According to Yahoo News, USA Swimming has suspended Michael Phelps for six months, following Phelps' arrest last week in Baltimore for DUI.
Phelps, suspended for violations of USA Swimming's code of conduct, will be eligible to swim again in sanctioned competition on March 6, 2015. Phelps will receive no funding during that time.
This was Phelps' second arrest for driving while intoxicated, the first coming in 2004. Phelps announced over the weekend that he would be entering a six-week treatment program. In addition, he will not compete at next summer's FINA World Championships in Russia, the preparatory meet for the 2016 Olympics. This is also Phelps' second suspension, following a three-month suspension in 2009 when he was photographed with a marijuana pipe.
"Membership in USA Swimming, and particularly at the National Team level, includes a clear obligation to adhere to our Code of Conduct," USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wieglus said in a statement. "Should an infraction occur, it is our responsibility to take appropriate action based on the individual case. Michael's conduct was serious and required significant consequences. Michael has publicly acknowledged the impact of his decisions, his accountability especially due to his stature in the sport and the steps necessary for self-improvement. We endorse and are here to fully support his personal development actions."
United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun expressed surprise at Phelps' arrest, indicating that the organization was “disappointed on a number of fronts.”
COMMENT: "The past few days have been extremely difficult," Phelps wrote on Twitter. "I recognize that this is not my first lapse in judgment, and I am extremely disappointed with myself. I’m going to take some time away to attend a program that will provide the help I need to better understand myself. Swimming is a major part of my life, but right now I need to focus my attention on me as an individual, and do the necessary work to learn from this experience and make better decisions in the future."
Phelps, who first began competing in the Olympics in 2000 and would go on to become the most decorated Olympian in history, had returned to training, with the possibility present that he could attempt to qualify for the Rio Olympics in 2016.