Police won't confirm report of arrests

A South Carolina sheriff's department would not confirm a report Tuesday that arrests have been made in the Michael Phelps marijuana case and that the bong was in police custody.

A Columbia, S.C., television station reported Tuesday that eight people have been arrested since a photo of Phelps with a marijuana pipe was published in a British tabloid earlier this month. Seven people have been charged with drug possession and one person with distribution, WIS-TV reported.

However, although the Richland County Sheriff's Department did execute search warrants last weekend on a couple locations at the University of South Carolina, the charges the eight people face are from last weekend and not from the November incident involving Phelps. A source told ESPN that those charged were mostly college students.

The television station also reported that police confiscated the bong Phelps allegedly used after tracking it down when its owner, who is one of the eight people charged in the case, attempted to sell it on eBay for $100,000.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department declined to say whether it had made arrests or confirm WIS-TV's report.

"The reporter who released that story is claiming that he has sources, but we're not the source of that information," said Lt. Chris Cowan, the department's public information officer. "We're not releasing any additional information. We are investigating, and if we determine that illegal activity has occurred, we will bring charges."

And as for the bong being offered on eBay?

"I don't know where he got that information," Cowan said. "He didn't get it from us, and I don't know that to be true."

Phelps said Monday that he would take take two or three months to decide if he's going to compete at the 2012 Summer Games in London, The Baltimore Sun reported.

"It will take a few months," Phelps said in a post-practice interview Monday outside the pool where he trains, the newspaper reported. "I'll give it 30 or 60 days. I think it will be better. I'm already happier now than I was, just having some part of my life back to normal, being able to swim again, having fun, joking around."

Phelps apologized for a lapse in judgment, lost a sponsor in Kellogg Co. and was suspended for three months by USA Swimming. But he's no longer waking up to people shouting outside his apartment, and the paparazzi aren't dogging him with the same vigor, according to the report.

"I'm not feeling too good physically," Phelps said, according to the report. "But I'm actually able to sleep now. I had a real hard time sleeping over the last two weeks or so. Just swimming and thinking about everything going on. Everything is back to what I call normal, I guess."

Phelps, the winner of a record-breaking eight gold medals at Beijing last summer, said he called every one of his sponsors to apologize and spoke to everyone except Kellogg, according to the report.

"I guess the only one I didn't really talk to was Kellogg, and I attempted to call four days in a row and didn't get any responses," Phelps said, The Sun reported. "I talked to everybody else, and they're all supportive."