) - USA Swimming has closed the door on any possibility of Michael Phelps competing at this year's world championships in Russia, according to a USA Today report on Wednesday.
There had been a sliver of hope for Phelps after USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus said last month that the 18-time Olympic champion may yet be allowed to participate at the August competition.
"It's obviously very challenging and for me to not be able to compete at world championships," Phelps said in a story on USA Today's website. "I will be in full support of everything they do over there, and I wish them all the luck in Kazan."
Phelps, who returns to competition this week after serving a six-month suspension for a drunk driving conviction, had also been banned from the global championships in Kazan as part of his punishment.
Phelps made his remarks during a news conference at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Mesa, Arizona, where he is entered in five events this week.
Phelps is entered in the 100-meter butterfly on Thursday, 100m backstroke and 400m freestyle on Friday and 200m individual medley and 100m freestyle on Saturday.
The meet has attracted some of the top U.S. swimmers, including Phelps's chief rival Ryan Lochte, who is entered in the same five events.
It will be familiar surroundings for Phelps, who ended his two-year retirement in 2014 at Mesa, sparking speculation that he is considering an Olympic comeback at the 2016 Rio Games.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)