BALTIMORE — Michael Phelps was arrested early Tuesday on DUI charges after he was stopped for speeding just outside the Fort McHenry Tunnel, the Maryland Transportation Authority police said.

BALTIMORE — Michael Phelps was arrested early Tuesday on DUI charges after he was stopped for speeding just outside the Fort McHenry Tunnel, the Maryland Transportation Authority police said.

Police said Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals, was driving a 2014 Land Rover southbound on Interstate-395 at about 1:40 a.m. when he was clocked by an officer’s radar driving 84 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone. The officer followed Phelps onto northbound Interstate 95 and through the tunnel, and stopped him just beyond the toll plaza, police said.

"Mr. Phelps … was unable to perform satisfactorily a series of standard field sobriety tests," police said in a statement. Police, who said he was cooperative, also said he failed a Breathalyzer test but would not confirm the results.

Phelps was charged with DUI, excessive speed and crossing double lane lines. Police said he was processed at an MDTA command station and released to a "responsible adult." His vehicle remained on the shoulder of the road for hours Tuesday before being moved in the afternoon.

Phelps posted a statement to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon in which he said he understood "the severity of my actions and take full responsibility."

"I know these words may not mean much right now but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down," he said.

Phelps’ agent, Drew Johnson, and his longtime coach Bob Bowman and USA Swimming did not respond to requests for comment.

"We were surprised by today’s news," the U.S. Olympic Committee said in a statement. "We are disappointed on a number of fronts, but want to give Michael Phelps and USA Swimming an opportunity to comment before saying anything more."

This is Phelps’ second arrest on DUI-related charges. He was arrested during traffic stop in 2004 in Wicomico County, Md. Phelps, who was 19 at the time, pleaded guilty to driving while impaired and received 18 months’ probation.

"I recognize the seriousness of this mistake," Phelps told the judge. "It’s wrong to drink when you’re underage. It’s wrong to get behind a wheel no matter how old you are."

As part of his probation, Phelps agreed to speak to students at Wicomico County schools and was a featured speaker at a fitness and health rally at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury.

Then in 2009, British tabloids published a photo of him smoking from a marijuana pipe while at a party at the University of South Carolina. Phelps said he "engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment."

"I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again," he said at the time.

Janet Evans, winner of four Olympic gold medals, told The Chicago Tribune on Tuesday that Phelps’ is the only swimmer whose name her 7-year-old daughter knows.

"For me, as a mom, it is very disappointing that such a role model for the sport let this happen again," Evans said.

Phelps retired after the 2012 Olympics in London, where he pushed his record totals to 18 gold medals and 22 medals overall.

In the months that followed, he traveled, played golf and high-stakes poker and generally enjoyed a life of leisure. But Phelps resumed training late last year, at first casually and then more seriously as he contemplated a return to competition.

He resumed racing at the Mesa (Ariz.) Grand Prix in April, sporting an inexhaustible grin as he talked about how happy he was to swim again, this time on his own terms.

The sport was thrilled to have him as well, with Phelps attracting sellout crowds and national media coverage to races that seldom receive such attention in non-Olympic years.

Though Phelps has performed unevenly, he posted the fastest 100-meter butterfly time of 2014 at Phillips 66 National Championships in August. His year climaxed later that month at Pan Pacific championships in Australia, where he won three gold medals and two silvers.

Phelps hasn’t formally committed to swimming at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but he has promised to train more vigorously to improve his results against elite competition. "When there are workouts, I need to be at every one," he said at nationals. "That’s the bottom line."

His next major international meet would be world championships next summer in Russia.

Phelps’s DUI arrest comes after a particularly bad month for Baltimore sports figures — away from their playing fields, that is. September was barely underway when on the 8th, TMZ unleashed a bombshell video showing Ravens star Ray Rice knocking his future wife Janay unconscious in the elevator of an Atlantic City, N.J., casino. Rice was released by the team and indefinitely suspended by the NFL.

Later that week, even as his teammates were en route to clinching the American League East Division, Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis was suspended after testing positive for an amphetamine, Adderall. His 25-game suspension meant he would miss the rest of the season.


(Sun reporter Jean Marbella and Chicago Tribune reporter Phil Hersh contributed to this article.)


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