Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, gets DUI again.
“I recognize that this is not my first lapse in judgment, and I am extremely disappointed with myself,” Phelps stated after being arrest for the second time, for a DUI. Michael Phelps was arrested Tuesday, September 30th in Maryland. Phelps was pulled over at 1:40 a.m. for going 84 mph in a 45 mph zone. He was charged with driving under the influence, speeding and crossing double lane lines.
The arresting officer stated that Michael Phelps was very cooperative during the process. Phelps blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. He failed 2 sobriety tests at the scene and declined to take the last test. Immediately after Phelps was released he made statements on twitter apologizing for his actions and behavior. He stated that he is entering a six week program and needs to focus on himself. This is his second DUI in 10 years. Phelps has received a six month suspension from competing in the sport of swimming. He has also agreed to withdraw from competing at next summer’s FINA World Championships. He previously was suspended for three months in 2009 after he was photographed with his mouth on a marijuana pipe.
Phelps actions have lead to serious consequences. As the most decorated Olympian, he is held to a high standard. Olympians are seen as role models for children and adults. Therefore, the committee must make an example out of this situation. “We think the sanctions are appropriate and we are glad that Michael is seeking help,” said United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun. “We are grateful that nobody was hurt and appreciate the speed at which USA Swimming and Michael took action.”Olympians are expected to embody the Olympic values of friendship, excellence, and respect. They are expected to compete under the Olympic oath. This mean competing in sports without the use of drugs or displaying reckless behavior. Although Phelps has risen to fame and glory faster than most, he does not get a pass on his behavior.
His first DUI was in 2004, when he was only 19 years old. He was pulled over for running a stop sign and was taken in for a DUI. Phelps was suspended for 18 months for that offense. This will be his third time being suspended. How many times will he get suspended, before he is kicked out of the sport permanently? It is important to note that Phelps will not receive his monthly stipend during his suspension. This incident can also effect his endorsement deals, as well as his charity fund. Hopefully during his 6 week program he will be able to focus on getting his life organized and his priorities straight. As a role model, he has a lot of pressure on his back, as well as cameras always following him around. Maybe this suspension and 6 week program will help Phelps clear his mind and focus on recovery for himself.