Ryan Lochte suspended 10 months by USOC, USA Swimming
The United States Olympic Committee and USA Swimming have suspended Ryan Lochte 10 months and banned him from the 2017 world swimming championships, USA Swimming announced Thursday.
In addition to Lochte, the USOC also banned Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, James Feigen for four months for their behavior and actions at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in which they allegedly vandalized a gas station bathroom.
Lochte has been suspended from domestic and international USA Swimming national team competitions for 10 months, which will run through June 30, 2017.
The suspension including the 2017 National Championships, which renders him ineligible for the 2017 FINA World Championships.
While he serves his suspension, he will not receive a monthly stipend from USA Swimming or the USOC. He will not be able to train at any of the USOC training centers. Lochte will be forced to give up any medal funding for his gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games and perform 20 hours of community service.
Bentz will also perform 10 hours of community service for violating an U.S. swimming curfew rule placed on athletes under the age of 21.
None of the swimmers will be permitted to join Team USA for its White House visit later this month or the USA Swimming’s annual “Golden Goggles” event in 2016.
“As we have said previously, the behavior of these athletes was not acceptable. It unfairly maligned our hosts and diverted attention away from the historic achievements of Team USA,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “Each of the athletes has accepted responsibility for his actions and accepted the appropriate sanctions. We look forward to focusing our energy on the Paralympic Games and the incredible men and women representing our country in Rio.”
The incident occurred after the swimmers were done competing and partied in Rio. In the following days, Lochte's mother said her son was robbed at gunpoint, which Lochte initially recounted on national television. Police launched an investigation and the swimmers met with authorities. The timeline of events changed over time and Lochte admitted to exaggerating the story.
GALLERY: The Most High-Profile Suspensions in American Sports History
It was later determined that Lochte and Feigen had made false statements to police. Bentz and Conger were regarded as witnesses. Bentz did claim that the athletes did not vandalize the gas station bathroom. Some of the accounts reported by the police were later found to be exaggerated as well, according an investigation by to USA Today.
Bentz and Condor were pulled off their plane as they tried to return to the United States but boarded flights later that week. Feigen paid $11,000 settlement to avoid charges in Brazil.
Rio authorities will try to pursue charges against Lochte for filing a false police report. Lochte is back in the United States and denied the allegations that he made false statements to police.