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USA Swimming Suspends Michael Phelps For 3 Months

In case you missed it, a photo of Michael Phelps was published in a British tabloid showing the eight-time Olympic gold medalist smoking marijuana from a bong. Although many of his teammates are supporting him, USA Swimming is not. It's suspending him from competition for three months and the financial support that comes with it. By making an example of him, USA Swimming is sending a strong message to other swimmers and millions of fans that drugs are not appropriate for anyone, especially athletes.

This isn't the only bad news. Right before the 23-year-old Sportsman of the Year found this out, Kellogg decided to drop its sponsorship in response to the photo. They stated, "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, are sticking by him.

Although Michael apologized for his actions, saying that he feels awful that he let anyone down, he's accepted the outcome and is committed to work hard so he can earn back everyone's trust. Do you think this punishment is fair or too harsh?


Join The Conversation
PinkNC PinkNC 8 years
After winning so well at the Olympics, I think we all knew that something negative would be published about Michael Phelps within 6 months anyway. That's how the media works. He also should have kept this in mind before he went out and done this kind of action. Michael Phelps knows that people, especially women, would be out to get him for money. They'll call themselves a friend or fan and then when he's not looking they'll sell or tell something negative to the tabloids for money. What he did was illegal so yes, he should be suspended from numerous activities and/or endorsement deals. We also have to keep in mind that he Michael Phelps is an Olympian that just won his medals, he's not that much of a role model.
helloimkaren helloimkaren 8 years
I think it's way too harsh, yes hes a role model but he is a young guy and they do stupid things like that sometimes and he said he was sorry. Give him a break, he needs it, hes a hard worker. It's not like all he does is smoke pot. This should actually show people that smoking pot doesn't always lead to bad things and can show that some people are still pretty responsible.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
Eh. He is supposed to be a healthy role model. He doesn't exactly portray an image of health by smoking pot. I wish pot would get decriminalised for things like pain relief but I still respect that it is ILLEGAL to smoke it. He needs to grow a brain or something.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Honestly, this tells me a lot less about Michael Phelps' character, and more about the type of people who smoke pot. He's an Olympic gold medalist, and a successful individual. President Obama smoked pot. I dislike smoking pot very much, but about 50% of all people graduating college right now have smoked pot. Also, Michael Phelps is famous for being an Olympic medalist, not because he is a virtuous role model, so honestly I think this is ridiculous. While I would want my kids to admire Phelps' athletic achievements, I hope they would never think they should look at an athlete or celebrity to help them make decisions of morality- I certainly don't. I won't be buying any more Kellogg's products, but I can understand the suspension by USA Swimming if he violated their rules.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I think his punishment is fair. Sure, he's a college kid that wants to have a good time, but he's also a professional athlete and was being endorsed as a healthy swimmer, not a pot-smoking party-goer. 3 months suspension isn't even really that bad...I'm surprised they didn't give him more of a punishment when he got his DUI.
LoveSarah LoveSarah 8 years
Who cares? He smoked some pot, big deal. I understand he is in the public eye, and he should be a better role model, but it's not like he was snorting coke or shooting heroin. As hatertot said, I'd be more worried about his DUI than this!
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 8 years
ugh this is just too much, I think everyone is going far overboard about it. I understand that marijuana is illegal and all and that Phelps does have a name to live up to but he is just a young man, making the same mistakes all these people made 50 years ago. He should be reprimanded but removing his endorsements and suspending him from competition is only giving him more time to hit the bong...
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
LOL @ tlsgirl's comment. :) As for my opinion: Fair. After he got away with his DUI incident, he really should have counted his blessings, and stay out of trouble. But no, he thought it was a good idea to be in possession of an illegal substance (given these lucrative endorsements he had, and how he was such a sports celebrity, and many eyes were on him). He really dared the Devil. And now, finally, he's getting burned. He's either really arrogant or stupid. Either way, I think his current circumstances are fair. :)
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
That's what you get for breaking the rules. The USOC suspends may althetes for things such as taking cold medications before a competition. At my oldest nephew's USFSA competitions we usually call them "snot and virus" fests because all the the skaters stop taking all medications even if the are sick or have asthma because the USFSA and USOC will suspend you if the medication shows up on your urine test. yes the know its cold medication or prescription asthma medication but they err on the side that it may have given you an unfair advantage over your competitors. If you ever go to a USFSA competition wear gloves and carry that anti-virus gel stuff - cause where ever the skaters touch it's covered in snot and germs.
darkoblivion darkoblivion 8 years
Do I think the punishment is too harsh? Yes. But, it's not my opinion that counts. I do find it very disturbing that they are getting in such an uproar about this but kind of turned a cheek when countless celebs are let off the hook for DUI's. At least he wasn't driving drunk.
Merlin713 Merlin713 8 years
He made a choice and this is the result of that choice. Fair.
NYKnowItAll NYKnowItAll 8 years
I guess I understand where they're coming from, since it is illegal...however, smoking marijuana is definitely not as bad for your body as many other LEGAL things. Plus, he's still pretty young, and I don't think anyone should be all that surprised...
ShedItandGetIt ShedItandGetIt 8 years
Hear, hear, Hater Tot!
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 8 years
People have done worse things. He's young and people should have more realistic expectations about these things. I'm also ridiculously tired of hearing about this and Jessica Simpsons weight gain. This is also why I somewhat dislike the concept of role models. The second you dare to make a mistake, people act like you're the worst person ever. I don't think role models should be role models for being unrealistically perfect. Real humans make mistakes and people should have enough common sense to not emulate stupid behavior...if they were raised well to begin with.
lemuse20 lemuse20 8 years
Yeah, he is human, but that doesn't exactly get anyone out of dealing with consequences of poor judgement. I think it's fair and am glad they're not letting this slide. It baffles me how famous people do such things when there is a camera around... I guess it does impair judgement.
homekeeper homekeeper 8 years
We all have to suffer the consequences of our actions but it yields (hopefully) a lesson learned and never to be repeated again.
reallysparkle reallysparkle 8 years
I think it's fair. He's in the public eye and just has to be more careful. Whether he likes it or not, he is a role model. I think he got off pretty easy, actually. At least he still has some sponsors! What he wants to do in his home in his own business, but he has to make smarter choices when there's a chance that photos will be taken, etc.
HaterTot HaterTot 8 years
I have a couple of issues with this. First of all, smoking pot is not a big deal. That said, he's a public figure whether he likes it or not, and is clearly too dumb to keep that kind of thing behind closed doors like a smart person would. However, my biggest problem is the total hypocrisy. There wasn't this much of an uproar over his DUI arrest 4 years ago - where not only was he underage, he was driving a damn car! That is BY FAR a worse transgression than smoking pot at a college party.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
He's human. Lighten up people. Alchol is just as bad for you and WAS illegal during Babe Ruth's time and guess what....he was an alcholic!
ckeller825 ckeller825 8 years
I agree w/his suspension. It was pretty irresponsible of him.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
There was a comment elsewhere that Taco Bell or Doritos should sponsor him you don't exactly head for the Kellogg's when you have the munchies.
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