Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps was sentenced to 18 months' probation yesterday after pleading guilty to drunken driving.

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SWIMMING



Phelps gets 18 months’ probation:

Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps was sentenced to 18 months’ probation yesterday after pleading guilty to drunken driving.

Judge Lloyd O. Whitehead granted Phelps probation before judgment, meaning his record will be expunged if he follows the terms of probation. Phelps pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, and prosecutors dropped charges of driving under the influence, underage drinking and failure to stop at a stop sign.

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“I recognize the seriousness of this mistake,” Phelps told the judge. “I’ve learned from this mistake and will continue learning from this mistake for the rest of my life.”

The 19-year-old Phelps was fined $250, must attend a meeting sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and must give speeches to students at three schools by June 1, advising them about making choices and warning them about the dangers of alcohol.

Under the terms of his probation, Phelps must report to a probation supervisor once a month by telephone or as directed by the court.

“The reason for that is because of his travel,” State’s Attorney Davis Ruark said.

Normally a probationer would have to report in person.

Phelps, who grew up near Baltimore, recently moved to Michigan. He’s scheduled to enroll in January at the University of Michigan. As a professional, Phelps cannot compete for Michigan.


Skiing



Grugger gets first World Cup win:

In Bormio, Italy, Austrian downhiller Johann Grugger won his first World Cup race on the course that will host the upcoming world championships, while overall Cup leader Bode Miller came in 14th.

Grugger finished in 1 minute, 55.77 seconds on the Stelvio course, one of the most physically demanding courses on the World Cup circuit.

Despite his finish, Miller still holds a 876-560 lead in the standings over Austria’s Benjamin Raich.


Schild wins again:

Austria’s Marlies Schild won her second World Cup event in as many days, finishing first in the slalom in Semmering, Austria.

Schild won in a combined time of 1:35.49, delighting the crowd of about 15,000 Austrians that came to cheer her on at the Hirschenkogel course.

She won the giant slalom on the same course Tuesday.


Soccer



Arsenal upends Newcastle:

Arsenal edged Newcastle 1-0 on Patrick Vieira’s goal to cut Chelsea’s Premier League lead to five points.

Arsenal’s captain scored off a volley in first-half injury time, giving his team 44 points. Chelsea has 49, and Manchester United and Everton have 40.


Rooney could get three-game ban:

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney could be suspended for three games after being charged with violent conduct for pushing an opponent in the face.

Rooney shoved Bolton’s Tal Ben Haim in United’s 2-0 win Sunday.


Mathis to return to MLS:

Clint Mathis is heading back to Major League Soccer one year after signing with German team Hannover 96.

The Bundesliga club said that Mathis, a member of the United States national team, will join expansion team Real Salt Lake.


Hockey



United States loses at World Junior Hockey Championship:

In Grand Forks, N.D., the United States was unable to rally from a four-goal deficit and lost 5-3 to Belarus in pool play of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Hockey Championship, the Americans’ first loss in the tournament in two years.

The defending champion U.S. team had won eight consecutive games in the tournament.

In other games, the Czech Republic beat Switzerland 5-2, Finland defeat Sweden 5-4, and Slovakia defeated Germany 5-0.


Tennis



Pierce withdraws:

Mary Pierce, former Australian Open and French Open champion, withdrew from next week’s ASB Classic in New Zealand for undisclosed medical reasons.

Seattle Times news services