Friday, February 6, 2009

Phelps Will Not Be Allowed to Complete in Texas Meet Next Month

In this age of ever-present technology, we have to walk around with the assumption that every move we make, every word we speak, and every email we type may be accessed by people who do not have our best interest at heart. This reality is especially true of celebrities whose bad behavior may be worth millions to the nearby observer who has a cell phone or camera at the ready. Christian Bale recently had his penchant for strong language shared with the world when his verbal abuse of a stagehand was recorded. Britney Spears received notoriety when the paparazzi caught her ... well, there are too many instances to mention. And, just a few days ago, a photograph was released of Olympics swimmer and gold medal record holder Michael Phelps smoking pot at a college party. The fallout from the publicity of this questionable decision by Phelps will have a direct effect on swimming fans in Texas.

Michael Phelps was scheduled to compete in his first swimming meet since the Beijing Olympics next month in Austin. He was supposed to appear March 5 to 7 in the Texas Grand Prix at the Texas Swimming Center. However, Phelps has been suspended from competitive swimming for three months by USA Swimming, a decision which leaves him out from participation in meets until early May. A statement released by USA Swimming shared that the governing body "decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people." Despite the fact that Phelps did not violate any anti-doping regulations, he must still face consequences for the impact his behavior has had on the young fans of the sport.

At Bertolino LLP, we have attorneys who practice in the area of celebrity, sports, and entertainment law. If you are an athlete whose reputation and income has suffered as a result of some unfortunate photographs, we can help you with the legal steps necessary to earn back your status and livelihood. Please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.

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