COLORADO SPRINGS, Sept. 7 (UPI) — Four-time Olympic American swimmer Ryan Lochte will not be able to compete for nearly a year and will sit out next year’s world championships in Hungary — all punishment for the controversy he stirred last month in Rio de Janeiro, according to news reports Wednesday.
The International Olympic Committee, United States Olympic Committee and USA Swimming jointly decided on the 10-month suspension, USA Today reported Wednesday.
Entertainment outlet TMZ also reported the 10-month punishment.
The news reports cited an anonymous official with knowledge of the proceedings, as no official announcement of potential sanctions for Lochte has been made.
Olympic disciplinary officials have been reviewing Lochte’s case for weeks since the Aug. 14 incident at a Rio gas station. That morning, the 12-time Olympic medalist claimed he and three teammates had been robbed at gunpoint.
It was later discovered by police that no armed robbery had occurred and officials said they believed the claim was a cover story concocted to hide the intoxicated Lochte’s actions at the gas station — where he’d vandalized a poster and urinated on a wall outside the store.
The other three U.S. swimmers present at the gas station, each of whom won gold at the Rio games, will receive lighter punishments, USA Today’s report said.Lochte left Brazil to return to the United States before police could question him. Last month, Rio de Janeiro officials charged Lochte with filing a false report.
Upon his return to the United States, Lochte apologized for “exaggerating” the truth and said he’d learned his lesson.
It was a costly lesson, though. His four major sponsors — Speedo USA, Ralph Lauren, Airweave and Gentle Hair Removal — all dropped Lochte from their sponsorships, costing the swimmer an estimated $1 million.
A few days later, however, it was announced that Lochte will appear on the upcoming season of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”