Rafael Nadal has Michael Phelps' back.
The Aussie Open champ was asked about the record-setting Olympian's current PR fiasco in which Phelps was caught on camera holding a bong though he claims he did not smoke any marijuana. A sympathetic Rafa told the press:
It does not portray the best possible image, but everyone can have a slip-up. In the end sportsmen are just not machines. Everyone is free to do whatever they want.
The Spaniard, who met the champion swimmer during his own gold medal-winning run in Beijing last summer, believes Phelps shouldn't be criticized for personal actions taken while on break from competition:
He has been on holiday for some time. He has attained all his goals and he is taking a sabbatical leave and he is totally free to be able to do it. He will have plenty of time to get back and prepare for the coming Games.Agreed. It's troubling from a sponsorship/PR standpoint but that's about it. What he does on his personal time is his choice but he def needs to be more careful about who he hangs out with and what he's doing in front of cameras.
I mean, hello, you're kinda famous.
(image via Getty)