Swimmer Ryan Lochte, the 12-time Olympic medalist who claimed to have been assaulted by armed men with badges during the Olympics last month, has been suspended for 10 months, according to reports.
USA Today, quoting an anonymous source it says has knowledge or the situation, said the suspension was given jointly by the International Olympic Committee, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Swimming. The decision has not been announced publicly.
Lochte is also banned from the 2017 world championship meet scheduled for July in Budapest, USA Today reported.
According to TMZ.com, the other three swimmers involved in the incident – Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen – face shorter suspensions. At least one of them, Jack Conger, will be suspended for four months, The Washington Post reported.
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By comparison, swimmer Michael Phelps was suspended for six months in 2014 following a second DUI arrest.
Lochte originally claimed he and his companions had been held up in a taxi early Aug. 14. They were pulled over by armed men who flashed badges and demanded money, they said. Lochte said that a gun had been pointed at his forehead.
Lochte left Brazil the day after the alleged hold-up, before the story began to unravel, but Conger and Bentz were pulled off an airplane on Aug. 17 and ordered to provide testimony to investigators. On Aug. 19 the Rio de Janeiro chief of police said during a news conference that the four Americans, drunk, had vandalized the station’s restroom and lied about an assault to cover it up.
Lochte apologized on the Today show on Aug. 20 for “not being more careful and candid,” but by then the damage had been done, as Brazilians considered their national reputation tarnished. Brazilian authorities say they are still pursuing charges of filing a false police report against Lochte. Lochte also lost four sponsors, including Speedo and Ralph Lauren.
USA Today later reported that Lochte and his compatriots had been held at gunpoint at the gas station and forced to pay the equivalent of $50 for alleged damage to an advertising sign. The swimmers never went into the restroom, which was locked, USA Today said.