5 Feb 2009

Phelps could face charges

6:03 am on 5 February 2009

The record-breaking Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps could face criminal charges following the publication of a photograph allegedly showing him smoking marijuana.

A South Carolina law enforcement official says he would charge Phelps if he could prove the US Olympian smoked marijuana in his county.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott comments come after a British newspaper published a photo purportedly showing Phelps smoking marijuana at a party being held by students at the University of South Carolina in Columbia in November.

Columbia, the South Carolina state capital, is located in Richland County.

Lott says this one might be a lot easier since we have photographs of someone using drugs and a partial confession.

It's a relatively easy case once we can determine where the crime occurred.

Phelps apologised on Sunday after publication of the photograph by the News of the World, calling his behaviour "inappropriate".