Phelps wins Golden Goggle as Male Athlete of Year

This is despite his 6-month suspension from competition after a drunken driving arrest in September.

FILE: Michael Phelps of the US reacts following the men's 200m butterfly final at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in Gold Coast on 23 August, 2014. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Michael Phelps has been crowned Male Athlete of the Year for a fifth time at the 2014 USA Swimming Golden Goggle Awards on Monday despite being suspended from competition for six months after a drunken driving arrest in September.

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 medallist stepped away from training in early October.

Olympic gold medallist and world record-holder Katie Ledecky capped her memorable 2014 season by claiming three awards, including USA Swimming's Female Athlete of the Year.