Olympian Michael Phelps has been yanked from Calgary’s Power Within conference amid controversy and negative publicity.

Despite previous comments by Power Within president Salim Khoja, who said Phelps would still be coming to Calgary, the inspirational conference will feature actor Martin Sheen instead.

“Due to the widely publicized alleged use of marijuana by Michael Phelps, the decision has been made to present the program without Mr. Phelps’ participation,” stated the release by Toronto-based Power Within of its March 3 conference.

Rob Lewis, president of Techvibes, was holding a contest on his blog giving away tickets with a promise to see the athlete and wasn’t surprised to hear the news.

“He was certainly the biggest media draw,” Lewis said, adding the decision “makes sense” and that he’d still be giving out the tickets so people could hear the eight other feature speakers.

Though he couldn’t speak for his readers, he assumed that while some might be disappointed “people … are interested in going for lots of reasons.”