While Michael Phelps' future in the sports world is yet to be determined following his smoking-marijuana picture, his Olympic teammates have been very supportive of him. Contrary to the many negative reviews and publication that the record-breaking Olympian swimmer has been receiving in the past few days, his friends tend to defend him over his conduct.
"This in no way, shape or form diminishes anything he's done," fellow swimmer Dara Torres tells the Associated Press in a statement. "It's sort of a double-edged sword. When you're recognizable, you're looked up to as a role model. He is recognizable, and everything you do gets looked at and picked apart. I guess that's the price of winning 14 Olympic medals."
Jason Lezak, who admits he is "saddened" by Phelps' marijuana-smoking pic incident, reveals, "While I don't condone his conduct, I am a teammate and fan. Unlike many fair-weather people, I am sticking by him. If my wife and I can help him in any way, we will. I believe he will grow from this and be better person, role model and teammate."
Retired swimmer Mark Spitz, whose gold medal world record was smashed by Phelps, speaks his mind to US Weekly, stating, "As strictly a fan, I feel badly for Michael and the situation he has put himself in. I think no one would wish this on anyone, especially the person that gave us a summer like no other in 2008. I hope this only leads to a better tomorrow for him and his family."
And amidst speculation claiming that Phelps' marijuana-smoking pic may possibly put his endorsement deals as well as his career as a swimmer in jeopardy, Luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega calls the incident as a private matter of Phelps and a "non-issue." In the meantime, Speedo has said Phelps will remain a "valued member of the Speedo team."