Washington, Feb 7 (ANI): Fans of Michael Phelps have come out in defence of the ace swimmer who's under fire for pot puffing.
The pics published in Britain's News of the World, showing the eight times Olympic gold medallist using a bong, were taken in November at a University of South Carolina house party.
USA Swimming barred the 23-year-old star for three months, while Kellogg, the food company, announced that it would not renew its contract with swimming sensation when their deal expires at the end of February.
The fans and sympathizers have called upon to boycott Kellogg's after it dumped Phelps.
"Kellogg's has profited for decades on the food tastes of marijuana-using Americans with the munchies," the Washington Times quoted Lee Stranahan, a Los Angeles writer and filmmaker.
"What makes people mad is that Kellogg's knew he had a driving-under-the-influence charge when he was 19, and yet they still sponsored him," he added.
Soccer ace Cristiano Ronaldo also backed Phelps.
"It is obvious that all sportsmen should set an example to youngsters, but Phelps has asked for forgiveness and faced up to things," he said.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Jon Urbanchek, a University of Michigan coach who worked with Mr. Phelps before the 2008 Olympics, also said that he had not "lost the support of the Michigan family."
"He needs guidance," Urbanchek added.
On his Facebook page, most fans are standing by him, as are most of his sponsors.
Others commercial backers including Speedo, Omega and Visa appear to be satisfied with Phelps' public apology for "regrettable behaviour" and "bad judgment."
Mark Spitz, who won seven swimming medals in the 1972 Munich Olympics also expressed his sympathy for Phelps. (ANI)