No charges against Phelps

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina sheriff is not going to charge swimmer Michael Phelps after a photo of the 14-time gold medalist showed him smoking from a marijuana pipe.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott made the decision Monday.

The photo showed Phelps smoking from a marijuana pipe at a University of South Carolina party in November when he visited the school.

Phelps has called his judgment bad and said he would learn from his mistake.

He was suspended by USA Swimming for three months in the wake of the photo, and Kellogg Co. said it would not renew its endorsement deal with one of the world's most acclaimed athletes.

In a statement the sheriff of Richland County, South Carolina said his department was in a "no win situation."

His statement reads:

"I had nothing to do with Michael Phelps coming to Columbia and making a bad decision.  He did that.  His bad decision and the highly published photo placed me and the Richland County Sheriff's Department in a no win situation.   Ignore it and be criticized or address it and be criticized. I chose to do what was right. While to some it may not have been the most popular decision, it was and is the right decision because of the law and the negative impact it could have on our children in Richland County.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press and WSFA 12 News. All Rights Reserved.)