PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Kellogg Co. said Thursday that it will drop its endorsement deal with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps following his acknowledgment he inhaled from a marijuana pipe.
The 23-year-old swimming star has apologized for his “regrettable” behavior and “bad judgment” after a photo appeared Sunday in the British tabloid News of the World that showed Phelps inhaling from a marijuana pipe.
Most of his major sponsors, such as Visa Inc., Speedo, luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega and sports beverage PureSport’s maker Human Performance Labs, stood by the athlete following the news, even if they didn’t condone his behavior.
But Battle Creek, Mich.-based cereal and snack maker Kellogg said Phelps’s behavior is “not consistent with the image of Kellogg.”
Phelps’s agent was not immediately available to comment.
Kellogg had contracts with Phelps and other Olympic athletes to support its association with the U.S. Olympic team. The company said in a statement that it will not renew its contract with Phelps, which expires at the end of February.
The company did not renew its deal with the US Olympic Team, which expired in December.
Kellogg would not disclose the value of its deal with Phelps.
But experts have said that after Phelps won eight gold medals, he scored millions in endorsement deals, including the one that placed him on boxes of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and Corn Flakes boxes