- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Eight people have been arrested in conjunction with allegations that Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps took a hit on a marijuana bong.

Phelps is not one of those charged, according to WIS News 10 of Columbia, S.C., where the eight-time winner in the 2008 games was photographed at a private party on the University of South Carolina campus.

The Feb. 2 photo sparked international criticism of the popular athlete. But now the Richland County Sheriff Departmenthas been criticized as overly aggressive in enforcing the nation’s drug laws and targeting an international figure. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford told FOX News that he doesn’t believe that Phelps should be prosecuted for his conduct. “I don’t see what it gets at this point,” the Republican said on Geraldo Rivera’s program.

The Sheriff’s Department arrested seven people for drug possession and one for distribution. It has not released the names of those allegedly involved, WIS reports.

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