Michael Phelps Caught Smoking Pot by British Tabloid

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It's probably not what his many sponsors had in mind when they signed him to millions of dollars in endorsements. Swimming sensation and Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps is used to the spotlight, but a photo is providing some unwanted attention.

Phelps has confirmed the authenticity of the photo. Phelps admits to "regrettable behavior" after a picture of the record-breaking swimmer smoking a marijuana pipe showed up in a British newspaper.

It was published by the tabloid, News of The World. The photo appears to show Phelps smoking marijuana at what the paper says was a party back in November.

The 23-year-old promises it won't happen again and admits he demonstrated bad judgment. Phelps says "he engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment." He continues by saying "I'm 23 years old and despite the success I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from him and for this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again. "

Some wonder whether Phelps' behavior could jeopardize his lucrative endorsements, but most say it's too early to tell whether his millions in endorsements are at risk.

The US Olympic committee issued a statement saying its disappointed in Phelps's behavior but believes he'll live up to the standards of an Olympic athlete going forward.