Phelps was not at the New York ceremony where Keenan
Robinson, an official from his training base, accepted the award
on his behalf and confirmed Phelps had returned to the pool.
The 18-time Olympic gold medalist stepped away from training in
Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder Katie Ledecky
capped her memorable 2014 season by claiming three awards,
including USA Swimming's Female Athlete of the Year.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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