Authorities in Columbia, S.C. are doing an investigation in relation to the picture of Michael Phelps smoking marijuana from a bong. In a statement which was made public on Tuesday, February 3, Sheriff Leon Lott Jr. confirmed that due to the on-going investigation, the record-breaking Olympian swimmer is facing possible drug charges.
"If someone breaks the law in Richland County, we have an obligation as law enforcement to investigate and to bring charges," the statement read. "The Richland County Sheriff's Department is making an effort to determine if Mr. Phelps broke the law. If he did, he will be charged in the same manner as anyone else. The Sheriff has a responsibility to be fair, to enforce the law and to not turn a blind eye because someone is a celebrity."
As of press time, no comment has been made by Phelps or his people concerning the report.
Phelps, who quickly issued a public apology after a picture of him smoking marijuana hit the web, has received support from his fellow Olympic teammates, including Dara Torres, Jason Lezak, and Mark Spitz, all of whom wish him nothing but the best.
In the meantime, Phelps' sponsor Speedo also stands by him. The brand has made a public statement, confirming that it will still use Phelps as their celebrity spokesperson. "Michael Phelps is a valued member of the Speedo team and a great champion. We will do all that we can to support him and his family," the statement read.
In the same tone with Speedo, luxury watchmaker Omega also offers support for Phelps, stating, "The current story in the press involves Michael Phelps' private life and is, as far as Omega is concerned,a non-issue."