Phelps loses again

CHARLOTTE: Michael Phelps was beaten again at the Charlotte UltraSwim on Sunday, losing to Frederick Bousquet of France in the 100-metre freestyle.

Phelps touched nearly a full second behind Bousquet, world-record holder in the 50m free. Aaron Peirsol beat Phelps in the 200m backstroke on Saturday. Bousquet went out strong, ensuring he had a big enough lead to hold off Phelps at the end. The Frenchman touched in 48.22s, while Phelps never really had a chance and finished in 49.04.

He was competing for the first time since capturing a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics last August. The nine-month layoff was the longest of his career, though he had intended to come back earlier. After being photographed using a marijuana pipe, he was given a three-month suspension by USA Swimming. The sanction ended on May 5, and Phelps was eager to start competing again. He entered five events here and won the first two, the 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke.