Michael Phelps receives second DUI
It’s been 10 years since the last time Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps pleaded guilty to drunk driving charges. He’s headed to rehab again after being booked in Baltimore, MD, on charges of DUI, excessive speeding and crossing double lane lines.
In a series of tweets, he indicated, “I’m going to take some time away to attend a program that will provide the help I need to better understand myself. Swimming is a major part of my life, but right now I need to focus my attention on me as an individual, and do the necessary work to learn from this experience and make better decisions in the future.”
Rival Olympic swimmer and competitor Ryan Lochte is quoted as responding to the arrest by saying, “He has so much money to get a driver. I even have a driver. It just stinks for the sport of swimming. But he will become smarter from this. Luckily he did not hurt himself or someone else.”
USA Swimming announced that they are suspending Michael Phelps for six months due to Code of Conduct violations. He will have to forfeit payments from his USA Swimming stipend during this suspension because of the DUI and he has agreed to withdraw from the 2015 FINA World Swimming Championships held in Russia next August.
As previously mentioned, this isn’t the first time that Phelps has been suspended and made headlines for DUI/drug abuse. During 2009, he was photographed inhaling from a marijuana pipe during a party and received a three-month suspension. The marijuana stint resulted Kellogg dropping his sponsorship. Further, media also questioned him during the 2008 Beijing Olympics as to whether he was using performance-enhancing drugs, but successfully passed 9 drug tests.
Teamusa.org reports that, “the current sanction sends a message to fans that Phelps’ actions are unacceptable and not in line with USA Swimming’s code of conduct, which states that, ‘The privilege of membership may be withdrawn or denied by USA Swimming at any time where USA Swimming determines that a member’s conduct is inconsistent with the mission of the organization or the best interest of the sport and those who participate in it.’”