Ryan Lochte: US swimmer given 14-month ban for doping violation
- Author: Marlene Weaver Jul 24, 2018,
Jul 24, 2018, 1:47
Ryan Lochte, 33, won't be seen swimming for US for a year.
"Lochte received an intravenous infusion of permitted substances at an infusion clinic", the USADA announcement of the suspension said.
"On May 24, Lochte posted an image on social media depicting himself receiving an intravenous infusion".
Lochte, who has been training with hopes of making the US Olympic team in 2020, had been expected to swim at this week's national championships in California.
Lochte only recently returned from a 10-month suspension after he fabricated a tale about being robbed and held at gunpoint at the Rio Olympics - although the swimmer claimed he simply "over-exaggerated" what happened. He was banned for 10 months after claiming he and three other USA swimmers were robbed at gunpoint at those 2016 Games, a tale that quickly unraveled.
This isn't the first time Lochte has been suspended. "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 [accept the consequences]. Intravenous infusions or injections in a volume greater than 100 mL within a 12-hour period are prohibited at all times - except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital treatment, surgical procedures, or clinical diagnostic investigations under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the Fédération Internationale de Natation Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List".
Lochte said he won't give up on swimming.
"I wasn't taking anything illegal", said Lochte.
Suspensions for use of an IV are extremely rare: The USADA database shows only two other athletes being sanctioned for using such a method, one of them getting a six-month suspension and the other a 14-month ban.
"I've been swimming my whole life and I've been monitored by Usada for my entire competitive career", he said.
The agency announced on Monday that Lochte, 33, accepted his suspension for "his use of a prohibited month", Deadspin reports.
"I should know better", Lochte said.
Lochte returned to competition past year, most notably winning the 200-meter individual medley at the U.S. Open.
"I'm just going to post on my son and my wife, leave everything else out", Lochte added. He won Olympic gold in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016, and if he found a way to win another in Tokyo he would be the oldest Olympic swimming champion.