One photo is worth a thousand words and in this case, hundreds and thousands of dollars.
American swimmer Michael Phelps was suspended from competition for three months by USA Swimming , which is the latest fallout from a photo that showed the Olympic great inhaling from a marijuana pipe.
The sports governing body also cut off its financial support to Phelps for the same three-month period. Phelps won a record eight gold medals in Beijing and returned to the United States a hero.
The snack maker Kellogg Co. also announced it wouldn't renew its sponsorship contract with Phelps.
Does the punishment fit the crime? Probably not. But after watching hundreds of professional athletes get off the hook for illegal activity, athletes in the NBA and NFL, it's refreshing that USA Swimming put its foot down and the same goes for the sponsor.
These athletes, professional or not, are looked up to by millions of young children. Whether they like it or not, they're role models. I'm alright with somebody making a mistake and getting a second chance. Phelps will still get his. This will all blow away and people will put his activity in the rear view mirror.
For all of those kids that became interested in swimming because of Michael Phelps over the last year, let those youngsters see that there is a penalty to be paid when you make bad choices. Hopefully those young kids will learn that they do have to keep their nose clean or suffer the consequences.