TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Michael Phelps has climbed out of the pool
and into some hot water.
The record-breaking U.S. Olympic swimmer has acknowledged "regrettable" behavior and "bad judgment" after the photo published Sunday in a British tabloid showed him inhaling from a
Phelps issued a statement to The Associated Press conceding the authenticity of the exclusive picture published by News of the World.
The 23-year-old said he acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from him.
Phelps also apologized, promising his fans and the public it
will not happen again.
The photo tarnishes the squeaky-clean image of Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Games last summer.
News of the World said the picture was taken during a November house party while Phelps was visiting the University of South Carolina.
While the newspaper did not specifically allege that Phelps was smoking pot, it did say the pipe is generally used for that purpose. The
paper anonymously quoted a partygoer who said Phelps was "out of
control from the moment he got there."