Michael Phelps Arrested: Will DUI Force Him Back Into Retirement?

Fans of record-breaking Olympian Michael Phelps were no doubt disappointed to learn that he was arrested on early Tuesday morning in Baltimore, Maryland.

An exclusive report by TMZ revealed that Phelps was taken into custody not long after he was pulled over.

An officer followed the athlete as he drove his white Land Rover, which reportedly swerved across the double lines and into the oncoming traffic lane multiple times. In addition, the 28-year-old was doing 84 mph in a 45 mph zone.

When the officer finally stopped Phelps near the Fort McHenry Tunnel toll plaza he observed that Michael appeared to be very intoxicated.

A field sobriety test and blow on a breathalyzer soon after confirmed the law enforcement official’s suspicions.

Michael’s blood alcohol content or B.A.C. was said to be twice the legal limit.

What makes this story all the more unfortunate is that this is in fact Michael Phelps’s second DUI arrest.

The first one occurred back in 2004.

As with this recent incident, Phelps was pulled over in Maryland for driving while intoxicated.

Only 19 years of age and with an entire Olympic career ahead of him, Michael managed to avoid any major consequences by making a plea agreement with prosecutors. After being put on probation for 18 months, the teen swore that he’d learned his lesson.

Ten years later and Michael is once again making apologies for his behavior.

The champion swimmer wrote a statement on his Twitter account about the DUI incident.

“I understand the severity of my actions and take full responsibility,” said Phelps. “I am deeply sorry.”

He added that he knows those words “may not mean much right now,” but that he’s “deeply sorry to everyone [he] let down.”

There is already speculation as to how this DUI will affect the Olympic swimmer’s chance at a comeback.

As far as many were concerned, Michael had retired following an appearance at the Summer Olympics in London.

Apparently retired life didn’t agree with Phelps, who decided that he had at least one more gold medal left in him.

But some worry how an American athlete with DUI arrests and a penchant for “hitting the bong” might reflect on the professional image of the entire Olympic team.

USA Swimming released an official statement following the news that Phelps had been arrested:

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

While USA Swimming may find Phelps’s behavior “disappointing,” there’s nothing in that statement that indicates any decisive action.

TMZ also said that prior to the DUI arrest, Phelps had been drinking and gambling for several hours prior to being stopped by police.

Phelps may be the most decorated Olympian in history but this news could force him back into retirement if it’s decided the US wants no part of a potential image problem.

[Image Credit: Marco Paköeningrat]