USA Swimming has suspended Michael Phelps for six months, forced him to withdraw from next year’s world championships and taken away his funding from the sport’s national governing body as a result of the Olympic champion’s second DUI arrest.
U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said, “We think the sanctions are appropriate and we are glad that Michael is seeking help. We are grateful that nobody was hurt and appreciate the speed at which USA Swimming and Michael took action.”
In a statement released Monday USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus said: “membership in USA Swimming, and particularly at the National Team level, includes a clear obligation to adhere to our Code of Conduct. 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. Michael has publicly acknowledged the impact of his decisions, his accountability especially due to his stature in the sport and the steps necessary for self-improvement. We endorse and are here to fully support his personal development actions.”
Phelps announced he was entering a six-week, in-patient program last weekend, days after he was arrested and charged with drunken driving in his hometown of Baltimore.
“Swimming is a major part of my life, but right now I need to focus my attention on me as an individual, and do the necessary work to learn from this experience and make better decisions in the future,” Phelps said in a series of posts on his Twitter account.
In August, Phelps ended his long-time sponsorship with Speedo and signed an endorsement deal with Aqua Sphere, a producer of swimwear and accessories for triathletes and fitness swimmers that has not made racing suits before.