Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard came to Michael Phelps’ defense after a photo of the 23 year-old smoking weed was published by a British tabloid. Amanda compares the kind of negative attention Michael is getting to what she went through after she posed naked for Playboy Magazine before the Beijing Games.
Amanda says: “If anyone knows public scrutiny, it’s me,” the four-time Olympian said in a text message. “When I posed for Playboy, so many officials looked down on me. Michael knows he isn’t a bad person. He made a mistake. People need to get over it. I want to cheer him on in London.”
Since the controversial photos came out, Phelps has apologized to his fans, was dropped by Kellogg’s and suspended for three months by USA Swimming. Others have also showed their support to the Olympic record holder:
Gold medalist Ryan Lochte, who was one of Phelps’ teammates and main rivals in Bejing, said: “It really is kind of harsh. It’s just a picture.”
And even a rival agent came to Phelps’ defense.
“Enough is enough,” said Evan Morgenstein, who represents a large number of Olympic swimmers. “The penalty is far greater than the crime. He has said he is sorry. Let’s move on to the real problems in this country.”
Phelps is young, he made a mistake, he is taking responsibility for his actions and we really hope to see him back on his feet to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.