US swimmer Phelps suspended over ‘pot pipe’
Friday, February 6, 2009
United States swimmer Michael Phelps has been banned from competition and his training stipend revoked for three months by USA Swimming after Phelps was photographed smoking from a glass pipe, often used for smoking cannabis. The picture was published last Sunday by British tabloid News of the World.
USA Swimming, which is the governing body of swimming in the United States, however said that no “anti-doping” rules had been violated.
“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,” it stated. “Michael has voluntarily accepted this reprimand and has committed to earn back our trust.”
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The suspension will end in time for Phelps to train for the US Championships, which are to be held on the 7th of July.
Phelps has also lost sponsor Kellogg, who said that it would not renew its deal with the swimmer next month.
Phelps won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing last year, and has since become one of the world’s most famous athletes.