After the absolute fiasco that was Ryan Lochte going to Brazil for the Rio Olympics, the US swimmer has now officially been banned from swimming for 10 months.
Lochte got into a helluva lot of trouble, after he came out saying he’d been mugged at gunpoint in the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Not long after, it came out that he’d had actually gotten piss-ass drunk with a couple of other teammates, and trashed a petrol station – they broke a sign, and urinated everywhere. Armed guards stopped the swimmers from leaving before they paid the owner.
The owner told press,
“They stopped next to the gas station, and urinated outside right next to the gas station. We even have images of one of the athlete’s butts, as he is pulling up his pants.”
So, as punishment, Lochte is banned from swimming. If anyone so much as spots him takin’ a dip, he will be put to death!! … Noooo, not really.
But he is banned from United States Olympic Committee (USOC) pools and centres for 10 months, as well as:
- forfeit bonus money from the Games
- forfeit monthly funding he receives from USOC and USA Swimming
- perform 20 hours of community service
- miss Team USA‘s post-Olympics trip to the White House
He will also miss next year’s national championships, and will therefore not be eligible for the world championships in July.
His team mates who were also involved in the incidents received similar, but shorter punishments.
Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen will be suspended from swimming competitions for four months, and won’t receive funding from USOC/USA Swimming. They’re also banned from training facilities, and don’t get to attend the White House. Bentz will also perform 10 hours of community service, due to violating the curfew placed on athletes under 21.
USOC announced the swimmers’ punishments early this morning in the US, with CEO Scott Blackmun saying in a statement,
“As we have said previously, the behaviour of these athletes was not acceptable. It unfairly maligned our hosts and diverted attention away from the historic achievements of Team USA.Each of the athletes has accepted responsibility for his actions and accepted the appropriate sanctions.”
Lochte‘s attorney Jeff Ostrow said they accepted the punishment, but still asked people to reconsider the severity:
“We accept the decision as we believe it is in everyone’s best interest to move forward. Ryan is grateful to be a member of the U.S. Olympic team and USA Swimming.He recognises his lapse in judgment, and is looking forward to continuing his training, volunteer work with kids, and resuming his swimming career next year with an eye toward representing his country at the 2020 Olympic games in Japan.That said, in my opinion, while the collective sanctions appear to be harsh when considering what actually happened that day — Ryan did not commit a crime, he did not put the public safety at risk, and he did not cheat in his sport — we will leave it to others to evaluate the appropriateness of the penalties.”
So – we guess Lochte better start focussing hard on ‘Dancing with the Stars‘ – it’s the only freestyle he’ll be doing for the next 10 months.
Photo: Matt Hazlett / Getty.