Phelps Won't Be Charged
SC sheriff probed swimmer's marijuana use but found no evidence, he says
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2009 5:16 PM CST
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott holds a press conference today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – South Carolina officials won't charge Michael Phelps for smoking that bong after all, The State reports. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said today he'd investigated Phelps' marijuana use at a November party, but came up short on evidence—even though Phelps had admitted to doing it. Legal analysts said Phelps would walk because he wasn't caught in the act and no witnesses had emerged.

Lott recently raided the house where Phelps partied in November, sparking rumors that the swimmer would be next. But one defendant living there said he never saw Phelps smoke marijuana; another was out of town. Lott had made headlines by saying he may charge Phelps, after a photo of the Olympian smoking a bong emerged in the British press. "Even with his star status, he is still obligated to obey the laws of our state," Lott said.