Michael Phelps Suspended and Dropped by Sponsor Over Bong Photo

February 6, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Talking about harshing on one’s buzz! Olympic Gold medalist Michael Phelps’ really bad week just got worse, after a photo showed him apparently smoking a marijuana pipe.

Phelps was suspended from competition and denied financial support for three months by USA Swimming, the sport’s national governing body.

On Thursday evening, USA Swimming released the following statement:

USA Swimming has reprimanded Michael Phelps under its Code of Conduct by withdrawing financial support and the eligibility to compete for a period of three months effective today, Feb. 5, 2009.

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.

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

The 23-year-old all-time Olympic swimming champ with eight gold medals last summer has apologized. His rep said Thursday the swimmer “accepts these decisions and understands their point of view.”

“He feels bad he let anyone down,” the rep says. “He’s also encouraged by the thousands of comments he’s received from his fans and the support from his many sponsors. He intends to work hard to regain everyone’s trust.”

Also sponsor Kellogg is not pursuing a new contract with Michael Phelps as a corn flakes spokesman

“We originally built the relationship with Michael, as well as the other Olympic athletes, to support our association with the U.S. Olympic team,” a company spokeswoman says in a statement. “Michael’s most recent behavior is not consistent with the image of Kellogg. His contract expires at the end of February and we have made a decision not to extend his contract.”

Phelps’s other sponsors, including Speedo, Omega watch and Visa, have stuck by him.

With all these things going on probably the worst thing for Michael was explaining to his mother what happened, who just happens to be a middle-school principal.

“Seeing my mom reminded me of how it was the day after I got my DUI, and I swore to myself I’d never do that again,” Phelps told the Baltimore Sun, as reported by US Weekly. Phelps was arrested at age 19 for a DUI back in 2004.

“We’ve been talking a lot,” says Phelps.


8 Responses to “Michael Phelps Suspended and Dropped by Sponsor Over Bong Photo”

  1. bytefly on February 6th, 2009 8:41 am

    When my kids have the discipline Michael Phelps has to train for as many hours a day for as many years as he has, and win 1 gold medal and are legal age, they can take a BONG pipe hit or 2.

  2. betty lynn schweitzer on February 6th, 2009 9:24 am

    While I am not condoning nor condemning Michael Phelps, I do think that anyone who has ever smoked pot, even once, should boycott Kellogs, after they drop Phelps as a sponsor.

    Let’s use this as an opportunity for open dialogue, education and forgiveness. It seems that everyone who wanted to put him on the pedestal now wants to bask in his fall from the same pedestal. I say he is 23, and let’s not make the rules harsher because he has apologized…..Maybe he would have been better off fighting back.

    I say, put yourself or your family in his position-then pass judgment!

  3. Dave Cole on February 6th, 2009 10:13 am

    This just goes to show that you don’t need to be a smart guy to swim fast.
    Perhaps we should start saluting the people who really make positive changes in this world and stop glorifying the people who spend a great deal of their life trying to go a little faster than the next guy. Yeah, he is a really fast swimmer. So what? I bet my dog can run faster than your dog.

    How many hours has this guy spent in the pool?? Remarkable, but not exactly my idea of a hero.

    At the same time we pay idiots who can carry a pigskin ball faster than the next guy millions of dollars per year so we can be entertained. Then we go into shock when they show themselves as idiots in courtrooms accused of murder…

    I think Phelps should receive a medal for throwing away his future in the shortest period of time. Idiot!

  4. Frost on February 6th, 2009 10:37 am

    I will boycott Kellogs.. I believe he became more of a Hero.. there is something many people are missing. He took responsibly, told the truth and owned up to his mistake. kids can learn more from that than being a swimmer.

    There is a lot to be said about someone no matter his age taking on his own truth. Stating his truth. And he could have lied.. said it was a joke… nothing in the bong.. but he didn’t.

    He is a true hero… and the kind of hero I want as a role model for my child. No matter what

    take responsibly

    Seens like there are two men left in the world doing this.. Phelps and Obama

    wouldn’t it be nice for ALL to take responsibly for their actions?

  5. NightFyre on February 6th, 2009 12:15 pm

    This si just so incredibly… dumb. First, if you think seeing Phelps smoking weed is going to have a negative impact in anyone, then guess what, there’s a simple: DON’T PRINT THE PICTURE. How retarded is this whole scenario? Let’s show everyone a picture of him smoking weed and talk about it all the time… that way people will know he did it. Or… maybe the fact that he is the sickest swimmer in the entire Olympics should entitle him to be able to RELAX and use what the majority of people term a “performance INHIBITING substance” and let it be. I mean, cmon now, he is doing the only responsible thing and trying to make it easier on his competition so that they actually have a chance of beating him in his next match. I think he should smoke weed every single day of the week until his next competition match; just to see it give his competition a small chance.

    Plus the fact that weed is not truly very bad for you in small doses; the only way that it is actually detrimental to your health is smoke going into your lungs. Even prolonged use doesn’t do too much more than that.

    Plus the fact that it is actually unconstitional to ban a substance such as marijuana. They had to create the marijuana stamp act just to bypass the constition; the only way to legally possess marijuana is to have the “stamp” saying that you paid for taxes on it already, and then no stamps were ever printed. Alcohol is so much worse for you, and for society. It’s like someone watching someone down a 6 pack in a half hour, then watching someone drink a single beer on a friday after work with his friends… and directly comparing the two. By just saying that alcohol is evil and corrupt and destroys your mental and physical health because they saw the effects of chugging down a 6 pack, or more, or taking multiple shots, and then fearfully extrapolated that sitting down and sipping on a single beer to relax with friends MUST be exactly the same.

    Use your brain.. think for a second. With any other type of things than “drugs” do you automatically assume that there is no sliding scale? Shame on you. This guy surpassed so many records, uplifted many American’s, and others, hopes and dreams and did what many said was going to be impossible… he wants to sit down with friends and smoke weed at a party and you jump down everyone jumps down his throat??? and you say KUDOS that he apologized??? Get out of this country. As well as everyone else that is bitching about this story. You do not deserve to live in this country. You do not deserve the freedom that it grants. If someone who is an inspiration and hero to so many can not smoke a bowl in the privacy of his own friends home… then you do not deserve the right to post your thoughts and opinions that the freedom of speech grants.

  6. Chad N on February 6th, 2009 12:43 pm

    Something that people seem to forget is that Phelps didnt go to the olympics to further his status as a role model. He went there to win, period. He does not spend all those hours in a pool so that kids will look up to him, he does it to win. People put Phelps in the position of role model, he didnt do it himself. The problem is that once a person is elevated to “role model status” folks expect everything about that role models life to be perfect. Most of my role models growing up were flawed and imperfect, but that didnt change the fact that the reasons I elevated those people to my role models were real.

    Phelps worked hard for his Olympic medals. That is role model worthy. Phelps overcame adversity to achieve his success. That is role model worthy if you ask me. Phelps did something that no other Olympic athlete has ever done in modern Olympic history. That is role model worthy in my opinion. He did it all at a very young age, also worthy of being a role model. Him taking a bong hit does not change a single thing that he accomplished. It does not mean that those things that people elevated him to role model status for have any less value. Does it?

    This is rediculous. Seriously.

    I am however disspointed in Phelps now. He could have stood up and used some of his media clout to fight back. He SHOULD have done that. To have all of a persons real accomplishments nullified by one simple photo that tarnishes nothing in the way of accomplishments or passion destroy a persons carreer is rediculous. Heck, maybe its a good thing this guy smokes a little pot now and then. I mean if its that bad for you maybe he limited himself to 8 medals in the last olympics rather than competing in some of the track and field events and taking home 15 medals.

    You dont put the entire person on a pedastool for their accomplishments, you place thier accomplishments there. I know some great people, role models in thier own right, that occassionally speed while driving. Does that negate them as role models? I know of a particular President that has recently accomplished something that had never been done before in the history of the U.S., you do to. This president has in the past smoked pot, done cocaine and currently smokes cigarettes. Do these things negate his historic accomplishment? Is he any less of a role model? Babe Ruth. Thats all I have to say. A super athlete in terms of baseball, a role model for all those interested in baseball. Also a womanizing, hard drinking, gambling guy. No less of a role model though for those baseball types.

    For those of you that now abhor Phelps for his minor indescretion, you should take a really good look at your lives and decide if you have any less value as a role model to your kids or others for your minor indescretions. You know you have made them. Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, speeding, not using your turn signals, cheating just a bit on your taxes, maybe spanking your child just a bit to hard once. You know what I mean.

  7. DS on February 6th, 2009 1:21 pm

    Its ok for Santonio Holmes to get pulled over with dope in his car and admit to selling drugs. Oh but wait…he helped the Steelers win the Super Bowl – So he is excluded from the “drug world”. Poor Phelps he should have smoked his dope in private!!!

  8. RR on February 6th, 2009 9:47 pm

    This is ridiculous – It seems that Kellogg’s was upset that he took one bong hit because it wasn’t a good representation of them, but his DUI previous to the Olympics was fine with them?

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