Six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Ryan Lochte has accepted a 14-month suspension for his use of a prohibited intravenous infusion, the US anti-doping agency (USADA) said on Monday. "Intravenous infusions of injections in a volume greater than 100 ml within a 12-hour period are prohibited at all times - except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital treatment, surgical procedures or clinical diagnostic investigations..."
A subsequent investigation by USADA, with which Lochte is said to have fully cooperated, revealed that he received an intravenous infusion of permitted substances at an infusion clinic in a volume greater than 100 millilitres in a 12-hour period without a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).
Danielle Eurich, social media and media relations specialist with USADA, confirmed that the post below, which Lochte uploaded in May, launched a USADA investigation that resulted in a 14 month suspension from competitions.
Lochte only recently returned from a 10-month suspension after he fabricated a tale about being robbed and held at gunpoint at the Rio Olympics - although the swimmer claimed he simply "over-exaggerated" what happened. He was banned for 10 months after falsely claiming he and three other United States of America swimmers were robbed at gunpoint in 2016 Games. He said the IV contained B-12 and other vitamins that could be purchased at any pharmacy.
"A rule is a rule and I accept that there is a technical violation", Lochte said.
US anti-doping officials said Lochte, who was holding a news conference Monday in South Florida to discuss the matter, was not taking a banned substance.
In a press conference today shortly after the suspension announcement, Lochte explained the situation: "I wasn't taking anything illegal".
That is now impossible, though, as he is banned from competition until July 23, 2019, a week and a half before his 35th birthday.
He said Monday he remained committed to swimming at the Olympics again. And I know there's other athletes that don't know this rule.
After Rio, Lochte was dropped by at least four major sponsors including Speedo USA and Ralph Lauren, though he has added some endorsement deals since. He was also apparently targeted by two men wearing T-shirts bearing an anti-Lochte message who rushed the stage while he was competing on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars".
"I have goals that I want to accomplish in 2020", Lochte said. My son being born.
Lochte had been training towards making the US Olympic team in 2020. He won gold medals at the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Games and if he found a way to win another in Tokyo he would become the oldest Olympic swimming champion. "If anything this is going to add more fuel to my fire".