The U.S. Olympic Committee announced Thursday that gold medalist Ryan Lochte has been suspended from swimming events for 10 months over an incident at a Rio gas station during the Olympics last month. Lochte will be banned from the 2017 world championship meet in Budapest in July, and you won’t see Lochte at the White House for the traditional congratulatory visit/photo op.
The 12-time Olympic medalist was charged with filing a false police report over his now self-described “embellished” story of a robbery near the end of the Rio Summer Games. In addition to the embarrassment of it all, he lost four endorsement deals in the wake of the scandal that consumed the final days of the Olympics for U.S. media. He and three other U.S. swimmers were accused of vandalizing a gas station bathroom after a night of drinking. The swimmers originally said they were held up at gunpoint during the incident, prompting a police investigation that revealed multiple inconsistencies in those accounts.
Lochte’s three companions in the incident — Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger — have been suspended from the U.S. national team for four months, the USOC announced this morning.
Lochte’s punishment means he’s out of the 2017 national championships — which, in turn, makes him ineligible for the world championships. He has forfeited his Rio Games gold-medal bonus and must perform 20 hours of community service.
Bentz has to perform 10 hours of community service, but that’s because he broke USA Swimming’s Olympic Village curfew for athletes under 21.
Lochte and the others also will have to do without their monthly stipend from USA Swimming or the USOC during their suspensions. And they no longer are invited to the U.S. swimming team’s upcoming White House visit
The suspension won’t get in the way of Lochte’s next gig — one that doesn’t involve competitive swimming. He’ll make his debut next week on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars.
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