Phelps Photograph surfaces

February 11, 2009


** UPDATE: ESPN reports that the South Carolina sheriff in charge of the investigation into the cannabis allegation will not be pressing any charges against Michael Phelps. Apparently, although the sheriff has the bong in his possession, there is no evidence that Phelps did anything illegal, indeed Phelps only apologised for ‘inappropriate behaviour’



Original Story:

US Swimmer Michael Phelps said his three-month ban from competition is a “fair” punishment after photographs of were published in the News of the World newspaper of him appearing to smoke cannabis at a student party in November 2008.

The swimmer said: “It’s something that USA Swimming came up with. Obviously, for a mistake you should get punished.”

USA Swimming (the sport’s governing body in the US) said no “anti-doping rule” had been violated by Phelps. But the federation said it wanted to send a strong message to Phelps because he had disappointed so many people. The ban will end in time for him to prepare for the US Championships on 7 July, which act as a trial for the World Championships in Rome two weeks later.”

Both FINA (Swimming’s International Governing Body) and the IOC have accepted Phelps’ apology. WADA have also confirmed that they will take no action either now or for in relation to the medals he won at Beijing, as smoking cannabis out of competition is not an offence under sport’s international doping laws.

Kellogg has reportedly said  though that it will not renew a sponsorship contract with Phelps, on the grounds that his behaviour is “not consistent with the image of Kellogg”.


The Photographs of the Bong can be found here:

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About Kris

Associate Professor in Sports Law, Staffordshire University; British Gymnastics Senior Coach

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