Bodybuilding superstar Shawn Rhoden ain't giving up on a return to the Mr. Olympia contest ... he tells TMZ Sports, "I'll be back competing in no time."
Rhoden famously beat legendary bodybuilder Phil Heath for the Mr. Olympia title last year ... but he was banned from this year's contest after he was accused of rape.
But, Rhoden -- who VEHEMENTLY denies the allegations -- says he's not giving up on his quest to win Mr. Olympia again, telling us this week that he's still working in the gym.
As for this year's Mr. Olympia winner, Brandon Curry ... Shawn tells us he has no bitterness at all toward the guy for taking his crown -- telling us he's actually good friends with BC.
"That's my boy," Rhoden says. "I wish him the best of luck."
Rhoden tells us he currently has no plans to enter bodybuilding competitions in the near future ... saying he's "off" for a while.
As for his rape case in court ... it's still ongoing, and Rhoden says he's confident his legal team will help him prove he's innocent.