Archive for Friday, February 6, 2009

Phelps draws suspension

February 6, 2009


Michael Phelps’ day grew lousier by the hour on Thursday.

First he lost a major sponsor, then he got suspended.

The Olympic great was suspended from competition for three months by USA Swimming, the latest fallout from a photo that showed him inhaling from a marijuana pipe.

The sport’s national governing body also cut off its financial support to Phelps for the same three-month period, effective immediately.

“This is not a situation where any anti-doping rule was violated, but we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of USA Swimming member kids who look up to him as a role model and a hero,” the Colorado Springs-based federation said in a statement.

“Michael has voluntarily accepted this reprimand and has committed to earn back our trust.”

Phelps won a record eight gold medals in Beijing and returned to America as one of the world’s most acclaimed athletes. He made headlines of a different kind, however, in the wake of the photo, published Sunday by News of the World, a British tabloid.

Earlier Thursday, cereal and snack maker Kellogg Co. announced it wouldn’t renew its sponsorship contract with Phelps, saying his behavior is “not consistent with the image of Kellogg.” The swimmer appeared on the company’s cereal boxes after his Olympic triumph.

USA Swimming provides a $1,750 monthly stipend to national team members to help defray travel and training expenses, plus performance bonuses. However, it’s a small percentage of the millions Phelps makes through endorsements.

The 23-year-old has resumed training in his hometown of Baltimore, but his plans to return to competitive swimming will have to be put on hold. Phelps had planned to compete in early March at a Grand Prix meet in Austin, Texas.


angelmom 9 years ago

That's more punishment than Bill Clinton got! Oh, yeah. He didn't inhale. I forgot!

curious2 9 years ago

logrithmic:...I concur!You make us proud!from: a recreational user

labmonkey 9 years ago

I am actually for decriminalizing marijuana....But I am kind of glad to see this happen to Phelps. I watched an interview with him and his agent and they laughed as they turned down a $5 million sponsorship deal. There was underlying d-bagitry to him and I am kind of happy to see this happen.

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