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Since his arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) back in May, Tiger Woods has been receiving advice and support from an unlikely source: 23-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps.

According to a report in the New York Times, Phelps reached out to Woods in the wake of his very public ordeal, which saw dashcam footage of his 3am arrest by the roadside not for from his Florida home beamed to the world.

A toxicology report revealed no alcohol in Woods’s system but a mix of four prescription drugs and Phelps, a keen golfer who was around the US team room at the 2016 Ryder Cup, gave an abrupt assessment of what he thought when he heard the news.

“I feel like that’s a massive scream for help,” he said.

The swimmer probably understands more than most what the 14-time major winner has gone through. Twice he has been arrested for DUI – the second time for being almost twice the speed limit – while was also pictured in a tabloid holding a bong at a private party.

Michael Phelps

After spending time in a treatment centre to deal with anxiety and depression and becoming aware of how difficult it is for many people to reach out for help, Phelps now speaks publicly about mental illness and got in touch with Woods through his friend Notah Begay III.

“Michael can provide honest and direct feedback, and that’s what athletes of their caliber need the most,” added Begay, who said the pair’s first phone call last two hours.

“Athletes at their level of accomplishment, they have 100 people lined up around the corner trying to sell something to them or do something for them, and it’s hard to filter out, to decide, who is looking out for their best interests.”

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