Is America’s Most Famous Olympian A Marijuana Consumer?

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director January 31, 2009

    Well now…maybe the story today on the Drudge Report–featuring a possible photograph of uber-Olympian and champion pitch man Michael Phelps indulging in some marijuana use with a nice, big glass bong–may finally explain why, when I’m in Baltimore, business owners and some in the media often ask me “if Michael Phelps is a big NORML supporter?” My usual reply is ‘no, not as far as I know. Why?’

    Now maybe that answer has possibly presented itself. Check out the photo here.

    *Update: Phelps acknowledges the photo is accurate and that he has used marijuana…

    14-times Olympic gold medal winner Michael Phelps caught with cannabis pipe

    By Georgina Dickinson, 01/02/2009

    In our exclusive photo Michael Phelps, who won a record EIGHT gold medals for swimming at the Beijing games last summer, draws from a bong.

    The glass pipes are generally used to smoke cannabis.

    And after sporting chiefs announced laws which mean four-year bans for drug-taking, Phelps’ dreams of adding to his overall 14 gold medal tally at the 2012 games in London could already be OVER.

    Those dreams seemed the last thing on his mind when he puffed from the bong during two days of partying with students last November, a quiet time in the swimming calendar when athletes would not expect to get tested for drugs.

    One party-goer who witnessed the star’s behaviour told the News of the World: “He was out of control from the moment he got there.

    “If he continues to party like that I’d be amazed if he ever won any more medals again.”

    Phelps’ aides went into a panic over our story and offered us a raft of extraordinary incentives not to run the bong picture.

    It was on November 6, weeks after his Beijing triumph, that 23-year-old Phelps surprised students at the University Of South Carolina in Columbia by showing up unannounced at a house party.

    He was visiting Jordan Matthews, a girl he was secretly seeing who was a student there.

    Our source revealed: “Michael came to visit Jordan but ended up just getting wasted every night.

    “He arrived with a group of girls hanging all over him. Jaws hit the floor when he walked in. You don’t get many celebrities in Columbia, so when Phelps comes to your party it’s a very big deal.


    “He didn’t know many people so you’d think he’d be a little shy. But he was loud, obnoxious and slamming beers from the get-go.

    “Every girl wanted a piece of him and every guy wanted to be his best buddy. He couldn’t get enough of all the attention.”

    As he basked in his hero status, Phelps knocked back beers and shots of spirits. And when a student offered him the glass bong engraved with red writing, he did not hesitate, says our source.

    The 6ft 4ins athlete, in a white T-shirt and navy cap worn back to front, clasped the device in his huge hands and inhaled deeply.

    Our source said: “You could tell Michael had smoked before. He grabbed the bong and a lighter and knew exactly what to do.

    “He looked just as natural with a bong in his hands as he does swimming in the pool. He was the gold medal winner of bong hits. Michael ended up getting a little paranoid, though, because before too long he looked like he was nervous and ran out of the place.”

    But the next night, Phelps was out partying again. The source added: “He was right back at it at Pavlov’s bar.

    “Like the night before he was holding court, throwing back shots two at a time and pouring drinks to every cute girl.”

    Drink has got Phelps into trouble before. In 2004, aged 19, he got 18 months probation for driving while under the influence.

    His wild behaviour is in stark contrast to the grim regime which took him to the top of his sport.

    He once described his life, saying: “All you do is eat, sleep, swim; eat, sleep, swim; eat, sleep, swim.”

    Last night Phelps’ management team and the sporting world closed ranks over the scandal.


    The US Olympics Committee, who have pledged to clamp down on drug use, refused to comment, as did USA Swimming and Phelps’ coach Bob Bowman.

    More surprising still was the World Anti-Doping Agency’s refusal to comment, given that they introduced the four-year ban on sport’s drug users.

    Phelps, who earned £4million last year in endorsements, has resumed training for the 2012 games.

    But there were fears about his commitment when, weeks after the bong incident, he began dating former stripper Caroline Pal.

    Phelps is represented by marketing giant Octagon, which works with huge brands such as Mastercard and HSBC. They admitted proven cannabis use would be “a major taint” on Phelps’ character.

    Spokesman Clifford Bloxham offered us an extraordinary deal not to publish our story, saying Phelps would become our columnist for three years, host events and get his sponsors to advertise with us.

    In return, he asked that we kill Phelps’ bong picture. Bloxham said: “It’s seeing if something potentially very negative for Michael could turn into something very positive for the News of the World.”

    He stressed that the swimmer had taken 1,500 drug tests and never failed one.

    Until now?

    *Update: Phelps acknowledges the photo is accurate and that he has used marijuana.

    84 responses to “Is America’s Most Famous Olympian A Marijuana Consumer?”

    1. Steven Emory says:

      Maybe this and the arrest of Barack Obama’s half brother in Kenya for possession will get it at the forefront of the Obama Administration’s priorities like we all want!

    2. Greg says:

      what a terrible article. it really sounded like those sources were credible “He looked just as natural with a bong in his hands as he does swimming in the pool. He was the gold medal winner of bong hits.” Absolutuly ridiculous. It’s a shame that whoever took that picture probably made a sizeable amount of money from it. his description of his daily routine (which he has probably been doing since about the age of 6) “All you do is eat, sleep, swim; eat, sleep, swim; eat, sleep, swim.” Give the guy a fucking break. LONDON 2112, RIP BONGS, WIN GOLD. Ignore ridiculous laws that were put in place for no good reason.

    3. Jim Swanner says:

      The truth is,’ he should be allowed to smoke marajuana if he wants to, just like every other free person !! And they should’nt have to offer anyone any hush money !! Legelize MJ and be done with it. That would immediately create 20 billion dollars in taxes and free who knows how many people from prison, That tax cfeed, cloth and house. Gateway drug my ass!! I bet this destroys all those theories about people can’t function who smoke pot !! 8 golds DEA, put that in your bong and smoke it !!

    4. mark schuh says:

      who cares. slam some more shots and do another bong rip. guys set for life. the olympics need him more then he needs the sport.

    5. Ray says:

      Thought they determined cannabis was not performance enhancing, so it’s not banned in the Olympics?

    6. Brian Kerr says:

      “I won 8 gold medals”

      What has Marijuana done for you?

    7. Glen says:

      The perfect spokesman for the marijuana movement. Seriously it shows that you can be a cannabis consumer and be productive. This throws at least one negative stereotype out the door.

    8. will says:

      If its true so what. Everybody knows marijuana is’nt dangerous so yea. its time to get the truth out and legelize

    9. Grob Hahn says:

      Clinton toked a fattie, then he got blown by one!

    10. stu says:

      Can’t really tell if it’s him but if it is he should’nt be embrassed
      millions do the same