Michael Phelps explains why he was secretly married before Rio

NEW YORK — The secret wedding was sort of, mostly — yes, really! — because of little Boomer and his last name, Phelps.

See, Boomer was traveling the country and world with his mother, Nicole Johnson. But it wasn’t that easy.

“We wanted to try to make it as smooth as we could for them to travel,” said Michael Phelps, 28-time Olympic medalist on Monday night.

So, he and Nicole, his fiancee, had a small, private ceremony in their backyard to make things official; she’d become a Phelps, prior to the 2016 Olympics and travel to Rio de Janeiro.

“It was small,” Phelps said. “It was our closest friends and family there. It was perfect.”

PHOTOS: Boomer Phelps at the Olympics

Phelps said, since the Olympic Games in August, he has removed himself from the drug-testing pool, thereby making himself ineligible for yet another competitive comeback.

He made the call following a September trip to Milan. He no longer wanted to be part of a system in which drug testers know athletes' whereabouts at all time for surprise testing.

“I said to (longtime agent) Peter (Carlisle), I was like, ‘Get the papers, can we just sign these things, so I don’t have to do the daily updates and everything?’” Phelps said. "It’s good. I’m still in the pool (for fun). I’m still not coming back.”

Phelps was named USA Swimming’s 2016 Male Athlete of the Year Monday night at the organization’s annual award ceremony.

PHOTOS: PHELPS THROUGH THE YEARS

PHOTOS | Phelps' special moment with Boomer


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