Phelps Suspension

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    Feb 06, 2009 1:36 PM GMT
    USA Swimming suspends Michael Phelps for 3 months
    By PAUL NEWBERRY and BETH HARRIS, AP Sports Writers
    4 hours, 35 minutes ago

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    Phelps suspended, responds
    More Videos Michael Phelps’ return to competition for the first time since the Beijing Olympics is on hold. The swimming superstar has been suspended for three months and had his training stipend revoked by USA Swimming.

    It’s the latest complication for the 23-year-old Olympic great since a photo surfaced showing him inhaling from a marijuana pipe.

    He also lost a high-profile sponsor Thursday when Kellogg Co. said it wouldn’t renew its deal with Phelps that expires later this month.

    Phelps recently resumed serious training in his hometown of Baltimore with the goal of qualifying for this summer’s world championships in Rome. But the suspension will cut into his racing schedule.

    “This is not a situation where any anti-doping rule was violated, but we decided
    “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,” the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based national governing body said in a statement.

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

    Phelps won a record eight gold medals in Beijing and returned to America as one of the world’s most acclaimed athletes. He made headlines of a different kind, however, in the wake of the photo, published Sunday by News of the World, a British tabloid.

    The latest fallout has been much greater than in 2004, when an underage Phelps was arrested for drunken driving three months after the Athens Olympics. He pleaded guilty and apologized to his fans, saying he wouldn’t make the same mistake again.

    “Michael’s been through a lot and he’s learned a lot, hopefully,” his coach Bob Bowman told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “I support him and I want to see him do better. I’m here, as always, to try to help him move forward. He’s learned some tough lessons and he’s disappointed a lot of people, me included.”

    USA Swimming provides a $1,750 monthly stipend to national team members to help defray travel and training expenses, plus performance bonuses. However, it’s a fraction of the millions Phelps makes through endorsements. The stipend will be withheld throughout his three-month suspension.

    Cereal and snack maker Kellogg Co. said it wouldn’t renew its sponsorship contract with Phelps, saying his behavior is “not consistent with the image of Kellogg.” The swimmer appeared on the company’s cereal boxes after his Olympic triumph.

    “Michael accepts these decisions and understands their point of view,” said one of his agents, Drew Johnson. “He feels bad he let anyone down. 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.”

    Phelps has acknowledged “regrettable” behavior and “bad judgment” in the latest incident. He didn’t dispute the authenticity of the photo, reportedly taken at a house party while Phelps was visiting Columbia, S.C., in November during an extended break from training.

    “I certainly understand USA Swimming needed to take action,” Bowman said. “We will certainly abide by everything they’ve put down.”

    Phelps had planned to compete in early March at a Grand Prix meet in Austin, Texas.

    Now, he won’t be able to take on any rivals until early May, which would give him a little more than two months of competition before July’s world championships in Rome.

    “This is the result of a poor decision Michael made,” U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman Darryl Seibel said in an e-mail. “He understands there is accountability and has pledged to not repeat this in the future. We have offered our assistance to make certain he is as consistent and successful away from the pool as he is in it, and we are confident that will happen.”

    After the suspension, Phelps would be able to compete at a May meet in Charlotte, N.C.; there’s another Grand Prix competition in Santa Clara, Calif., the following month. The U.S. team for Rome will be chosen at the national championships July 7-11 in Indianapolis.

    “He’s been very good in practice,” Bowman said. “I think he feels good to be back in the water. Certainly, he’s not in very good shape.

    “We’re anxious to get back to a really normal routine and we have. We’re moving on.”

    Several of Phelps’ Olympic teammates rallied to his defense. Among them was Dara Torres, the 41-year-old silver medalist whom Phelps jokingly referred to in Beijing as “Mom.”

    “I see him as a kid trying to grow up in the most intense spotlight known to any athlete
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    Feb 06, 2009 5:48 PM GMT
    Nice. Plenty of time for Mike to take a vacation in Jamaica!

    I wanna be wanna be like Mike.
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    Feb 06, 2009 7:17 PM GMT
    On top of the suspension the So. Carolina Sherriff is looking into leveling charges against him as well. Misdemeanor charges, criminal charges none the less.

    Poor thing. He is learning one of lifes tough lessons.

    Not everyone that you hang out with is your friend and have the best intentions.

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    Feb 06, 2009 7:31 PM GMT
    Phelps knows that next time he won't let himself get caught. That was his "bad judgment." LOL. I assure you that's his biggest regret.

    What a fucked up mess of hypocrites. That's what happens when you let a bunch of religious nuts pass stupid laws.

    8 MILLION folks DIE, annually, needlessly, from obesity, and there's all the fluff / fuss over an Olympic athlete / 23 year old taking a hit.

    It's not about saving lives. It's not about right and wrong. It's about conformance and control by a bunch of false-belief believing nuts who are punitive to those who lives their lives in a different way.

    It goes beyond obscene that on any given day over 85% of all folks in jail (of over 2 MILLION in jail) are there for non-violent drug offenses. Until just recently, 1 in 4, black men was in jail on ANY GIVEN days.

    It screams about a broken system where some nuts have been politically active and everyone has laid down and taken it.

    If Phelps drug of choice had been alcohol, or even tobacco, there would have been no foul, but, since he choose a little pot, knowing, as any clear-thinking person would, that it's a lot safer, he gets kicked in the ass.

    His biggest regret is getting caught. The lesson it teaches is don't get caught. He regrets losing the endorsement, but, I'm sure he doesn't regret that he has a few hits now and then.

    I don't smoke pot, but, the pot laws are beyond stupid.
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    Feb 06, 2009 7:32 PM GMT
    I seriously call shenanigans on this whole f-ing thing.



    In my mind that clip completely tears apart anyone who would ever try to say that "as a public figure needs to watch their actions." Or any ideals of "He's a role model for a lot of people." So we have a President who openly admits to smoking pot, but oh no, Michael Phelps ripped from a bong, STONE HIM!

    It's a serious line of bullshit if you ask me.
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    Feb 06, 2009 7:45 PM GMT
    He broke the non-doping rules why should he be held to a diffrent standard than anyone else? Because he's Michael Phelps...that's insane.

    In 2004 he got pulled over for drunk driving, he got a free pass then now this.
    If the board did not act they would be showing favoritism how is that right?

    Next time he will either make better choices or make sure that he has all the cell phones. I would prefer he not do drugs at all sends the wrong message to his young fans.

    Hence the reason for Kellogg snatching the endorsement.

    With fame comes responsibilty. He is an adult. I'm glad he is stepping up and not trying to fight the suspension.
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    Feb 06, 2009 7:54 PM GMT
    Ducky44 saidHe broke the non-doping rules why should he be held to a diffrent standard than anyone else? Because he's Michael Phelps...that's insane.

    In 2004 he got pulled over for drunk driving, he got a free pass then now this.
    If the board did not act they would be showing favoritism how is that right?


    On one hand I support the suspension; he broke the non doping rule -
    however as far as I know green is a depressant - not a stimulant. Therefore I think that perhaps a proper review of what constitutes breaking the doping rule should be conducted.

    Drunk driving should have been taken way more seriously than a free pass.
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    Feb 06, 2009 7:59 PM GMT
    I think there is confusion here. The smoking of pot in this case is not a violation of USOC Doping laws... See the following excerpt from an article about Michael Phelps

    "The USOC can't do much to penalize him. Anti-doping rules don't call for sanctions against athletes who test positive for marijuana when they're not competing. And the USOC's code of conduct doesn't apply to athletes once the games are over."

    Also, While competing Michael, Dara Torres and other US athletes voluntarily submitted to "super testing" as a pilot for new Drug Doping rules. If you google any of this you will see that Michael Phelps is/was one of the most intensely drug tested athletes before and during Bejing. This was totally voluntary and done to help improve performance enhancement testing.

    This kid is an athlete a swimmer. That is it. The whole Michael Phelps as a god is what the rest of us did to him. We as a society are so quick to idolize and then so quick to help destroy. This is pure stupidity.
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    Feb 06, 2009 8:04 PM GMT
    I think it was appropriate that he face some consequences, but this may be a bit much...
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    Feb 06, 2009 8:04 PM GMT
    Of course, it wouldn't be a problem if he were caught binge drinking.
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    Feb 06, 2009 8:13 PM GMT
    The lesson to Phelps and to the public is:
    1. Don't get caught.
    2. Conform.
    3. Lie.

    It's been going on for years with rec drugs.

    Does it change anything? Nope. It only makes folks work harder at not getting caught.

    Pot has been around since the beginning of time. It's not going away.

    Being punitive about it is silly. Being punitive about it only adds monetary value to the product and forces it underground to ickier people. It serves no useful purpose as a deterrent when pot is pretty well universally accepted by the general public.

    It's a waste of resources to be punitive to the users, and ruins countless lives.

    It exemplifies a failed system of punitive action rather than medical treatment (where needed).

    It costs Phelps some money, it cost him some P.R., but, almost certainly, it won't cost him a job at ESPN, NBC, etc., nor keep a millionaire (who also gets high) from investing in his business.

    Rec drugs have been, and will continue to be part of anthropology. PERIOD. It's the human condition.
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    Feb 06, 2009 8:15 PM GMT
    I cant imagine what he was thinking....with so much money on the line depending on his image, how could he possibly not restrained himself.

    I hope this opens opportunities for that gay medalist...Michael Mitchum?
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    Feb 06, 2009 8:15 PM GMT
    Marijuana needs an increase in lobbying power, otherwise there is no future for it.

    Consider this: in California, Marijuana is regulated with taxes and prescriptions (administered via licenses). The rise in registrations for a state license (with prescription) boosted our state's economy, think of the implications for the rest of our country?

    Rather than spend inordinate amounts of money punishing so-called "criminals" and clogging our prison/court systems, wouldn't we fare better with steps to legalization?

    Yikes.

    Phelps should consider a move to California--yes, a bastian of "liberals" yet still, a state that exercises true freedom.

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    Feb 06, 2009 8:17 PM GMT
    chuckystud said
    steriods.



    HAHAHAHAHAHAH!
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    Feb 06, 2009 8:27 PM GMT
    Over the years, and really starting with Prohibition, false information campaigns have be undertaken by government, and various groups. In the end, truth comes out, and folks say the law is stupid.

    Once passed, however, laws are hard to overturn. Constitutional amendments are even harder to overturn.

    By almost any measure, Western Europe and Canada handle substance use in a much better manner, treating them as non-issues, or as a health-care issue.

    So many, however, here, are misled on a number of things.

    We've lost the art of critical thinking, and, most of us fail to truly research topics before we express an opinion on them.

    The 35 year "War on Drugs" has been and will continue to be a dismal failure. We really should take a different approach.

    The problem now is that folks are making livings on the "War on Drugs" and that no congressman, or senator, really wants to be the person to step up and say "enough." Many states have, have had, or are going back to ways to skirt federal law with regard to pot use, and traffic infractions. E.g., in Nebraska, until the speed limit was upped the fine was only $10.00 if you were going over the limit. It was a $100 fine for up to 1 pound of pot, plus court costs. (It grows wild there.) That's been changed on both counts in recent years, but, states like California, use their own sovereignty to enact counter-laws to puritanical federal law.

    Time will tell if we move to a Western Europe / Canadian drug law model. Clearly, having 2 to 3 MILLION folks in jail daily over drugs, disenfranchising them from society, and making them bitter for getting caught doesn't seem to make much sense to most.
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    Feb 06, 2009 8:34 PM GMT
    Oh, I am all for the legalization and regulation of drugs, just like alcohol. Sure, a few people will mess up their lives...but no more than alcohol. And I would suspect a lot fewer people than we mess up their lives by arresting them and putting them in prison.....and at a lot less cost!
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    Feb 06, 2009 8:47 PM GMT
    flex89 saidOf course, it wouldn't be a problem if he were caught binge drinking.


    He already go busted for that.lol But seriously maybe this recession will De-fund some of these worthless, useless, non-productive regulatory agencies and boards.
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    Feb 06, 2009 8:54 PM GMT
    Michael Phelps does not seem to have the best judgement in the world. He does something illegal where journalists can photograph him. He should have talked to Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens about how to do it right. icon_twisted.gif

    I don't know why people get their knickers in a knot about smoking pot. If he had guzzled three pints of beer nobody would have batted an eyelash. Unbelievable.
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    Feb 06, 2009 9:04 PM GMT
    The better question is why, in 2009, is the US/US media acting as though pot is morphine? Heroin anyone? Coke?

    Seriously, many studies have shown marijuanna's side effect to be minimal in comparison to a very legal substance called ALCOHOL. Why is it we trust people to drink in moderation (who are we kidding) but not mature enough to stop toking. (This is to say nothing of comparing marijuanna with tobacco which is, as chemically mixed in cigs, a carcinogen.)

    Point is, so damned what if Phelps enjoys a hit now and then...a little less hypocrisy and more realism please...I'm sure his athletic prowness followed his preference for pot, at any rate, and he did just fine. Remember, the reason why pot is criminalized while tobacco is not in the US is lobbiers for the tobacco and paper industry, and not much else.
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    Feb 07, 2009 10:36 PM GMT
    Michael Phelps did nothing wrong

    Michael Phelps, the gold medal winning swimmer and one of the most prolific athletes of the last 100 years was recently photographed smoking pot which has caused an uproar across America - but for all the wrong reasons. Phelps' athletic career is now in peril because of a 3 month suspension handed down by USA Swimming because of the photo, and he is also possilbly facing criminal charges for the incident.
    What's wrong with this picture (literally, and figureatively)? Phelps is clearly one of the best atheletes in the sport, he is renown as a very good person, as well as a model citizen until the photo in question recently surfaced. He has done great work for charity, notably founding the Michael Phelps Foundation with the one million dollar bonus he was paid by Speedo.
    So what is the obsession with punishing this great American for smoking some pot? Marijuana is not a performance enhancing drug, and it is also not nearly as dangerous as alcohol which is legal. Marijuana can resolve many problems, both physical ailments and for holistic purposes such as stress relief. Marijuana has never led to a death by overdose, yet every day people die of alcohol poisoning. If Phelps had been shown drinking a beer there would be nothing wrong. The reality is: Phelps was taking part in a fun, stress relieving, and safe activity in his private life and as such he should not be punished for choosing to live his life the way he sees fit.
    We as a society need to come to concencus that marijuana, while currently illegal, should no longer be banned. It is renewable, inexpensive, safe, and fun! In relation to other things society deems okay such as tobacco and alcohol, marijuana does not lead to dependence, withdrawl like cigarettes or alcohol, and the extreme intoxication that is found with alcohol is absent in marijuana.
    Finally, some will argue that even though marijuana is safer, less addictive, and less dangerous than alcohol that he should still be punished for doing something considered illegal. This argument is patently absurd and should be rejected out of hand. One of our Founding Fathers and hemp farmers, Benjamin Franklin, once remarked: They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. When a person uses an arguement against good, common sense and defers their personal liberty to the whims of the state, that person deserves neither liberty nor saftey, and they are actively working to erode their basic human right of privacy.

    http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-208767
  • MikemikeMike

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    Aug 18, 2010 7:39 AM GMT
    chuckystud saidOver the years, and really starting with Prohibition, false information campaigns have be undertaken by government, and various groups. In the end, truth comes out, and folks say the law is stupid.

    Once passed, however, laws are hard to overturn. Constitutional amendments are even harder to overturn.

    By almost any measure, Western Europe and Canada handle substance use in a much better manner, treating them as non-issues, or as a health-care issue.

    So many, however, here, are misled on a number of things.

    We've lost the art of critical thinking, and, most of us fail to truly research topics before we express an opinion on them.

    The 35 year "War on Drugs" has been and will continue to be a dismal failure. We really should take a different approach.

    The problem now is that folks are making livings on the "War on Drugs" and that no congressman, or senator, really wants to be the person to step up and say "enough." Many states have, have had, or are going back to ways to skirt federal law with regard to pot use, and traffic infractions. E.g., in Nebraska, until the speed limit was upped the fine was only $10.00 if you were going over the limit. It was a $100 fine for up to 1 pound of pot, plus court costs. (It grows wild there.) That's been changed on both counts in recent years, but, states like California, use their own sovereignty to enact counter-laws to puritanical federal law.

    Time will tell if we move to a Western Europe / Canadian drug law model. Clearly, having 2 to 3 MILLION folks in jail daily over drugs, disenfranchising them from society, and making them bitter for getting caught doesn't seem to make much sense to most.


    I don't condone drugs of any kind!! But this is funny all this chucky criticism from RJ biggest steriod fan????????????? People in glass houses etc etc!!