Six-time Olympic champion Ryan Lochte is slated to make his return to competitive swimming next week after serving a 14-month suspension.
The swimmer posted a picture of himself receiving an intravenous vitamin infusion at a clinic on May 24, 2018, and was handed his ban a month later (retroactive to the date he received the treatment). Lochte's suspension officially ended Wednesday, according to swimming news site SwimSwam.
Thursday, USA Swimming announced the 34-year-old will compete at its 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships next week, to be held at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Lochte is entered to race the 200 and 400 individual medleys, 200 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 100 fly. He is the reigning world record holder in the 200 IM.
It's been a tumultuous few years for the star, whose infamy came to a head with his 2016 "Lochtegate" gas station incident at the Rio Olympics. The ordeal landed him a 10-month suspension that concluded in the summer of 2017. Since then, he's gotten married, had two children, and starred on Celebrity Big Brother, among other professional endeavors, all the while maintaining that he was still trying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
His results next week carry little immediate weight: he only must rank in the top six Americans in any Olympic event by the beginning of September in order to qualify for the U.S. National Team, and its funding, for the 2019-2020 season, according to SwimSwam.
Lochte, who trains at the University of Florida, has only logged 24 races since Rio, where he won a gold medal on the American men's 4x200 freestyle relay. The U.S. Olympic Trials take place in Omaha, Nebraska, next June. The top two Americans in each individual event will make the Tokyo team