Image by News Of The WorldImage by 20090201-phelps.jpg Seemingly un-doctored. -- Perhaps his out could be that there is no smoke in the pipe at the time of the snapping.
Update February 3: Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is threatening to charge Michael Phelps for the pot-smoking incident if he can determine that the guy actually did.
Two points: One, this is just petty. If he's serious, Lott needs to go on Facebook and scope out all the kids with pot smoking pics. Second, what's he mean about "if he can determine." Yeah, Phelps did it. He's already admitted to it.
In related news, it looks like the incident largely blew past with Phelps' sponsors and the Olympic community.
And, I'm not entirely sure why I'm entranced, but I do like this piece by ABC News 4 where they talk with local swimmers. The gist is that they still respect Phelps' accomplishments, but are sorely disappointed that he'll never be the same role model again.
I agree, but what I can't help but be struck by is how the fuss seems to be about how bad the pot smoking is and not on his drunk driving incident in 2004.
Sure, the pot smoking came after he was a star and is the big news. But, drunk driving seems far more reckless and lethal.
And, if you just can't get enough about Phelps. The State has a piece on the local reaction in Columbia to the whole fuss.
Update February 1, 1 p.m.: Looks like it's official, Phelps has acknowledged the incident, promises to behave better.
Apparently, the winner of eight Olympic gold medals was snapped in a photo of him inhaling marijuana from a pipe at a USC party back in November.
An excerpt from the News Of The World report:
THIS is the astonishing picture which could destroy the career of the greatest competitor in Olympic history.
In our exclusive photo Michael Phelps, who won a record EIGHT gold medals for swimming at the Beijing games last summer, draws from a bong. ...
It was on November 6, weeks after his Beijing triumph, that 23-year-old Phelps surprised students at the University Of South Carolina in Columbia by showing up unannounced at a house party.
By no means do I think it's that uncommon of a practice -- but you'd think he'd be a bit more careful. Then again he is a 23-year-old who just won eight gold medals and quite possibly a bit cocky.
This article is worth a click through just for the British tab's glorious main art and headline. Go check it out.
Thanks to The Palmetto Scoop for tipping us off.