Swimmer Ryan Lochte Banned 14 Months After Doping Social Media Controversy
U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte is no stranger to controversy and not-so-smart decision making, especially following the scandal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, in which he lied about being robbed when in actuality he had drunkenly vandalized a local gas station. The act caused him to lose sponsorships and resulted in a 10 month ban, and it looks like things are only getting worse following an ill-advised social media post.
Lochte posted a picture of himself receiving a substance from an IV on May 24. After an investigation by the US Anti-Doping Agency, it was deemed that the substance itself, a specific sort of Vitamin-B complex, was legal, but that Lochte had exceeded the legal limit of 100 milliliters. As is the case, the USADA has banned Lochte from competitive swimming for 14 months, stemming from this past May and continuing on to July of 2019.
Lochte issued a statement in which he said, “It’s devastating to my family about this because I definitely made myself a better person after Rio, and I was back in training. I was feeling good. I was swimming fast. My son being born. Everything was happening. Everything was perfect, and then this happened. And it’s devastating. As soon as you get to a certain point or level, in any kind of sport career, you’re always going to have an eye on you. I think I’ve learned it the hard way. Definitely. Especially since Rio. And now this.”
The 12-time Olympic medalist claims to have not been aware of the rule, stating that it was a “newer” one. He’s not entirely wrong, as it was instituted back in 2012, but the ironic part is that the current rule actually upped the allowed amount of the substance from 50 milliliters to 100 milliliters. So even if he weren’t aware of the new rule, the old one would have seen him incur an even more drastic violation.
Lochte said, “It’s a hard sanction because I didn’t take anything illegal, but a rule is a rule. I wasn’t too clear on the rules, but now I am. And I know there’s other athletes that don’t know this rule. I want to help them and make sure that other athletes don’t make the same mistake I did.”
He also promised to change his social media habits, saying “I’m just going to post on my son and my wife, leave everything else out.”
Due to the suspension, Lochte will miss this August’s Pan Pacific Championships, as well as the 2019 World Aquatics Championship. However, he does plan on swimming in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, at which point he will be 36-years-old.