Guess all that needed fitness for past gold medals isn’t so important when the next Olympics is four years away, huh? How else can we explain 14-time gold medalist Michael Phelps toking hard on a bong right in the pages of of the London daily NEWS OF THE WORLD.
The photo leaves little to the imagination. Evidently Phelps likes his ganja, and he likes it in large quantities. He also must not have had any competitions planned for the next, oh, six weeks after this hit, because there was no way he’s passing a drug test before then.
“You could tell Michael had smoked before. He grabbed the bong and a lighter and knew exactly what to do. He looked just as natural with a bong in his hands as he does swimming in the pool. He was the gold medal winner of bong hits. Michael ended up getting a little paranoid, though, because before too long he looked like he was nervous and ran out of the place.”
The photo was reportedly taken in November, which means he could be clean by now. But there are plenty of quotes from reported party-goers that lead one to believe there’s no way he is.
Naturally, we have to take all the quotes from the story with a grain of salt. After all, this is the NEWS OF THE WORLD. Even Brits try to hide it underneath groceries or a candy bar when they pick it up.
That being said, here’s the assessment of one party-goer who caught Phelps in the act:
“He was out of control from the moment he got there. If he continues to party like that I’d be amazed if he ever won any more medals again.”
Well, that might be a bit harsh. Still, there’s no doubting that he’s held on to his obnoxious(lack of) charm.
“He didn’t know many people so you’d think he’d be a little shy. But he was loud, obnoxious and slamming beers from the get-go. Every girl wanted a piece of him and every guy wanted to be his best buddy. He couldn’t get enough of all the attention.”
Some things just never change, do they. So much for the golden boy image. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get to host SNL again.
Well, evidently the marketing company who works to find Phelps his endorsements, Octagon, was worried about just that phenomenon. According to NEWS OF THE WORLD, a spokesman for the company, Clifford Bloxham, reportedly offered a preposterous three-year deal to keep the picture out of the paper: Phelps as a NEWS OF THE WORLD columnist for three years, hosting events over that stretch and ushering advertising to the paper from his endorses.
Obviously, it didn’t work. Which allowed NOTW to use this terrific snarky closing line:
In return, he asked that we kill Phelps’ bong picture. Bloxham said: ‘It’s seeing if something potentially very negative for Michael could turn into something very positive for the News of the World.’
He stressed that the swimmer had taken 1,500 drug tests and never failed one.
*UPDATE*: Phelps admits to the ASSOCIATED PRESS that’s him the photo, and offers this apology:
“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.”