UK Tabloid Says It Caught Phelps With Bong
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2009 10:22 PM CST
In this June 29, 2008, file photo, Michael Phelps swims to victory in the men's 400-meter individual medley finals at the US Olympic swimming trials.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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(Newser) – Michael Phelps may be getting a little too relaxed in the swimming off-season. The British tabloid News of the World has published a photo that it says shows the Olympic king taking a hit from a bong. No word yet from the Phelps camp, but the tabloid says the swimmer offered to write a regular column for the paper and steer advertisers its way if it killed the photo. If true, it could hurt his Olympic career, not to mention his endorsements.

The photo was allegedly snapped at a University of South Carolina party in November. “He looked just as natural with a bong in his hands as he does swimming in the pool," the tabloid quotes one attendee as saying. "He was the gold medal winner of bong hits." To see the photo, which purports to show Phelps in profile, click on the link.