Swimming: Michael Phelps arrested on DUI charge

Michael Phelps reacts after placing seventh in the 100m freestyle in the 2014 USA National Championships in Irvine, California, in this file photo taken on Aug 6, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Michael Phelps reacts after placing seventh in the 100m freestyle in the 2014 USA National Championships in Irvine, California, in this file photo taken on Aug 6, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Olympic swimming superstar Michael Phelps was arrested on Tuesday in his home state of Maryland and charged with driving under the influence, police said.

Phelps was pulled over in the early hours after his white Land Rover was clocked at 135 kilometres, nearly double the speed limit, in Baltimore's Fort McHenry Tunnel, Maryland Transportation Authority Police said.

"He was unable to perform satisfactorily a series of standard field sobriety tests," it added in a statement distributed to local media.

The 29-year-old has been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), excessive speed and crossing double lane lines, it added.

It was the second time that Phelps - the most decorated Olympian of all time - has been arrested on DUI-related charges, according to the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

Ten years ago, Phelps pleaded guilty to driving while impaired in rural Maryland, for which he was sentenced to 18 months' probation, it recalled.

Phelps, with 18 Olympic gold medals to his name, retired from competitive swimming after the 2012 Olympics in London, but launched a comeback earlier this year, possibly looking at one more Olympic run.

Last month, he made a dazzling return to international competition when he picked up three gold medals at the Pan Pacific Championships in Australia.

His strong showing - under the guidance of his longtime coach Bob Bowman - bolstered hopes that he might compete for the United States at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.