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Phelps arrested for DUI


SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Phelps arrested for DUI

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BALTIMORE (AP) – Michael Phelps can’t seem to break a disturbing pattern.

Record-breaking success in the pool.

Trouble on dry land.

The winningest athlete in Olympic history is facing DUI charges for the second time after being arrested early Tuesday in his hometown of Baltimore, where police said he was clocked going nearly 40 mph over the speed limit and was unable to perform a series of field sobriety tests. He also failed a Breathalyser.

Online charging documents show that the charges include driving while impaired by alcohol, driving while under the influence of alcohol and driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

The court records do not yet indicate a defence attorney or a court date.

The charges put a damper on Phelps’ comeback, which looked so promising just over a month ago when he won three golds and two silvers at the Pan Pacific Championships in Australia.

“I understand the severity of my actions and take full responsibility,” Phelps said in a statement. “I know these words may not mean much right now but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.”

The apology sounded like a repeat of the ones he made after a drunken-driving arrest a decade ago, as well as when a British tabloid published a photograph in 2009 that showed him using a marijuana pipe.

It’s too early to say if the 18-time gold medallist might face sanctions from USA Swimming, which took no action in 2004 but suspended Phelps from competition for three months over the pot picture, even though it didn’t lead to criminal charges.

“The news regarding Michael Phelps and his actions are disappointing and unquestionably serious,” the national governing body said in a statement. “We expect our athletes to conduct themselves responsibly in and out of the pool.”

The U.S. Olympic Committee had a similar reaction. CEO Scott Blackmun said the organisation was “surprised” by Phelps’ arrest and “disappointed on a number of fronts”.

Phelps was charged with driving under the influence, excessive speed and crossing double lane lines in the Fort McHenry Tunnel on Interstate 95 in Baltimore, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority.

If convicted on the DUI charge, he would face a maximum penalty of a year in jail, a $1 000 fine and the loss of his driver’s license for six months. Under Maryland law, the latest case isn’t considered a second offense because his first DUI conviction occurred more than five years ago.

 

 

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