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Kellogg, USA Swimming voice displeasure with Michael Phelps

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The following three-paragraph statement just arrived via email from USA Swimming. It landed a few hours after Kellogg Co. said it would not renew its endorsement deal with Michael Phelps, who landed in the center of controversy after apparent marijuana use.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Swimming has reprimanded Michael Phelps under its Code of Conduct by withdrawing financial support and the eligibility to compete for a period of three months effective today, February 5. This is not a situation where any anti-doping rule was violated, but we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of USA Swimming member kids who look up to him as a role model and a hero. Michael has voluntarily accepted this reprimand and has committed to earn back our trust.

Phelps’ suspension would end on May 5. He was only beginning to ease his way back into competition when the now-famous picture surfaced in a British newspaper. He had said during a recent conference call that he planned to return at a meet in Austin, Texas in March.

The Grand Prix meet schedule is light this time of the year, and the next important meet (the qualifier for the World Championships in Italy) isn’t until July 7-11 in Indianapolis.

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So calling it a sanction is probably a bit of an overstatement.

-- Lisa Dillman


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