Swimming: Lochte banned 10 months - reports | Inquirer Sports

Swimming: Lochte banned 10 months – reports

/ 08:30 AM September 08, 2016
(FILES) This file photo taken on August 03, 2016 shows US swimmer Ryan Lochte holding a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, two days ahead of the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Star American swimmer Ryan Lochte said August 20, 2016 he took "full responsibility" for vandalizing a gas station bathroom and then telling police an "overexaggerated" story about it during the Rio Olympics. The episode, which has embarrassed the US sporting superpower, saw Lochte and three other gold-winning US swimmers embroiled in a controversy after he gave a shocking -- and false -- account of how they had been robbed at gunpoint.  / AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU

This file photo taken on August 03, 2016, shows US swimmer Ryan Lochte holding a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, two days ahead of the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.  AFP

LOS ANGELES, United States — US swimmer Ryan Lochte has been hit with a 10-month suspension following his bogus gunpoint robbery story during a drunken night out at the Olympics, two separate media reports said Wednesday.

Lochte, 32, has been suspended until mid-2017 the USA Today newspaper reported citing a person with knowledge of the situation. He would also be banned from next year’s World Championships in Budapest.

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READ: Media reports: Mom of swimmer Ryan Lochte says he was robbed

A United States Olympic Committee (USOC) spokesman declined to confirm the reports when contacted by AFP for comment. USA Today said a statement confirming the suspension would be issued on Thursday.

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Lochte’s suspension was first reported by the TMZ.com entertainment news website.

The site said three other swimmers involved in the escapade were suspended for varying periods up to four months.

Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist, has lost a slew of sponsorship deals following the Rio escapade.

READ: Sponsors drop Lochte after Rio scandal

He was charged by Brazilian police last month of making a false report about being robbed at gunpoint during a night out.

Lochte had already left the country by the time the charges were filed.

The Olympic gold medal winner had told the media in Rio that he and three teammates had been mugged after an all-night party by robbers pretending to be police.

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The tale humiliated first the Brazilian hosts of the Games and later Lochte’s own Team USA, after police determined that he had largely fabricated his story.

Lochte, who is now seeking to rehabilitate his public image with an appearance on upcoming reality show “Dancing With the Stars” has apologized for his behavior.

“I’m taking full responsibility for it,” Lochte said in a television interview.

“I over-exaggerated that story and if I had never done that, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

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TAGS: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro., Rio Olympics, Ryan Lochte, Sports, Swimming
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