Choke. Gag. Vomit. That's about all I could do after reading a statement from FINA praising Michael Phelps' "apology" for smoking pot.
As a citizen, Michael Phelps displayed inappropriate behaviour. But his sincere regret and the promise that such a situation will not happen again are sufficient guarantees that this great star will continue generating respect and appreciation to all fans of our sport around the globe.
Phelps has been the butt of jokes and pithy headlines (my favorite was the NY Post's 'Pot O' Gold') since a photo of him taking a bong hit was splashed across newspapers and the internet. His bullshit apology was the latest in a long, well-documented line of apologies that really should read like this:
I'm sorry I got caught. I was having fun and I didn't think anyone was watching. If I can get away with it, I'd do it again. But I'm really sorry I got caught. Please forgive me, because even though I'm not really sorry about what I did, getting caught could cost me millions of dollars. Special thanks to my publicist for writing this for me.
Of course FINA buys it hook, line and sinker. Phelps is their biggest star EVER. They need him. So, when he gets caught doing something else (he already 'apologized' for drunk driving four years ago and said nothing like it would ever happen again), watch for another kiss-ass statement from the folks at FINA.