Agence France-Presse COLORADO SPRINGS--USA Swimming suspended Olympic superstar Michael Phelps for three months on Thursday, a "reprimand" after a published photograph showed him apparently smoking marijuana. The national governing body of the sport stressed that the punishment was not for a doping violation, but said they wanted to send a "strong message" to Phelps about his status as a role model for young people. "USA Swimming has reprimanded Michael Phelps uner its Code of Conduct by withdrawing financial support and the eligibility to compete for a period of three months effective today, February 5," a statement from USA Swimming said. "This is not a situation where any anti-doping rule was violated, but we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of USA Swimming member kids who look up to him as a role model and a hero. "Michael has voluntarily accepted this reprimand and has committed to earn back our trust," the statement said. Britain's News of the World published the photograph in which Phelps appeared to inhale from a glass pipe of the kind used to smoke marijuana. The newspaper said the photo was taken in South Carolina in November. The 23-year-old swimmer, who electrified the Beijing Games in August when he won an unprecedented eight gold medals, told his hometown newspaper the Baltimore Sun on Wednesday that the incident was "obviously bad judgment and it's something I'm not proud of at all."
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By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net OLYMPIC medalist and American swimmer Michael Phelps hates getting out of a warm bed every morning to jump into a cold pool. Michael Phelps from Oracle WebVideo on Vimeo. (Video courtesy of OracleWebVideo) Speaking briefly during the opening day here at Oracle World, Phelps who won a world-record eight gold medals revealed that he wakes up early in the morning -- around 7 a.m.-- swims, then eats lots of breakfast before he sleeps again at around 10 a.m. This was his daily regimen that made him an outstanding athlete, he said as he quickly warmed up to a group of about 40,000 people attending Oracle Open World here in San Francisco. Phelps wowed the world when he broke the world record, winning eight gold medals in various men's swimming competition during the Beijing Summer Olympics. He surpassed an earlier record set by fellow American swimmer Mark Spitz who won 7 Olympic golds.