South Carolina authorities in the county where Michael Phelps was spotted smoking from a marijuana pipe say they are considering a criminal charge against the Olympic superstar. Lt. Chris Cowan said Tuesday that Richland County sheriff’s investigators are gathering more information about the photo, which showed the swimmer inhaling from a marijuana pipe. Cowan did not specify what charge was being considered and declined to discuss details of the investigation.
Meanwhile back in Sensible Town, Phelps’ sponsors are standing behind him, for now.
Michael Phelps doesn’t seem to be in much hot water with his sponsors despite being photographed inhaling from a marijuana pipe. From apparel company Speedo to luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega, several sponsors are standing by the 23-year-old swimming phenom — at least for now — and have accepted his public apology. Other big companies, like Visa Inc., Subway and Kellogg Co., aren’t talking yet. Experts say if Phelps doesn’t stick to the straight and narrow, he could hurt his chances at future endorsements. And there’s no guarantee he won’t be dropped quietly once the furor dies down.