The price of marijuana keeps going up for Michael Phelps: USA Swimming has suspended him for three months, and Kellogg is dropping him as a sponsor over his pipe-smoking photo.
"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," the sport's governing body said in a statement Thursday. "Michael has voluntarily accepted this reprimand and has committed to earn back our trust."
USA Swimming is also revoking its financial support for Phelps, who resumed training in January, for the duration of the suspension.
Earlier Thursday, Kellogg dropped the 14-time Olympic gold medalist, saying his recent behavior is "not consistent with the image of Kellogg." Phelps' contract with the cereal giant expires at the end of the month. His other sponsors, which include Speedo and Visa, have publicly stated they will stick by him.
"Michael accepts these decisions and understands their point of view," said one of his agents, Drew Johnson. "He feels bad he let anyone down. He's also encouraged by the thousands of comments he's received from his fans and the support from his many sponsors. He intends to work hard to regain everyone's trust."
Phelps has apologized for the photo, which was reportedly taken at a house party at the University of South Carolina in November. The incident is also currently under investigation by South Carolina police. If charged with possession of marijuana, Phelps could face up to 30 days in jail.