USA Swimming: “We Expect Our Athletes to Conduct Themselves Responsibly…”

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 19

September 30th, 2014 National, News

Early on Tuesday morning in Baltimore, Michael Phelps was arrested on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.

In response to a request for whether USA Swimming would be conducting any investigation, the organization released the following statement:

“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.”

USA Swimming did not respond to the specific question as to whether the organization planned its own investigation into the arrest, and as of posting had not responded to a specific follow-up question as to whether USA Swimming was planning any punishment in the matter and if so, at which point in the legal process USA Swimming might consider such action.

This afternoon, Phelps acknowledged the arrest and apologized on his Twitter account.

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Phelps is either 30 or almost 30; his conduct, while embarrassing and a crime, is being handled by the criminal justice system. Just because he is famous is not reason to treat him differently than any other swimmer – and how many other swimmers or coaches are arrested for DUI offenses? and how often does US swimming take any action? I don’t know, but Phelps is not paid millions a year my US swimming like pro football players, so he should be handled as any other swimmer.

M Palota

This could screw up his international travel… There are a number of countries – Canada being one and, I think, Australia might be another – where having a DWI / DUI conviction precludes you from crossing the border. It’s happened before.

Coach - S

For Canada, that rule only applies if you are driving across, not flying.

M Palota

I think you can be turned back in either case; driving versus flying. It’s not common but given that he’s got two on his record and the infamous bong shot, it’s a real possibility. Crossing certain borders is going to go from “no sweat” to “significant hassle”.

Coach - S

Pretty sure the first DUI was actually expunged off his record, so the only thing that would show up would be this DUI because he was never convicted of a crime related to the marijuana incident and they cannot take into account a picture if he was never charged.


Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah – “We expect OUR athletes to conduct themselves responsibly in and out of the pool”. Once again, USA Swimming expects more from the athletes than they expect from their own employees, board members, LSC board members and Clubs. Just maybe if USA Swimming EXPECTED the same from the older generation, the younger generation would have some REAL GENUINE role models to look up to.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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