International News Brief Feb 2 2009

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michael_phelps.jpgOlympic historian, swimmer Michael Phelps admits to engaging in "regrettable" behavior and showing 'bad judgment' after British tabloid runs photo of him appearing to smoke marijuana. He is unlikely to face any punishment as the drug is banned 'in-competition' only.

"I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment," Phelps said in a statement released by Octagon, his management firm, and posted on his Facebook site. "I'm 23 years old, and despite the successes I have had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner that people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public...it will not happen again."

Marketing experts said the incident should have minimal effect on Phelps' multimillion-dollar sponsorships because of his quick apology.

Phelps has never failed a drug test during his career and was one of several American athletes who volunteered to undergo additional testing to dispel any suggestions that he might be benefiting from performance-enhancing drugs.

This isn't Phelps' first public stumble. In 2004, when he was 19 and a few months removed from winning six gold medals at the Olympics in Athens, he was pulled over by authorities after rolling through a stop sign and charged with driving while intoxicated. Phelps publicly apologized, calling it an "isolated incident." He agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors that sentenced him to 18 months of probation.

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