Manchester:US Olympic superstar Michael Phelps said he sympathises with Tiger Woods's spectacular fall from grace.
Phelps, a 14-time Olympic gold medallist, knows what it's like to suffer public shame having been banned for three months after being pictured by a British tabloid holding a pipe used for smoking drugs.
"I'm wishing the best for him (Woods) and his family. At a time like this you see who your actual friends are and who supports you," said the 24-year-old American.
"He is going through a hard time right now I assume, I've no idea what he is going through, but it can't be easy."
Woods's problems have been steadily stacking up with his wife Elin Nordegren reportedly planning to divorce the disgraced billionaire golf star after the sex scandal that has halted his career.
ABC News, NBC News and People magazine said Wednesday the 29-year-old will split with Woods after he admitted infidelity amid reports that he had affairs with at least 14 women.
Phelps, in Manchester to take part in Friday's Duel in the Pool against swimmers from Great Britain, Italy and Germany, said his problems have helped him develop both professionally and personally.
"I'll be the first to admit I've made a lot of mistakes both in and out of the pool and, of the mistakes I made, I never made that mistake again," Phelps said.
"I think I've become a stronger person and I've helped other people not make the same mistakes that I made. So I feel I am a stronger person because of those."