Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps said he is going to take some time away from swimming to attend a program after his second DUI charge.
Phelps was arrested and charged this week with driving under the influence of alcohol, excessive speed and crossing double-lane lines in the Fort McHenry Tunnel on Interstate 95 in Baltimore. It was Phelps' second DUI charge after his first in 2004.
On Twitter Sunday morning, Phelps said the past few days had been difficult, and he was very disappointed with his actions.
I recognize that this is not my first lapse in judgment, and I am extremely disappointed with myself. — Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) October 5, 2014
“I’m going to take some time away to attend a program that will provide the help I need to better understand myself,” he wrote. “Swimming is a major part of my life, but right now I need to focus my attention on me as an individual, and do the necessary work to learn from this experience and make better decisions in the future.”
In a released statement, a Phelps’ spokesperson said the swimmer would be entering a 6-week, in-patient program.
"While this has been an extremely difficult time for him, he is encouraged that this comprehensive program will help him focus on all of his life experiences and identify areas of need for long-term personal growth and development. Michael takes this matter seriously and intends to share his learning experiences with others in the future."
Phelps is the most decorated Olympian, winning 22 medals – 18 of them gold. He briefly retired from swimming, but got back into competition at the Pan Pacific Games in August.
"We fully support Michael's decision to place his health and well-being as the number one priority," said Chuck Wielgus, USA Swimming Executive Director in a statement. "His self-recognition and commitment to get help exhibit how serious he is to learn from this experience."
Phelps had previously targeted an Olympic return in Rio in 2016.