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02-01-09, 05:52 PM #1
Michael Phelps has admitted to smoking pot and apologized after a picture of the record-breaking Olympian with a bong pipe was published
Michael Phelps has admitted to smoking cannabis and apologised after a picture of the record-breaking Olympian with a bong pipe was published in a British tabloid today.
The swimmer, who won eight gold medals at the Beijing Games, conceded the authenticity of the picture published by the News of the World.
“I engaged in behaviour which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I’m 23 years old and despite the successes I’ve had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again,” Phelps said in a statement.
Phelps’s career may now be tarnished beyond repair. Athletes caught using cannabis, a banned substance under rules set out by the World Anti-Doping Agency, face a ban of up to two years.
Phelps has never failed a drugs test and even offered to take extra tests before the Olympic Games in August to promote an anti-doping campaign.
So far, the authorities have no grounds for taking action and, even if ordered to take a new test, Phelps could still be shown to be drug-free because the alleged offence was said to have taken place in November.
The picture of Phelps, his baseball cap worn back to front, using a lighter to send smoke along his glass bong, emerged after a student party where the 6ft 4in swimmer was also claimed to have been drinking heavily, in stark contrast to his Olympic mantra, which was to swim, eat, sleep and swim again.
Phelps could claim that the drug has no performance-enhancing effects, which might allow the authorities to let him off with a reprimand. But such a high-profile case is bound to stir up controversy and the swimmer could find himself being made an example of to the rest of the sporting fraternity.
Marketing experts are predicting massive fallout and a quick exit by sponsors who could put an end to Phelps’s dream of cashing in on his Olympic exploits to the tune of $100 million (£68.5 million).
“If this is all true, it will be nothing short of a disaster,” John Taylor, chairman of Sports Impact, one of Britain’s leading sponsorship agencies, said. “Every sponsor has something called a disrepute clause written into their contracts and I will bet a few of them will be running through the small print first thing on Monday morning.
“Big corporate sponsors are very sensitive about any issues involving drugs, particularly if their product is bought by, or directed, at children. You cannot have any doubts about the personality you employ to promote your products.
“Sportsmen and women are naive to think that things like this will not come out and, when it does, it has a massive impact. Phelps was the hero of Beijing and a massive star in the United States. But what happens when America discovers their hero is tarnished? He may not be taking performance-enhancing drugs but this is a terrible stain on his image.”
Phelps returned from Beijing a marketing man’s dream and sponsors rushed to sign him up with his management team at the Octagon agency claiming they were fending off as many as 50 offers daily.
Phelps, 23, earns at a conservative estimate up to £5 million a year from deals with ten major companies, including Hilton Hotels, Omega watches, Kellogg’s cereals and Speedo swimwear. Speedo paid Phelps a $1 million bonus for winning his eight golds in Beijing.
Although best known in the United States, his appeal has been spreading around the world. Only last month, he signed the biggest deal for a Western personality in China when he became the face of Mazda cars.
The Phelps case has a parallel in Britain where Matt Stevens, the Bath and England rugby union prop forward, faces a two-year ban for taking cocaine.
Phelps has been in trouble before: in 2004, he was sentenced to 18 months’ probation for drunk driving.
02-02-09, 12:02 AM #2
What a dumb move. He had the world in the palm of his hand and now he tarnishes his image due to his stupidity.The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.
02-02-09, 12:57 AM #3
I never did like that guy.
"That was my cop sense tingling." Jake get's to take credit for that one.May you rest in peace Daddy and may you never hurt again. I love you and miss you and can't wait to see you again.
02-02-09, 01:01 AM #4
So he takes his 100gazzillion dollars and shows the youth of the world that a little dope won't hurt you. What a moron.For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.
02-02-09, 04:12 AM #5
It's amazing to me how a person thrusts themselves into the spotlight and still expect to do out of the box things and not suffer for it. Hey stupid! You're famous. There is a picture somewhere of you taking a dump.Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
02-02-09, 08:11 AM #6
Since he's no good as a sports role model now he'll have to lower his future goals. President of the United States perhaps.
Funny how that works.
02-02-09, 12:20 PM #7
I bet that dude gets twice the buzz the normal person gets smokin pot. With his lung capacity, he can hold a hit in for like 15 minutes....dude gets maximum effect. POTHEADI'm not ruining your life, you are, and I'm just going to write a short story about it.
02-02-09, 12:28 PM #8
Phelps Schedule: Swim, eat, sleep ,toke, drink, swim, drown.The strongest reason for the people to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against the tyranny of government.
That is why our masters in Washington are so anxious to disarm us. They are not afraid of criminals. They are afraid of a populace which cannot be subdued by tyrants.” – Jeff Cooper'
02-02-09, 01:46 PM #9
Don't foget his previous drunk driving arrest.
02-02-09, 02:38 PM #10
Just think!!! This just may open the door for a whole new line of product endorsements for him...
"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."
Since Jan. 2009
02-02-09, 05:24 PM #11
yes! This evil sinner will pay for his transgression by smoking the devil's weed!"If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton
02-02-09, 06:30 PM #12
Who needs 50 million in endorsements when you can smoke pot!Romans 13:4
For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
02-03-09, 09:53 AM #13
This article was on the front page of our paper this morning. Believe me, the Sheriff will do just what he says. He has the largest Law Enforcement Agency in the state, yes, larger then even the State Troopers. He has planes, choppers, boats, and, even a TANK. His lab can and does anything and everything the FBI can do, quicker. If he says he will charge Phelps, believe me, HE WILL. (and its not election time).
Richland sheriff could charge Phelps.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says he will charge Michael Phelps with a crime if he determines the Olympics hero smoked marijuana in Richland County.
“This case is no different than any other case,” Lott said Monday. “This one might be a lot easier since we have photographs of someone using drugs and a partial confession. It’s a relatively easy case once we can determine where the crime occurred.”
Richland sheriff could charge Phelps - Local / Metro - The State
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