sports agency representing Michael Phelps, said in a statement to E!
News that the Olympian "is entering himself into a six-week, inpatient
"While this has been an extremely difficult
time for him, he is encouraged that this comprehensive program will
help him focus on all of his life experiences and identify areas of need
for long-term personal growth and development," the spokesperson said.
"Michael takes this matter seriously and intends to share his learning
experiences with others in the future."
USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus
added, "We fully support Michael's decision to place his health and
well-being as the number one priority. His self-recognition and
commitment to get help exhibit how serious he is to learn from this
Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps is
taking a break to attend a "program" to seek help to "better
understand" himself following his recent DUI arrest, his second in
almost 10 years.
"The past few days have been extremely difficult," the 29-year-old tweeted early
on Sunday. "I recognize that this is not my first lapse in judgment,
and I am extremely disappointed with myself. I'm going to take some time
away to attend a program that will provide the help I need to better
"Swimming is a major part of my
life, but right now I need to focus my attention on me as an
individual and do the necessary work to learn from this experience and
make better decisions in the future," added the most decorated Olympian
in history, who has won 18 gold medals and 22 overall.
PHOTOS: Biggest Olympic scandals
Phelps was arrested in Maryland on Sept. 30 for driving
under the influence, excessive speed and crossing double lane lines
inside a Baltimore tunnel. He later took to Twitter to say he understood the "severity" of his actions and takes "full responsibility."
know these words may not mean much right now but I am deeply sorry to
everyone I have let down," said the Olympian, who is from the Baltimore
Police said he had driven his 2014 Land Rover at a speed of 84 mph in a 45 mph zone and failed several field sobriety tests.
November 2004, Phelps, who was 19 at the time, was also arrested for
DUI. He received 18 months of probation and a $250 fine and was required
to deliver a presentation on alcohol awareness to students at three
high schools, according to ESPN.
had announced his retirement after the 2012 Olympic Games in London,
where he won four gold medals and two silver ones. He said earlier this
year he would return to swimming and
many speculate he will compete with the U.S. team during the 2016
Olympics in Rio, which would mark his fifth time taking part in the
international competition. Nothing has been confirmed.
"I'm doing this for me," USA Today had
quoted him as saying, regarding his career comeback. "If I don't become
as successful as you think I would or should be, that's your own
opinion. I enjoy being in the pool and sport of swimming and having fun
with what I'm doing."
—Additional reporting by Lindsay Good