February 1, 2009

Phelps admits poor judgment for marijuana pipe photo

Olympic medalist Michael Phelps apologized to the public in response to a photo published by a British tabloid on Sunday.

"News of the World said the picture was taken during a November house party while Phelps was visiting the University of South Carolina," reported the Associated Press. The photo, taken three months after the Olympics, shows Phelps inhaling from a marijuana pipe.

"I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment," Phelps said in the statement released Sunday by his marketing agency, Octagon. "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."

The Associated Press also reported, 'Phelps' main sanctions most likely will be financial - perhaps doled out by embarrassed sponsors who might be reconsidering their dealings with the swimmer."

According to the World Anti-Doping Agency code, "cannabis is not considered a banned substance during out-of-competition testing" (AP).

Phelps has never tested positive for a banned substance. He is also one of few Olympic athletes participating in a testing program to determine the accuracy of doping tests.

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