The struggle continues to be real for U.S. swimming star Ryan Lochte. His comeback from his epic fail while competing at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics has been put on hold, and he has no one to blame but himself…again.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency announced this morning they were slapping the gold medal-winning swimmer with a 14-month ban. What makes this case so unusual is that he didn’t use any banned substances but “his use of a prohibited method,” forced USADA’s hand. Lochte unknowingly broke the rule when he shared a now-deleted photo of himself on his Instagram page receiving an “athletic recovery” IV injection drip of vitamins back in May.
Thank goodness for screenshots.
Here is the USDA’s explanation of the infraction and Lochte’s ban:
“On May 24, 2018, Lochte, 33, posted an image on social media depicting himself receiving an intravenous infusion. A subsequent investigation by USADA, with which Lochte fully cooperated, revealed that Lochte received an intravenous infusion of permitted substances at an infusion clinic in a volume greater than 100 mL in a 12-hour period without a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).”
Lochte clearly learned from his last mishap in Rio when it comes to denying situations and immediately agreed with the suspension stating: “This is devastating for my family and me, and I was finally back in top shape. I know it sounds like a harsh penalty for something unintentional and where I didn’t put anything prohibitive in my body, but a rule is a rule and I accept that there is a technical violation in that I’ll have to.”
Lochte was aiming to make his comeback at the U.S. National Championships coming up this week but he can now forget that. This latest suspension also puts in doubt the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Even though he is banned from competing, Lochte vows to stay in shape and added: “I may be on the sideline from competition, but I’ll continue to train every day. I want nothing more than to earn the privilege to swim for my country in my fifth Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.”