LAUSANNE, Switzerland, February 4. OVER the weekend, everyone knows the biggest story in the sport of swimming occurred when Michael Phelps admitted to "bad judgment" and the authenticity of a photo depicting Phelps using a bong in November.
Since then, the debate has raged on regarding the potential impact of the event on Phelps's personal life, his career, the sport of swimming, etc. Additionally, various governing bodies and sponsors have also come out with a mix of condemnation and support – condemning Phelps' actions, supporting Phelps as a person.
FINA became the latest to follow that pattern with a statement released to the media today:
After acknowledging the behaviour of Michael Phelps (USA), the greatest Olympian ever and best swimmer in history, FINA would like to reiterate its confidence and admiration for a young champion that publicly apologised for his act.
Following his unprecedented eight gold medals in a single edition of the Olympic Games, Michael Phelps definitively became a model for youth worldwide. His achievements, winning attitude and respect for his opponents are values that will remain in the history of sport.
As a citizen, Michael Phelps displayed inappropriate behaviour, but his sincere regret and the promise that such a situation will not happen again are sufficient guarantees that this great star will continue generating respect and appreciation to all fans of our sport around the globe.
FINA certainly counts on Michael Phelps to highlight the next editions of the FINA World Championships and other prestigious swimming competitions in the future.