Olympian Michael Phelps arrested for drunken driving a second time
The swimmer was charged with DUI, excessive speed, and crossing double lane lines. The DUI charge carries a possible high quality designer replica handbags wholesale penalty of a year in jail, though one legal expert said it was unlikely Phelps would get jail time.
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The arrest of the decorated Olympic swimmer from Rodgers Forge was cheap louis vuitton bags from china uk another low in a month of bleak off field stories for Baltimore sports. Earlier in September, the Ravens released star running back Ray Rice after TMZ posted video of him felling his then fiancee with a punch. The same week, replica louis vuitton popular Orioles slugger Chris Davis was suspended 25 games for amphetamine use as his team was about to clinch its first American League East title since 1997.
In both cases, Phelps apologized and promised better judgment going forward. Given his past difficulties, the arrest raised questions about Phelps’ dedication to his 5 month old comeback and about his appeal to sponsors as the leading figure in his sport. Though Phelps hasn’t formally committed to swimming at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he has promised to train more vigorously to improve his results against elite competition.
“To be quite honest, it’s like a punch in the stomach,” said 1:1 replica handbags NBC commentator and former Olympic gold medalist Rowdy Gaines. “I felt high quality replica handbags china like I was going to throw up. I know that sounds a little dramatic, but he’s the face of our sport.”
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Gaines has called almost all of Phelps’ significant races and said he’ll always support him personally.
“But he’s almost 30,” he said. “I’m sure he doesn’t want to hear it right now, but he needs to know better. He’s so lucky, because he could’ve ended up killing somebody.”
Added Scott Blackmun, CEO of the United States Olympic Committee, in a statement: “We were surprised by today’s news. We are disappointed on a number of fronts.”
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Phelps was suspended three months by USA Swimming in 2009 for the photo of him smoking a marijuana pipe. Asked if he might face suspension for this arrest, a spokesman for the governing body did not respond immediately.
Phelps retained his commercial appeal and competitive form through his Discount Replica Louis Vuitton Bags previous missteps. He has sponsorship deals with Under Armour www.dolabuy.su , Subway and Aqua Sphere, a company for which he and Bowman are creating a new line replica louis vuitton bags from china of swim gear. Phelps has also been a spokesman for brands such as Visa, OMEGA watches, Louis Vuitton luggage and the Hilton hotel chain, among others.
It wasn’t immediately apparent how his arrest might affect his existing deals; spokespersons for Under Armour fake designer bags , Subway, Aqua Sphere and OMEGA did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
But Phelps will likely remain a popular corporate pitchman, said Bob Dorfman, executive creative director for San Francisco based Baker Street Advertising.
“A second DUI is going to make sponsors nervous,” Dorfman said. “Fortunately for Phelps, the 2016 Games are still a ways off, and there’s plenty of time for this to be forgotten before the serious Rio marketing push begins. As long as he stays squeaky clean and replica louis vuitton bags swims well from now to Rio, I don’t see this affecting his marketability. His comeback story is simply too compelling to consumers and marketers.”
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He said Phelps might actually be helped by the negative headlines swirling around other athletes, including Rice, because his offense might be lost in the shuffle.
Matt Delzell, managing director of Dallas based The Marketing Arm, said some sponsors might “drop him while some will stand by him, but have him on a tighter leash.”
He said Phelps could face particular wariness replica louis vuitton from more family oriented sponsors such as Procter Gamble, which signed the swimmer to a fake designer bags seven figure deal leading to the 2012 Olympics.
“This is not good, obviously, given the fact that it’s his third substance abuse issue,” Delzell said. “For a guy who said, ‘I won’t make the same mistake twice,’ at some point, you’re the boy who cried wolf.”
Mothers Against Drunk Driving said Phelps should have learned from his first arrest and called for Phelps, if convicted, to be required to install an ignition interlock device, which prevents drunken driving.
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“A first instance of drunk driving is unacceptable, let alone repeat occurrences,” MADD said.
Lisa Spicknall, state director of MADD, said Phelps spoke to a MADD panel as part of court ordered probation after his 2004 plea but had not been a participant in recent efforts.
“He’s a high profile person in Maryland, and a lot of kids look up to him,” she said.
Kush Arora, a Maryland based attorney who regularly handles drunken driving cases, said it would be highly unusual for Phelps to receive any jail time if he is found guilty in the case, given what has been made public so far.