Putting his swimming career on hold after his second drink-driving arrest, Olympic champion Michael Phelps began a six-week programme that he said "will provide the help I need to better understand myself". The most successful athlete in Olympic history made the announcement in a series of posts on his Twitter account. I recognise that this is not my first lapse in judgment, and I am extremely disappointed with myself Michael Phelps According to his representatives, Phelps entered an in-patient programme that will keep him from competing at least until mid-November, though there was no indication he planned to give up swimming. "The past few days have been extremely difficult," Phelps said. "I recognise that this is not my first lapse in judgment, and I am extremely disappointed with myself. I'm going to take some time away to attend a programme that will provide the help I need to better understand myself." He added, "Swimming is a major part of my life, but right now I need to focus my attention on me as an individual, and do the necessary work to learn from this experience and make better decisions in the future." The 29-year-old Phelps was arrested early last Tuesday and charged with drunken driving in his native Baltimore. Police said he failed a series of field sobriety tests and had a blood-alcohol content of 0.14 per cent, well above the legal limit of 0.08. Phelps retired after the 2012 Olympics in London, having won a record 18 gold medals and 22 medals overall. But he returned to competition this year with the goal of making the 2016 Rio Games. His comeback has produced encouraging results, including three golds and two silvers at the Pan Pacific Championships in August. Now, swimming is on the backburner. A statement from sports agnecy Octagon said Phelps was entering "a comprehensive programme that will help him focus on all of his life experiences and identify areas of need for long-term personal growth and development". "Michael takes this matter seriously and intends to share his learning experiences with others in the future," it said. Chuck Wielgus, the executive director of USA Swimming, praised Phelps for entering a programme. The governing body suspended him for three months in 2009 after a photo emerged showing Phelps using a marijuana pipe, even though he was not charged.