Now retired from competitive swimming, Michael Phelps is working to help other high-profile athletes dealing with mental illness, scandal and stigma.
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By Kiley Bense
Friday, September 22, 2017

According to a new report in the New York Times, Michael Phelps phoned Tiger Woods after news of his arrest broke to provide some support for the beleaguered golfer.

Phelps was very publicly arrested for DUI in 2004 and 2014, so he is as apt to understand Woods's current situation as anyone. According to Phelps, the contact has been "on and off" but that the conversation eventually got better as it reached a greater comfort level. Phelps was given Woods's contact information by Woods's old Stanford pal Notah Begay III. "Michael can provide honest and direct feedback, and that’s what athletes of their caliber need the most," Begay said of the advice that Phelps could offer Woods.

Phelps's long struggle to deal with a toxic mix of fame, scandal, pressure, anxiety and depression has inspired him to reach out to other athletes who may be silently suffering from the same problems. He called Woods's arrest earlier this year "a massive scream for help." Woods's DUI arrest occurred on May 29, of which the toxicology report found five different drugs in his system.

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