Ryan Lochte could spend more time dancing with the stars after being handed a 10-month suspension from swimming by the United States Olympic Committee and USA Swimming on Thursday. The punishment for his involvement in the drunken incident in Brazil during the recently concluded Olympics will mean Lochte will not participate in the national and world swimming championships in 2017.
As part of his punishment, Lochte must also perform 20 hours of community service.
Along with Lochte, three other U.S. swimmers who were involved in the incident have also been punished. Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen will each serve four months of suspension. Bentz, who is 20, was handed 10 hours of community service as well for breaking a curfew applicable in Rio de Janeiro to U.S. swimmers under 21.
Effective immediately, the suspension bars the four swimmers from using any U.S. Olympic Committee training facilities, and the athletes will not receive their monthly stipends during the period of suspension, according to a joint statement by the committee and USA Swimming.
“As we have said previously, the behavior of these athletes was not acceptable. It unfairly maligned our hosts and diverted attention away from the historic achievements of Team USA. Each of the athletes has accepted responsibility for his actions and accepted the appropriate sanctions,” U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said in the statement.
Lochte and the other three swimmers had said they had been robbed at gunpoint while stopping at a gas station in Rio. But it later emerged that they had vandalized the station after drinking at a bar, and then had paid money toward the damage they caused. Armed security at the station had shown their weapons to the athletes but the story about being robbed was a lie, as was shown clearly by CCTV footage of the incident.