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Olympic Committee, sponsors comment on Michael Phelps

February 2, 2009 | 10:28 am

Michael_phelps USA Swimming, the International Olympic Committee and two sponsors weigh in on the Michael Phelps situation, in which he is seen in a published photograph sucking on a bong:

IOC: "Michael Phelps is a great Olympic champion. He apologized for his inappropriate behavior. We have no reason to doubt his sincerity and his commitment to continue to act as a role model.''

USA Swimming: "We are certainly disappointed in Michael's behavior. Our Olympic champions are role models who are looked up to by people of all ages, especially young athletes who have their own aspirations and dreams. That said, we realize that none among us is perfect. We hope Michael can learn from this incident and move forward in a positive way.''

Speedo (which gave Phelps a $1-million bonus for his eight  gold medals): "In light of Michael Phelps' statement yesterday, Speedo would like to make it clear it does not condone such behavior, and we know that Michael truly regrets his actions.  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.''

Omega:  The Associated Press reported the watch company was "strongly committed'' to its relationship with Phelps. "The current story in the press involves Michael Phelps' private life and is, as far as Omega is concerned, a non-issue.''

-- Philip Hersh

Photo: Michael Phelps, seen here during a news conference last week in Saudi Arabia. Credit: Hassan Ammar / Associated Press