Michael Phelps suspended from USA Swimming-sanctioned events for six months

Mon Oct 6, 2014 6:17pm EDT
 
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By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) - American swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, was suspended for six months by USA Swimming on Monday following his recent arrest on a drunken driving charge.

Phelps, who recently returned to top-level competition after a two-year retirement, will also not be allowed to represent the United States at the 2015 FINA World Swimming Championships in Russia next August, USA Swimming said in a statement.

The arrest last Tuesday marked the second time the 29-year-old Baltimore-area native had been arrested for drunken driving, the first being in 2004. In the first case, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of driving while impaired in exchange for 18 months' probation.

"Membership in USA Swimming, and particularly at the National Team level, includes a clear obligation to adhere to our Code of Conduct," USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus said in a statement.

"Should an infraction occur, it is our responsibility to take appropriate action based on the individual case. Michael’s conduct was serious and required significant consequences."

Phelps was arrested last week after speeding and then crossing the double-lane lines inside a Baltimore tunnel, police said, adding he was clocked by radar traveling 84 miles per hour (135 kph) in a 45-mph (72-kph) zone.

Documents indicate that Phelps registered .14 percent on a Breathalyzer test after being pulled over in his 2014 Land Rover. The legal limit for intoxication in Maryland is .08.

Phelps apologized for the incident and said on Sunday he was checking himself into rehab for six weeks in order to "better understand myself."   Continued...

 
Aug 10, 2014; Irvine, CA, USA; Michael Phelps reacts after placing second in the 200m individual medley in 1:56.55 in the 2014 USA National Championships at William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports