Michael Phelps’ Bong Incident: Are We To Blame?

By Vanessa White Wolf

Yeah, the Super Bowl and Australian Open were this weekend. But the other big story coming out of the sports world was a little less feel-good. Photos of Olympic superstar Michael Phelps were published in the British News of the World tabloid over the weekend — pictures in which he’s smoking what appears to be marijuana from a glass bong.

In a statement, Phelps said he “engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. 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.” He then promised it would never happen again.

We can’t help but feel a twinge of guilt over all this: See, at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards back in September, Michael Phelps was scheduled to attend the show to introduce Lil Wayne’s performance. So when he hit the carpet, we grabbed him in an effort to interview him during our pre-show. At the same time, Kid Rock — no stranger to partying — had just pulled up, so we hastily threw them together for a live segment. They even joked during the interview segment about the after parties.

See video evidence of Phelps and Rock after the jump!


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And now we see, just a few months later, the athlete with a huge bong at a house party. If we had put a solo Phelps on Taylor Swift’s interview platform, or even just paired him with the Jonas Brothers, would this unfortunate incident have happened at all? I suppose we’ll never know.

Since Phelps attended the party during a long break from training, almost three months after he won eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, it’s believed that his medals will be unaffected. On Monday, the International Olympic Committee issued a statement that they believe Phelps will learn from his “inappropriate behavior.”