Has Michael Phelps failed as a role model?

Posted Feb. 02, 2009, at 4:01 p.m.

A photograph made public days ago showed Michael Phelps, who won eight gold medals

in swimming events in the summer Olympics, smoking marijuana. Mr. Phelps, 23, said he

regretted the behavior, which occurred at a party in November. Are athletes like Mr.

Phelps obligated to behave like role models? Or is that asking too much? Should he have

the freedom of some youthful indiscretions? Does accepting endorsement money come

with responsibilities? Should the companies paying Mr. Phelps end their contracts with