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Is This Really Phelps?


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I didn't even want to post this, don't want to fan the flames, but it's already all over the net. Is this Phelps? Can he now be banned from International Olympic Competition?

It sickens my stomach if it's really him. He just wasn't thinking, and has gotten swept up. I'm totally disappointed if it is true. Not because he was smoking pot, but because of how this could be detrimental to his career, his image, his future etc. Dumb, young mistake. So many people out there are loving this (I'm talking to you "News of the World"), taking glee in taking him down. Not that he didn't have a hand in this himself...

Is it him?

phelps_big_0102.jpg

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First of all, it is News of the World. Is that reliable?

Second, pot isn't exactly a performance enhancing drug so there's no need for a competition ban. We all remember Ross Rebagliati in Nagano.

Third...is that really him? And is it really pot in there? Could just be a joke.

And fourth...why a sports psychologist? So he can visualize the perfect performance and the perfect bong hit? Even a regular psychologist isn't needed. Smoking pot isn't a mental illness. He just needs a better PR manager and friends who don't run to post incriminating photos of him on the 'net.

But let's just ride it out.

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It would be a great shame if it was him, however if it was, he would have to face the consequences as it is still a prohibited substance. From the 2009 WADA Prohibitied List:

S8. CANNABINOIDS

Cannabinoids (e.g. hashish, marijuana) are prohibited.

However, as a elite athlete, he will be tested regularly and should the drug be found in his system, then he will be sentenced appropriately. As an athlete, he is ultimately responsible for his own body and any drugs he may consume. However, we should not simply assume he is guilty as the picture is not necessarily him. Test him first and act on the outcome.

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I think it's possible that it's really Michael Phelps, since that bong smoker has attached earlobes, just like Michael Phelps:

Michael%20Phelps.jpg

040706_michaelPhelps_vsmall_5p.widec.jpg

But I'm not so sure about the nose. It appears smaller than Phelps' nose on that "News Of The World" picture, but the reason for that could be that the bong smoker has turned his head slightly to the right.

u_OLYMPIA__Olympische_Spiele_2008_Michael_Phelps_USA_400_Lagen_Weltrekord.jpg

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.why a sports psychologist?

Because he's young not handling his enormous fame and fortune very well at the moment (if it is him). It's more than this photo, it's apparently boozing and hard partying etc.

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Am I missing something here? Smoking weed is not the end of the world, either is drinking and partying.

And smoking weed is not a sign that someone isn't well-adjusted. I think someone took their DARE education a little too seriously.

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Am I missing something here? Smoking weed is not the end of the world, either is drinking and partying.

And smoking weed is not a sign that someone isn't well-adjusted. I think someone took their DARE education a little too seriously.

Of course, Faster doesn't get it.

No, it's not the end of the world, but it IS a banned substance by WADA.

The problem is, that Phelps isn't coping properly with his newfound fame and fortune. Drinking, partying, and even smoking pot isn't necessarily an unusual activity for someone his age. However, Phelps never had a normal adolescence. Almost 15 years of intense training for his sport, forgoing almost all of the normal carousing teens and college age kids do, is coming out after finally achieving his ultimate goal in Beijing. The problem with that is, that Phelps isn't your everyday 24 year old. He's a national hero, a national role model for youth, and he has a lot to lose in terms of his future if stuff like this were to keep coming out. A good sport psychologist could help him deal with his situation. It's a heavy burden to carry.

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Am I missing something here? Smoking weed is not the end of the world, either is drinking and partying.

And smoking weed is not a sign that someone isn't well-adjusted. I think someone took their DARE education a little too seriously.

Smoking weed might not be the end of the world, but if you are an athlete, it can be the end of your career! Assuming that it is Phelps in the photo. He should be tested first.

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According to CNN, Michael Phelps has admitted that it is in fact him in the picture smoking pot. And that he "regrets his bad judgement & promises his fans & colleagues that it will 'never' happen again".

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Phelps complete statement, released early this afternoon, Eastern Standard Time:

""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."

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OK, just proves he's human. He's also young. Alcohol is also a prohibited substance in competition, but like pot, it would certainly not be a performance enhancing substance...unless you were a boxer or in a pie eating contest.

And for the record, sports psychology is about helping athletes train the mental side of their game. Maybe Phelps just needs a life coach or a to be taken down a peg or two. Which I think just happened.

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The problem is, that Phelps isn't coping properly with his newfound fame and fortune. Drinking, partying, and even smoking pot isn't necessarily an unusual activity for someone his age. However, Phelps never had a normal adolescence. Almost 15 years of intense training for his sport, forgoing almost all of the normal carousing teens and college age kids do, is coming out after finally achieving his ultimate goal in Beijing. The problem with that is, that Phelps isn't your everyday 24 year old. He's a national hero, a national role model for youth, and he has a lot to lose in terms of his future if stuff like this were to keep coming out. A good sport psychologist could help him deal with his situation. It's a heavy burden to carry.

I wouldn't say he isn't coping properly - he's just a normal young kid, who has put his heart and soul into what was probably a brutal training regime over the past eight years or more, basically put a "normal" life to one side, and finally, after scaling the Everest that he himself and the world media have lumbered him with, finally has a brief window in which to let his hair down and experience life - I don't think what we've seen is any indication of him going off the rails. I have some sympathy for him - even more so that he has been so quick to own up and apologise - that showed maturity and responsibility. It's gonna be hard enough for him to get the motivation to back up and put himself through what he needs to do to go onto London, and true legend status. I don't begrudge him his brief time to "smell the roses" (or rather, sniff the weed). I think his status will get him through this with a warning.

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I think he should be banned for the following reasons

1) it is him

2) he admitted it

3) it states a 4 year ban for the use so see points 1 and 2

4) HE IS A ROLE MODEL, age or no age, whatever the case, thousands of kids look up to him and his choice is pathetic for an athlete of his status

IF Swimming USA or USOC does not ban him, then there will be a media push for it because he broke the rules of the code that USOC, Swimming USA and as an athlete he too promises to uphold

He is GONESKIS!

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- even more so that he has been so quick to own up and apologise - that showed maturity and responsibility.

I would bet your life (haha) that he didn't really have a choice in that apology, given the pressure put down on him from Bob Bowman, his agent at Octagon, and most of all Debbie Phelps. You can bet he got a pretty good talking to. Someone else wrote it, they showed it to him and said, "Michael, this is what we are releasing to the media." Of course, he agreed, and I'm sure he agrees with the sentiment, but you know, the guy has "people".

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I would bet your life (haha) that he didn't really have a choice in that apology, given the pressure put down on him from Bob Bowman, his agent at Octagon, and most of all Debbie Phelps. You can bet he got a pretty good talking to. Someone else wrote it, they showed it to him and said, "Michael, this is what we are releasing to the media." Of course, he agreed, and I'm sure he agrees with the sentiment, but you know, the guy has "people".

Still, he did it. He could have just shut up and be silent about it, he could have stonewalled, but he owned up and apologised. It's more than a lot of people do who are caught out doing what they shouldn't have.

Jeez, who of us haven't had youthful indiscretions - maiking mistakes is part of growing up.

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And for the record, sports psychology is about helping athletes train the mental side of their game. Maybe Phelps just needs a life coach or a to be taken down a peg or two. Which I think just happened.

Okay fine, but someone needs to be talking to him about his responsibilities as a national hero and role model, and how to balance that with living a personal life, and how to do that properly.

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Still, he did it. He could have just shut up and be silent about it, he could have stonewalled, but he owned up and apologised. It's more than a lot of people do who are caught out doing what they shouldn't have.

Jeez, who of us haven't had youthful indiscretions - maiking mistakes is part of growing up.

I know this was just a youthful mistake. When I saw that picture, I was disappointed. I'm not bashing him, I support him and USA swimming as a whole. I hope he learns from this and never lets something like this happen again.

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Excerpt from A.P. article:

Full article here: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/articl...KT6buAD9631TJO0

Phelps' main sanctions most likely will be financial — perhaps doled out by embarrassed sponsors who might be reconsidering their dealings with the swimmer.

Phelps was in Tampa, Fla., during Super Bowl week to make promotional appearances on behalf of a sponsor. But he left the city before Sunday's game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals, abandoning his original plan to be at Raymond James Stadium.

The U.S. Olympic Committee said it was "disappointed in the behavior recently exhibited by Michael Phelps," who was selected the group's sportsman of the year. He also was honored as AP male athlete of the year, and his feat in Beijing — breaking Mark Spitz's 36-year-old record for most gold medals in an Olympics — was chosen as the top story of 2008. "Michael is a role model, and he is well aware of the responsibilities and accountability that come with setting a positive example for others, particularly young people," the USOC said in a statement. "In this instance, regrettably, he failed to fulfill those responsibilities."

USA Swimming said its Olympic champions are "looked up to by people of all ages, especially young athletes who have their own aspirations and dreams." "That said," the governing body added, "we realize that none among us is perfect. We hope that Michael can learn from this incident and move forward in a positive way. "Phelps was part of a group of elite athletes who agreed to take part in a pilot testing program designed to increase the accuracy of doping tests. His spot in the program could be at risk, said Travis Tygart, head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. "For one of the Olympics' biggest heroes it's disappointing, and we'll evaluate whether he remains in that program," Tygart said. "But some good education comes from this because he's going to suffer some penalties."

Marijuana is viewed differently from performance-enhancing drugs, according to David Howman, executive director of the World Anti-Doping Agency. An athlete is subject to WADA sanctions only for a positive test that occurs during competition periods. "We don't have any jurisdiction," Howman said. "It's not banned out of competition. It's only if you test positive in competition." Phelps returned to the pool a couple of weeks ago to begin preparations for this summer's world championships in Rome. He plans to take part in his first post-Olympics meet in early March, a Grand Prix event in Austin, Texas.

This isn't the first embarrassing episode for Phelps after an Olympic triumph. In 2004, a few months removed from winning six gold and two bronze medals in Athens, the swimmer was arrested on a drunken driving charge at age 19. He pleaded guilty and apologized for the mistake. In his book "No Limits: The Will to Succeed," Phelps recounted how his first phone call was to his agent, and not his mother or coach Bob Bowman, because he knew they would yell at him. Later, he called Bowman, who was supportive but told him, "Michael, just because you want to blow off some steam doesn't mean you can be an idiot." Debbie Phelps, his mother, cried at the news. "That hurt worse, maybe, than anything," Phelps wrote. "I had never seen my mother that upset."

Bowman did not immediately respond to phone and e-mail messages Sunday.

Olympic teammate Dara Torres said Phelps has become such a prominent figure that everything he does is news. However, she said: "This in no way, shape or form diminishes anything he's done."

"It's sort of a double-edged sword," Torres told the AP on Sunday. "When you're recognizable, you're looked up to as a role model. He is recognizable and everything you do gets looked at and picked apart. I guess that's the price of winning 14 Olympic medals."

Jason Lezak, whose remarkable anchor leg of the 400-meter freestyle relay helped Phelps stay on course to break Spitz's record, said he was "saddened" to hear of the report.

"While I don't condone his conduct, I am a teammate and fan," Lezak said in a text message to the AP. "Unlike many fair-weather people, I am sticking by him. If my wife and I can help him in any way, we will. I believe he will grow from this and be better person, role model and teammate."

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I wouldn't say he isn't coping properly - he's just a normal young kid, who has put his heart and soul into what was probably a brutal training regime over the past eight years or more, basically put a "normal" life to one side, and finally, after scaling the Everest that he himself and the world media have lumbered him with, finally has a brief window in which to let his hair down and experience life - I don't think what we've seen is any indication of him going off the rails. I have some sympathy for him - even more so that he has been so quick to own up and apologise - that showed maturity and responsibility. It's gonna be hard enough for him to get the motivation to back up and put himself through what he needs to do to go onto London, and true legend status. I don't begrudge him his brief time to "smell the roses" (or rather, sniff the weed). I think his status will get him through this with a warning.

Exactly right. He's been caught. He's held his hands up. Move on. It's not as if he's tested positive for THG.

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Okay fine, but someone needs to be talking to him about his responsibilities as a national hero and role model, and how to balance that with living a personal life, and how to do that properly.

Just means he's now in line to one day run for President.

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Link to Article in context: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/articl...XngJbAD963NV700

Phelps avoids hot water with sponsors, for now

By EMILY FREDRIX – 2 hours ago

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Michael Phelps doesn't seem to be in much hot water with his sponsors despite being photographed inhaling from a marijuana pipe. From apparel company Speedo to luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega, several sponsors are standing by the 23-year-old swimming phenom — at least for now — and have accepted his public apology. Other big companies, like Visa Inc., Subway and Kellogg Co., aren't talking yet.

Experts say if Phelps doesn't stick to the straight and narrow, he could hurt his chances at future endorsements. And there's no guarantee he won't be dropped quietly once the furor dies down.

Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals at this summer's Olympics in Beijing, acknowledged "regrettable" behavior and "bad judgment" after the photo appeared Sunday in the British tabloid News of the World.

The paper said the picture was taken during a November house party while Phelps was visiting the University of South Carolina. Phelps handled the situation well by apologizing and saying he regretted his actions, said John Sweeney, director of sports communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Phelps went a step further and promised "it will not happen again."

In 2004, after the Athens Games, a then-underage Phelps was arrested for drunken driving. He pleaded guilty, apologized and again said he wouldn't make the same mistake again.

Sweeney said if Phelps is caught transgressing a third time, he could stand to lose many sponsorships — and the public's trust. For now, the public and his sponsors could look past it. After all, he said, President Barack Obama has acknowledged using marijuana and he still got elected.

"My prediction would be that this will pass," he said with caution. "If it does happen again, it'll be twice the story and it will hurt him."

Swiss watchmaker Omega said Phelps' actions were a private matter and "nonissue" while Speedo called Phelps a "valued member of the Speedo team."

Sports performance beverage PureSport's maker, which tapped Phelps to be spokesman for its first national advertising campaign, also said Monday that it stands by him but it said it does not condone his behavior. "We applaud the fact that he has taken full and immediate responsibility for his mistake and apologized to us, his fans and the public and we support him during this difficult time," said Michael Humphrey, chief executive of Human Performance Labs.

Hilton Hotels Corp., whose relationship with Phelps dates to 2007, likewise stuck with him. "We continue to support Michael Phelps as an athlete whose numerous athletic feats outshine an act of regrettable behavior," the statement said. But former sponsor Rosetta Stone, the foreign-language tutorial vendor, which had a one-year deal with the athlete that ended Dec. 31, did not like the news.

"We do not condone his activities and are disappointed in his recent judgment," Rosetta Stone said in a statement.

Both AT&T Inc. and PowerBar nutrition bar makers Nestle SA, two other big sponsors, quietly ended their relationships with Phelps at the end of 2008. Neither company would comment on the photo or describe the duration or value of their contracts.

Companies are getting pickier about their marketing and sponsorships amid the recession, when they need to get the most impact for what money they do spend on marketing, said Joe Terrian, assistant dean in the college of business at Marquette University. It makes sense that, say, Speedo and PureSport would continue to support Phelps because their products are ones that he uses for his sport, Terrian said. But companies with products not directly linked to athletics, like foodmaker Kellogg and credit card company Visa, may not see him as kindly. Terrian said that, given the 2004 incident, sponsors may look to cut their ties soon. "Do you want to risk those sponsorship dollars when money is really, really tight?" he said. "I think that some of them will think twice."

Visa, Kellogg, Subway and 505 Games did not immediately return multiple messages left by The Associated Press seeking comment.

A spokesman at sports marketing agency Octagon, which represents Phelps, said the athlete is taking this seriously. "He has spoken with his sponsors to personally apologize. We are encouraged by their support," the spokesman said.

Terrian said Phelps's sponsors could be looking in their contracts for so-called 'morality clauses' — ways that they can back out of deals if certain instances happen. Those became more widespread after Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was charged with rape in 2003. Those charges were dismissed.

More companies could choose to end their relationships with Phelps quietly. And those whose ads he stars in could publicize such a move as evidence of "their goodwill and social responsibility," Sweeney said.

But Sweeney said companies may be willing to overlook indiscretions depending on how prominent an athlete is. A minor indiscretion could get a minor athlete tossed from a sponsorship, but it could take a bigger incident to bring down a bigger athlete, he said. Considering Phelps's unique accomplishment, sponsors still may want him.

"There's only one of him," Sweeney said of Phelps. "There's only one person with eight gold medals, and there's probably going to be one for a long time."

AP Sports Writer Rob Harris in Manchester, England, contributed to this report.

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Excuse me? Just a normal young Kid? Are you for real? How is it that if any top class athlete from any other country were caught "easing tension and stress" by smoking pot they would be immediately punished for the act? Can you imagine the grilling Hussien Bolt would get if it were him in a photo smoking pot after the Olympics? Everyone would go out of his/her way to have him crushed. And, because he is black, they will definitely put in the extra effort to ensure that he is crushed into non-existence. This just opens the pandora's box for me personally now. If Phelps could use pot, whose to say that he wasn't doing some new fangle designer drug to help him accomplish the feat he did in Beijing 2008? The facade is starting to crumble......lets see where this story leads next.

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