Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was suspended from competition for three months by USA Swimming, the latest backlash after a photo surfaced that showed him taking a hit off a bong. USA swimming also cut off its financial support to the swimmer.
“This is not a situation where any anti-doping rule was violated, but we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of USA Swimming member kids who look up to him as a role model and a hero,” the Colorado-based federation said in a statement. “Michael has voluntarily accepted this reprimand and has committed to earn back our trust.”
It has also been announced that Kellogg Co. won’t renew its sponsorship contract with Phelps, 23. The company, who featured the swimmer on Wheaties boxes following the Beijing Olympics, said his behavior is “not consistent with the image of Kellogg.”
Phelps hasn’t disputed the authenticity of the photo, taken at a Columbia, S.C. party in November.