USA Today is reporting that Charlotte’s swimming bad boy, Ryan Lochte, is going on “Dancing with the Stars.”
Lochte is said to be “locking down a deal” that was in the works before he made international headlines with an exaggerated robbery report made during the Rio Olympics. The crime report has proven an embarrassed for the U.S. Olympic team, which is weighing possible steps against Lochte and three team mates involved.
The 23rd season of “Dancing with the Stars” premieres Sept. 12. USA Today says their source spoke on condition of anonymity because the addition of Lochte has not been announced publicly.
Lochte, the 12-time Olympic medalist, trains in Charlotte, but has suggested he may begin training elsewhere. People magazine reported last weekend that Lochte returned to his Charlotte apartment and was spotted out with his girlfriend, Playboy Playmate Kayla Rae Reid, despite claims at the Olympics that he was single.
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He has kept a low profile since the leaving Rio due to media covered of his robbery report, in which he claimed to have been held by gunman with badges at a gas station. Brazilian officials have said those “gunman” were in fact police officers responding to call that Lochte had been involved in vandalism at the gas station.
Lochte issued a qualified apology for exaggerating the story last week.
“I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend – for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics,” Lochte said in a statement that he linked to from his Twitter feed.
Earlier this week, sponsors including Speedo USA and Ralph Lauren dropped Lochte as a spokesman after authorities in Rio de Janeiro said he fabricated the robbery story.
Lochte moved to Charlotte in October 2013 to train under SwimMAC Carolina’s head coach David Marsh. He told the Observer in March that he might leave the city by the end of the year, either to train or to simply retire. Lochte’s best friend, fellow Olympic gold-medalist swimmer Cullen Jones, was among those who helped persuade Lochte to move to Charlotte 2 1/2 years ago.