Ryan Lochte Suspended From USA Swimming Team for 10 Months, Loses $100,000 Bonus Check After Rio Scandal
By Jackie Willis
The United States Olympic Committee and USA Swimming revealed the disciplinary measures they are taking with Ryan Lochte and the three swimmers for "violations of each organization's code of conduct."
While in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Lochte claimed that he and three teammates -- Gunnar Bentz, James Feigen and Jack Conger -- were coming home after a night of partying when their taxi was pulled over by men pretending to be Rio police. He said that one of the robbers pointed a gun at his forehead and stole their money. He later altered his story, saying that the group wasn't pulled over but instead, they were robbed at a gas station after having the taxi pull over so they could use the restroom.
Lochte will have to serve 20 hours of community service and will be suspended from domestic and international USA Swimming national team competitions for 10 months, including the 2017 National Championships, which renders him ineligible for the 2017 FINA World Championships. While suspended, Lochte is not to have access to the training centers or other facilities of the USOC and will not receive a monthly stipend.
He also forfeits all USOC and USA Swimming medal funding for his gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games, which includes a $100,000 bonus check, and will not be permitted to join Team USA at the White House visit or the USA Swimming's annual Golden Goggles event.
As for Bentz, Feigen and Conger, they will be suspended for four months without a stipend and, like Lochte, will not be permitted to attend the White House visit or the Golden Goggles. Bentz, 20, was also slapped with 10 hours community service for violating the curfew rule placed on athletes under the age of 21.
Bentz tweeted a statement on Thursday following the USOC and USA Swimming's verdict. "I have learned a lot throughout this experience and look forward to a great season with my UGA teammates!" he wrote. "I fully accept the punishment for my involvement in this matter. I have learned a valuable life lesson. I am anxious to move on, and I look forward to a great season with my Georgia teammates."
I have learned a lot throughout this experience and look forward to a great season with my UGA teammates! pic.twitter.com/MzU0ht6Ffn
"Well, they've been asking for me to be on the [show] for, like, five years now, and with training and the Olympics, I couldn't take that time off," he explained. "But now that I'm taking a mental break and everything, I can do the show. So, I decided I was going to do it before the Olympics, and then we finally signed the papers and everything after."