Lochte hit with 10-month ban

Ryan Lochte will miss the FINA World Championships in Budapest next year after the American swimmer was banned for 10 months for his part in the false robbery scandal during the Rio Olympic Games.

Lochte alleged that he was robbed at gunpoint along with United States team-mates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen at a petrol station after attending a party in Brazil last month.

The 32-year-old was charged with making a false statement after admitting he had "over-exaggerated" his story and apologised for his "immature behaviour".

It was announced by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and USA Swimming on Thursday that Lochte will serve a 10-month ban, which will end on June 30 next year, and must carry out 20 hours of community service.

Lochte said the episode had been "blown out of proportion", but has accepted the sanctions which will prevent him from racing in the National Championships next year and subsequently the World Championships in July.

Bentz, Conger and Feigen, who also won relay golds in Brazil, have been banned for four months and Bentz will carry out 10 hours of community service for violating a USA Swimming Olympic Village curfew given he is under the age of 21.

The quartet will also miss out on a Team USA visit to the White House to celebrate their success at the Games.

USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said: "As we have said previously, the behaviour 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. We look forward to focusing our energy on the Paralympic Games and the incredible men and women representing our country in Rio."

USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus stated: "During an otherwise extraordinary Olympic Games, a small group of athletes had lapses in judgement and conduct that are unacceptable and not consistent with our expectations. 

“When Code of Conduct infractions occur, it’s our responsibility to take action that reflects the seriousness of what happened.

"Unfortunately, this storyline took attention away from the athletes who deserved it the most. 

“These athletes took accountability for their mistakes and are committed to represent themselves and our country with the great character and distinction we expect."



Photo: Getty Images