Washington, Feb 7 (ANI): Aussie swimming champion Libby Trickett has said that Michael Phelps is lucky to escape with only a three-month ban from competition following marijuana scandal.
The 24-year-old swimmer who holds 5 world records said that the penalty is "too lenient".
"Personally I think he's extremely lucky and if it had fallen under anti-doping laws, the penalty could have been double and that would have cost him a spot at the worlds," Fox News quoted Trickett as saying.
"He's got to face up to the responsibilities that come with being a role model and this is simply unacceptable behaviour from someone with his stature and profile in sport.
"Hopefully he can learn from the mistake and it's a pretty big fall from grace after what he achieved in Beijing. It takes some of the shine off his spectacular performances in Beijing and this behaviour simply isn't OK," she added.
USA Swimming has banned eight Olympic gold medallist Phelps for three months after he was snapped using a bong at a house party in University of South Carolina.
The organisation defended its decision and says a three-month ban is appropriate.
"This is not a situation where any anti-doping rule was violated, but we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of USA Swimming member kids who look up to him as a role model and a hero," a spokesman said.
"Michael has voluntarily accepted this reprimand and has committed to earn back our trust," spokesman added. (ANI)