- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 8, 2016

U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte has been given a 10-month suspension by both USA Swimming and the United States Olympic Committee following Lochte’s bizarre incident at the Rio Olympic Games.

Lochte, 32, will be banned from the 2017 world championship meet in Budapest in July.

According to an anonymous source who spoke with USA Today, Lochte’s 10-month suspension will be longer than the suspensions given to Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen or Gunnar Bentz, the other three swimmers involved in the incident.

After a night of partying following the conclusion of the swimming events at the Olympics, Lochte claimed that he and the three other swimmers were held at gunpoint and robbed of their money at a gas station. Lochte and the three swimmers filed a police report of the incident. But as the week rolled on, details of the incident began to emerge that did not match Lochte’s version of the story.

According to Rio police Chief Fernando Veloso, Lochte and the three swimmers broke into the gas station bathroom, vandalized the soap dispenser and mirror and vandalized an advertisement sign, then tried to leave without paying for the damages.

Video surveillance showed that Lochte and the three swimmers did have a gun pointed at them, but not in the manner in which Lochte described. Additionally, the video shows that Lochte and the swimmers did turn over money. The video does not show any of Chief Veloso’s claims.

The incident put a black mark on the Rio Games, which had been plagued by prior incidents of robbery and kidnapping of athletes, sanitary concerns and dangerous conditions.

The USOC issued a public apology for what was described as a “distracting ordeal in the midst of what should rightly be a celebration of excellence.”

Authorities determined that Lochte and Feigen had made false police reports. Bentz and Conger were treated as witnesses.

Prior to leaving the country, Feigen paid $11,000 to avoid charges. Rio police say they will pursue charges against Lochte, who left Rio shortly after the incident, for filling a false police report.

Since the incident, Lochte has lost all four of his sponsorship deals. Speedo, Gentle Hair Removal and Airweave terminated their deals with the swimmer, while Ralph Lauren opted to not renew its deal that ran through the Rio Olympics, according to ESPN.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide