Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps gambled at a Baltimore casino for eight hours before he was arrested on suspicion of DUI on Tuesday morning, according to a report from TMZ. That report cites “casino sources,” who say that the gold medalist started playing at the Horseshoe Casino in Maryland starting around 5 pm on Monday, and was in a private VIP room until about 1 am.
Phelps, who is said to be a regular at the casino, was apparently playing blackjack during this casino jaunt. He would be pulled over just a few miles from the casino at around 1:40 am, and had reportedly been drinking while at the Horseshoe. Neither Phelps nor his representatives have responded to these reports.
In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, Phelps was pulled over in his Land Rover by Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) police near the Fort McHenry Tunnel on I-395. Police then gave Phelps a field sobriety test, which the swimmer failed. It would later emerge that Phelps had nearly twice the legal blood alcohol content in his system.
“[Phelps] was unable to perform satisfactorily a series of standard field sobriety tests,” the police said in a statement. “Mr. Phelps was cooperative throughout the process.”
Phelps was arrested, but later released from an MTA station.
Phelps responded to the arrest on Tuesday, taking to Twitter to express his remorse.
“Earlier this morning, I was arrested and charged with DUI, excessive speeding and crossing double lane lines,” Phelps tweeted. “I understand the severity of my actions and take full responsibility. I know these words may not mean much right now but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.”
Second DUI Arrest for Phelps
This is not the first time that Phelps has been arrested for driving under the influence. In 2004, Phelps, then just 19 years old, was arrested in the city of Salisbury, Maryland. He was charged with DUI and DWI among other counts, and ultimately pleaded guilty to drunk driving. He received a sentence of 18 months probation.
The latest incident prompted a strong reaction from fellow American swimmer Ryan Lochte.
“He just makes dumb decisions,” Lochte told TMZ. “He has so much money to get a driver. I even have a driver. Just stinks for the sport of swimming. But he will become smarter from this.”
Phelps is perhaps the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, having won 18 gold medals, along with two silver and two bronze medals, over the course of his swimming career. While he announced his retirement after the 2012 London Olympics, he has since returned to competitive swimming.
But Phelps has also shown his competitive streak in the world of poker. In a 2008 interview with CardPlayer, Phelps shared his passion for poker.
“I love to play, and it’s fun; it’s exciting,” he said. “I’ve been playing for a few years, and I started getting more serious.”
While his poker exploits could never match up to his success in the pool, Phelps has shown himself to be capable on the felt as well. Back in 2008, Phelps made the final table of a $1,500 event during the Caesars Palace Classic in Las Vegas, winning over $5,200 in the process.