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The Michael Phelps Scandal

By Hot Ink Staff Modified: May 8, 2009 at 2:46 pm •  Published: May 8, 2009
American swimmer Michael Phelps, who has won 14 career Olympic gold medals, was photographed using a bong, a device used for smoking marijuana. The photo seen around the world was released by the British tabloid News of the World.

On Feb. 27, officials announced that Phelps would not be prosecuted because there was no evidence besides the photo. He was suspended from swimming competitively for three months and his endorsement with Kellogg’s was ended.

The staff of Hot Ink decided to ask students from all across the metro area a few questions about this controversial issue.

Is Michael Phelps still a good role model or has he set a bad example?
"Well, I'm disappointed in him because I thought he would be different and a good role model for everyone. When I found out about this subject, I felt fooled. Now I see him as a different person." -- Stevie Sandoval, Dove Science Academy freshman

"I don't think what he did was right but I still support him and continue to be a big fan." -- Carli Wentworth, Mustang High School junior

"I would still look up to him. Sure, he made a mistake, but everyone makes mistakes." -- Christy Anderson, Edmond Memorial High School senior

Should he have lost his endorsement deals, such as a contract with Kellogg's, because of the photo?
"I think so. He is promoting health foods, and that choice was definitely not healthy." -- Jessie Roark, Deer Creek High School freshman

"I think that he should've lost his endorsements, because it's only fair. I think that if you break the rules, you should be punished. It's not like he didn't know he was making a bad decision and could be punished for it." -- Hayley Harbough, Carl Albert High School junior

"Yes, I think he should have lost the endorsement deals because a photo like that could hurt the company's image." -- Anna Geary, a home school students

Should his medals be taken away?
"No, because he did all the hard work, and because of this they shouldn't take them away." -- Kevin Parker, Putnam City North sophomore

"A medal should only be stripped if the act defiles the country of the athlete or the integrity of the Olympic Games.

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