WASHINGTON: Olympic swimming superstar Michael Phelps was arrested Tuesday in his home state of Maryland for driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding, police said.
Phelps — the most decorated Olympian of all time with 18 golds out of 22 total medals and an eye on another run at the 2016 Games in Rio — later apologized, saying he was “deeply sorry” for his actions.
The 29-year-old was pulled over early Tuesday after his white Land Rover was clocked at 84 miles (135 kilometers) per hour in a 45 mph zone in Baltimore’s Fort McHenry Tunnel, Maryland Transportation Authority Police said.
“He was unable to perform satisfactorily a series of standard field sobriety tests,” it added in a statement.
Phelps has been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), excessive speed and crossing double lane lines. Police later confirmed that the DUI accusation involved alcohol.
The swimming champion quickly expressed remorse.
“I understand the severity of my actions and take full responsibility,” he told his 1.6 million Twitter followers.
“I know these words may not mean much right now but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.”
Phelps retired from competitive swimming after the 2012 Olympics in London, but launched a comeback earlier this year.
He made a dazzling return to international competition last month, picking up three gold medals at the Pan Pacific Championships in Australia.
His strong showing — under the guidance of his longtime coach Bob Bowman — bolstered hopes that he might compete for the United States at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Ten years ago, Phelps pleaded guilty to driving while impaired in rural Maryland. He was sentenced to 18 months’ probation and fined $250 for what he later described as an “isolated incident.”