According to Sports Illustrated, Ryan Lochte will miss the 2017 world swimming championships as part of a 10-month ban by the United States Olympic Committee and USA Swimming. The ruling comes in the wake of Lochte’s conduct in a gas station incident during the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics; Lochte, along with three other swimmers, allegedly vandalized a gas station bathroom and were confronted by security guards about the incident. Seizing the opportunity to compound juvenile antics with a poorly constructed alibi, Lochte then claimed they were robbed at gunpoint by civilians impersonating as police (a.k.a. security guards).
Fellow US Olympic swimmers Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Condor have since admitted the story was made up and will also face sanctions, but Lochte is expected to receive the largest penalties. Presumably, the punishment reflects his role in elevating the fabrication to national news, as well as the cardinal sins of lying to Billy Bush’s face and incurring the wrath of Al Roker.
There’s also the lingering issue of false statements allegedly made to local law enforcement—but as USA Today reported, there are also some serious questions surrounding the validity of claims made by the Rio police. Put another way, while the U.S. may have introduced a bad element to Olympic water sports, it’s not like there wasn’t some pond scum already there. As for Lochte, observing the traditional custom of athletes exchanging personal scandal for celebrity and monetary gain, he’s already signed onto the next season of Dancing With The Stars.