Just when United States Swimmer Ryan Lochte was finally going to put his reputation back together and move on from the whole Rio incident, he’s hit with another roadblock and this one definitely had my scratching my head.
News broke late Monday that U.S. Anti-Doping Agency was suspending Lochte for 14 months following a picture he posted on social media showing him getting an IV. From what I have read and understand getting an IV is against the anti-doping rules since who knows exactly what Lochte was putting into his body through that IV.
And while the explanation makes sense since ya know doping is a HUGE problem throughout most Olympic sports, I’m not sure about a couple things surrounding his suspension.
The first problem for me is why this suspension took so long. Lochte posted the photo back in May and his suspension is just now being suspended? There is no way that even the most thorough investigation took this long, right? Especially since from all accounts coming out about this suspension is that Lochte fully cooperated with the investigation, so again why the length of investigation?
The second problem I have is that these kinds of suspensions are extremely rare, only two other athletes have been suspended for this kind of infraction. And it’s also been ten years since a US swimmer has been suspended for longer than a year, but given Lochte’s previous suspension I can kind of understand the long sentence. But doesn’t it feel like maybe somebody was out to get Lochte? Before I got full-on conspiracy-theorist I just wanted to plant the bug that it seems sketchy.
Since the Rio incident, Lochte has worked hard to repair his image focusing only on swimming and his adorable son. So for this to happen now, his reputation will take another hit and he could possibly lose more sponsors. He’s already lost four sponsors after Rio so this will only guarantee that he’ll lose more, especially since he’s gonna be out of the pool for so long.
The good news about the whole situation is that the USADA has decided to begin his suspension to May 24th when he posted the photo, so we’ll see if Lochte does continue training during his suspension and actually competes in the 2020 Olympic Games.