OLYMPIC champion Michael Phelps has been banned from competition for six months by USA Swimming and has been dropped from the 2015 world championships.
The punishments came six days after Phelps was apprehended by police in Baltimore and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, excessive speed and crossing the centre line while driving inside a tunnel.
He’s also said he will forfeit all his funding for the next six months.
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Over the weekend, Phelps said on social media that he would be taking a break from swimming and it’s likely he’ll enter rehab for treatment of unspecified issues.
“I recognize that this is not my first lapse in judgment, and I am extremely disappointed with myself,” Phelps said in a statement.
“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.”