The British newspaper News Of The World published a photo of decorated Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps smoking from a bong at the University of South Carolina.
A bong is typically used for smoking marijuana. In the photograph you can’t tell exactly what he’s smoking, but he’s definitely inhaling something other than pure oxygen.
The newspaper claims Phelps’ representatives offered them incentives to keep them from printing the photo.
Phelps set a record at the 2008 Olympics when he won eight gold medals which gave him a career total of 14. No word yet on whether the U.S. Olympics Committee will get involved.
Olympic and world championship athletes are supposed to undergo drug tests on a regular basis. If they fail, they are disqualified from competing.
Phelps has spent most of his life in a swimming pool preparing for Olympic and world championship competitions. There is nothing wrong with him going to a party and having a little fun.
However, when you’re a high-profile celebrity, you have to be careful of what you do because there are ALWAYS cameras around.
Phelps released a statement that said “I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I’m 23 years old and despite the successes I’ve had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again.”
I don’t think Phelps should be judged too harshly. Yes, he is a role model, and millions of children around the world probably look up to him.
But keep in mind, role models are human beings, and they make mistakes too. Most mistakes are made during the teen years and early 20s, and everyone out there has done regrettable things during their early 20s. It’s all part of growing up.
But the next time he wants to experiment, he should probably do it in the privacy of his own home where no one is watching. The photo from News Of The World is posted below.