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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 December, 2004, 08:15 GMT
Phelps gets 18 months' probation
Michael Phelps
Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps was sentenced to 18 months' probation after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

Phelps, who won six golds in Athens, was arrested on 4 November in Baltimore after he failed to observe a stop sign.

The 19-year-old American pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, and his record will be expunged if he complies with the terms of probation.

Prosecutors dropped charges of driving under the influence, underage drinking and failure to stop at a stop sign.

"I recognise the seriousness of this mistake," Phelps told the judge. "I've learned from this mistake and will continue learning from this mistake for the rest of my life."

Phelps was fined $250 and ordered to pay $55 in court costs.

He must also attend a meeting sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and give speeches to students at three local schools warning them about the dangers of alcohol.

Judge Lloyd O. Whitehead also ordered Phelps to abstain from alcohol and illegal drugs during his probation, and to report to a probation supervisor once a month.

In Athens, Phelps was chasing the Olympic record of seven gold medals set by Mark Spitz, but he fell one title short, settling for six golds and two bronzes.

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