Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • Israeli special forces attack Hamas base inside Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

Swimming idol Phelps escapes drugs charges

©

Latest update : 2009-02-17

Record-holding Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps will not face prosecution after a photograph apparently showing him smoking marijuana at a party was published. Phelps said the episode was a mistake he "won't make again".

REUTERS - Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps will not face prosecution over a photograph published in a British newspaper apparently showing him smoking marijuana at a party last year, a U.S. sheriff said on Monday.

 

Phelps, who amazed the sports world by winning a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Games last summer, has apologized for the photograph, which showed him smoking a "bong" pipe at a student party in November at the University of South Carolina.

 

Reacting to the announcement by Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott that there was not enough evidence to prosecute those at the party, Phelps said he had learned "important lessons."

 

"It's a mistake I won't make again," the 23-year-old international swimming idol said in a statement.

 

The Richland County Sheriff's Department opened a drug investigation after the November incident came to light, raising speculation that the Olympic star could end up facing charges.

 

Sheriff Lott said Phelps had made a "bad decision" in his behavior last year, but he added: "He is also human and can make a mistake."

 

"Having thoroughly investigated this matter, we do not believe we have enough evidence to prosecute anyone that was present at the November party," Lott said in a statement.

 

"Michael Phelps and I agree that something positive needs to come from this incident and that is a message of not using drugs," he added.

 

USA Swimming this month banned Phelps for three months over the "bong" photo controversy, which also cost him an endorsement deal with U.S. food giant Kellogg Co <K.N>.

 

"I'm glad this matter is put to rest. ... For me, it's all about recognizing that I used bad judgment. ... For young people especially -- be careful about the decisions you make. One bad decision can really hurt you and the people you care about," Phelps said in his statement.

 

Phelps thanked his family and fans for their support.

 

"I will move forward and dive back into the pool, having put this whole thing behind me," he said.

 

The U.S. sports world has been reeling from a number of recent doping scandals, including a public admission this month by baseball star Alex Rodriguez, the highest paid player in the game, that he took a banned substance from 2001 to 2003.

 

"Michael Phelps is truly an American sports hero," Lott said, adding: "My perspective is that the law pertains to everyone and our drug laws are to be enforced".

 

While saying no one present at the November party would face prosecution, Lott said a number of arrests had been made in connection with an investigation triggered by the incident, and illegal drugs had been found in the possession of those detained, who would be charged according to the law.

 

Date created : 2009-02-17

Comments

COMMENT(S)