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Phelps' Suspension Is A Joke

Thursday, 5 Feb 2009 | 11:48 PM ET

So minutes after Kellogg's says they won't renew Michael Phelps' contract -- which likely wasn't going to renewed even sans bong photo -- USA Swimming suspends Phelps for three months.

Phelps might have made a stupid mistake, but USA Swimming's response might be even more dumb.

No matter what your "Code of Conduct" says, you can't suspend an athlete for behavior caught in a photo.

It's never happened before and let's hope it never happens again.

If you want to invoke conduct, show me some official record, like a police report.

Second of all, the suspension is toothless. Phelps isn't doing any substantive competing within these three months anyway. So it's only a ceremonial gesture.

Although Phelps has taken this suspension in stride publicly, the truth is that USA Swimming knows that it would lose a legal fight with Team Phelps if it tried to suspend him into the summer for the World Championships.

You think any league with a collective bargaining agreement, and a union to go up against, would ever try to pull what USA Swimming did on Phelps? I think not.

I'm all for Phelps facing the consequences. But what USA Swimming did to create the appearance of control turned out to be an unnecessary pile on and completely out of lane. Um, I mean, line.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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