Michael Phelps had gambled for eight straight hours at a Baltimore casino before getting arrested for DUI in the early morning hours of Sept. 30.
Sources told TMZ Phelps had played blackjack at the Horseshoe Casino from 5 pm Sept. 29 until 1 am the following morning. Michael had also been drinking at the casino (where he is a regular) before getting arrested at 1:40 am ET on Sept. 30 for driving 84 mph in a 45 mph zone.
Law enforcement officials said Michael failed a field sobriety test and his blood alcohol level was almost twice the legal limit. Phelps, who was charged with driving under the influence, crossing lane lines and excessive speeding, was released shortly afterward.
Michael has since issued a statement apologizing for his DUI arrest. “I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down,” said Phelps, who said he understands “the severity of my actions” and takes “full responsibility.”
This is Michael’s second DUI arrest. In 2004, the 18-time Olympic gold medalist was arrested for DUI when he was 19 years old. At the time, Phelps admitted he made a huge mistake and vowed to be more responsible.
“I made a mistake,” he said in a statement. “Getting in a car with anything to drink is wrong, dangerous and unacceptable.”
In 2009, Phelps was suspended for three months by U.S. swimming officials after a tabloid published a photo of him smoking pot from a bong at a friend’s party. Shortly afterward, Michael lost his endorsement contract with cereal maker Kellogg’s.
Phelps retired from competition in 2012 after winning 22 Olympic medals, including 18 gold medals — a feat that will remain unequaled for a long time, perhaps forever. At the time, Michael said he was exhausted from the years of grueling training, strict dieting and personal sacrifices he made for his storied career.
However, Michael has since fueled rumors he’s planning to compete again at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He has been training five days a week in his hometown of Baltimore with his longtime coach, Bob Bowman, USA Today reported.
Phelps, 29, began training with Bowman several months ago, combining swimming workouts with weight lifting and core-training. The 6-foot-4 Phelps lost 15 pounds last spring and now weighs in the low 190s, close to his competition weight of 195 pounds.
He has tested several times with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency since July 2013 and has competed in several meets since then. In previous interviews, Phelps revealed he began swimming at age nine, in part to manage his ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
The 2016 Rio Games would be Michael’s fifth Olympic Games.