In 2004, the same year as the Athens Olympic Games, Michael Phelps was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and he was placed on probation without a conviction being recorded. Wind forward ten years and once again Phelps is in hot water having been charged with a second DUI (he allegedly blew 0.14, well over the 0.08 limit in Maryland).
As if that wasn’t bad enough, he was also charged with excessive speed (allegedly recorded at 84mph in a 45mph zone) and crossing double lane lines meaning he was a big danger to other road users at the time.
Like most high profile athletes, Phelps has followed the usual route after tangling with the law. He is taking time out from his chosen field of sports endeavour to attend a course (or two). In Phelps case, so he can (reportedly) ‘better understand himself’.
There’s only one thing Phelps needs to understand here and that is drinking and driving is illegal. End of discussion.
In swimming, if you change lanes during a race, you are disqualified. It is disturbing that USA swimming don’t see this set of circumstances as disqualifiable as they are allegedly taking no action, notwithstanding this is Phelps’ second offence.
What message is that sending to the rest of society?