Gymnastics legend Larisa Latynina upbraided her fellow record-breaking Olympian Michael Phelps after a drink-driving charge which saw him slapped with a six-month suspension from swimming.
The 79-year-old Russian, whose record of 18 Olympic medals stood for 48 years until Phelps broke it in 2012, called Phelps “weak” for his arrest and subsequent suspension earlier this month.
“I really regret this fact,” Latynina told reporters at the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) awards show in Bangkok, where she won the prize for outstanding performance.
“Besides that, I’m really disappointed that he, being an outstanding and talented athlete, allows himself to be so weak in front of such human factors,” she added, referring to the drink-driving charge.
“He definitely could have avoided this.”