NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Ryan Lochte is banned from swimming through next June and will forfeit $100,000 in bonus money that went with his gold medal at the Olympics, part of the penalty for his drunken encounter at a gas station in Brazil during last month’s games.
The U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Swimming announced the penalties Thursday. Lochte agreed to a ban that includes next year’s world championships.
He’ll get no monthly funding from either organization, can’t access USOC training centers, must perform 20 hours of community service and will miss Team USA’s post-Olympics trip to the White House.
Agreeing to four-month suspensions were Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen, who were with Lochte at the gas station. Those sanctions, which end Dec. 31, also strip funding and training access.
“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,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement. “Each of the athletes has accepted responsibility for his actions and accepted the appropriate sanctions.”
“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,” USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus said in a statement. “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.”
Lochte initially said that he and his fellow swimmers were robbed at gunpoint in a taxi by men with a police badge as they returned to the Olympic Village from a party on Aug. 15.
Instead, Brazilian police said the men vandalized the bathroom of the gas station while intoxicated, were questioned by guards, then paid for the damage and left.
Lochte has been charged by Brazilian authorities for filing a false robbery report.
Lochte has since apologized for the incident and said he over exaggerated about having a gun held to his head. He did admit that he destroyed a sign at the gas station, but said he “never even entered the bathroom.”
“I don’t know if I would consider it as robbery or extortion or us just paying a fine,” he said last month. “Just paying up for the poster being ripped.”
He also said he never actually filled out a police report.
In the wake of the incident, some of Lochte’s sponsors, including Speedo, dropped the Olympic athlete.
Lochte has also said he has offered to reimburse Feigen for a nearly $11,000 fine Feigen paid to resolve legal issues and leave the country.
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