Swimmer Ryan Lochte Suspended For 14 Months

Ryan Lochte, center, celebrate winning gold in the Men's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ryan Lochte's troubled path since a late night out in Rio de Janeiro two years ago took another weird twist Monday with the announcement of a 14-month suspension by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. This image prompted an investigation by U.S. Swimming. While the substance is legal, it is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency without a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). Lochte was not using a banned substance, according to the Associated Press, but anti-doping rules prohibit athletes from receiving IVs unless related to a hospitalization or through an exemption.

The violation was revealed by Lochte himself on social media when he posted a photo of himself getting the IV on May 24.

This week could have been a significant step forward for Lochte, who was entered in four events at the USA championships at Irvine, California, and was preparing to compete in what would have been his biggest competition since the Rio Games.

It is his second suspension since the Rio Olympics.

"Ryan didn't want to get sick or start feeling run down since he's been training so he was trying to prevent getting sick".

Lochte has won six gold three silver and three bronze Olympic medals
Lochte has won six gold three silver and three bronze Olympic medals

"I know it sounds like a harsh penalty for something unintentional and where I didn't put anything prohibited in my body, but a rule's a rule and I accept that there was a technical violation and that I'll have to do this consequences", Lochte said.

"I wasn't taking anything illegal", said Lochte.

The agency announced on Monday that Lochte, 33, accepted his suspension for "his use of a prohibited month", Deadspin reports. I was swimming fast.

Lochte's punishment officially began on May 24 and will be suspended until July 2019. And I know there's other athletes that don't know this rule.

However, he still intends to return at Tokyo 2020 in a bid to add to his haul of six Olympic titles.

But he returned in 2017 at the U.S. Open, declaring himself wiser and more responsible after fathering a child. 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.

  • Jacqueline Ellis