MARYLAND –– Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, was arrested early this morning in Maryland on a DUI charge, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority.
Phelps, known as the Baltimore Bullet and winner of 18 Olympic gold medals, was arrested at about 1:40 a.m. and charged with driving under the influence, excessive speed and crossing double lane lines within the Fort McHenry Tunnel on I-95 in Baltimore, the authority said in a statement. He was later released.
A Maryland Transportation Authority police officer
was operating a stationary radar on southbound I-395 leaving Baltimore when a white 2014 Land Rover passed travelling at 84 mph in a 45 mph zone.
The officer followed the vehicle onto northbound I-95, through the tunnel and stopped the Land Rover just beyond the tunnel’s toll plaza.
Phelps was identified as the driver by his driving licence and appeared to be under the influence, the statement said.
“He was unable to perform satisfactorily a series of standard field sobriety tests,” the statement added. “Mr Phelps was cooperative throughout the process.”
In 2004, he was arrested on charges of driving under the influence in Salisbury, Maryland. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months probation. He also issued an apology after that incident.
In 2009, a photograph surfaced of Phelps allegedly smoking pot from a bong at a party.
“I’ll make a million mistakes in my life but as long as I never make the same mistake again, then I’ve been able to learn and grow,” Phelps told CNN in 2012. He also said that the incident made him realize who his real friends were.
After the bong incident, Phelps was suspended from competitive swimming for three months and one of his sponsors said it would not renew his contract
USA Swimming, the nation’s governing body for competitive swimming, said it was withdrawing financial support for Phelps and barring him from competition during the period of his “reprimand”.
Kellogg Co. said it would not renew his advertising contract.