Michael Phelps: ‘I Don’t Know If I’m an Alcoholic,’ Says 22-time Olympic Medalist
Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all-time. The prolific swimmer has 22 accumulated medals in the Summer Games—including 18 golds—dating back to 2004, when the then-19-year-old burst onto the national stage.
But Phelps also has a well-documented history with drugs and alcohol. The larger-than-life athlete has been arrested twice for DUIs, but is he an alcoholic? “I don’t know,” was Phelps’ response to Matt Lauer’s question on TODAY. “I honestly don’t know.
“I know I probably have moments where I have gone off the deep end where I shouldn’t.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 27, 2016
Phelps’ first DUI arrest was in November of 2004. He entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 18 months probation and community service.
In 2009, a British tabloid printed a picture of Phelps holding a bong, appearing to be smoking marijuana, at the University of South Carolina.
He was then arrested again on a DUI charge in September of 2014 and given another 18 months probation. After the arrest, Phelps checked himself into a rehab facility in Arizona for six weeks.
— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) April 27, 2016
“I checked myself in because I think I was at a point in my life where something needed to change,” Phelps told Lauer.
Phelps said he’s ready to do what it takes to get ready for the Rio Olympics this summer.
“I want to be here. That’s the difference. I had no desire to go to work out before,” he explained. “I want to retire how I want to retire. And I have a great opportunity to do that. I mean, I haven’t trained like this in a decade.”