There are some who say that Ryan Lochte, who just welcomed the birth of his son last year, is the dumb man’s Michael Phelps.
Remember when some douche recorded Phelps smoking weed at a party and got him suspended? Well, the stupid version of that just happened to Lochte.
Ryan Lochte has been given a 14-month suspension … over a rule-violating photo that he himself uploaded to social media.
The famous (and infamous) Olympian was due to make a comeback at the U.S. National Championships this week.
This suspension is such that he’ll also miss next year’s Championships.
In fact, even his participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is in question.
Why? Believe it or not, it isn’t over marijuana use. He didn’t use any illegal substance.
Take a look at the photo that he uploaded to his own Instagram:
According to the USADA, this just-for-fun IV of vitamins is a policy violation.
“On May 24, 2018, Lochte, 33, posted an image on social media depicting himself receiving an intravenous infusion.”
Folks with a fear of needles must be shaking their heads at the idea of a man being hooked up to an IV without any medical need.
“A subsequent investigation by USADA,” the report reads. “With which Lochte fully cooperated …”
The investigation “revealed that Lochte received an intravenous infusion of permitted substances at an infusion clinic.”
Unfortunately, thought he substances were permitted, he received them “in a volume greater than 100 mL in a 12-hour period without a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).”
“Intravenous infusions or injections in a volume greater than 100 mL within a 12-hour period are prohibited at all times,” the USADA explains.
So you can’t get pumped full of anything, apparently.
He wasn’t getting some kind of supersoldier serum — he was getting what sounds like a vitamin-laced placebo.
This policy isn’t unreasonable, as they say “except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital treatment, surgical procedures, or clinical diagnostic investigations under the USADA Protocol.”
In other words, actual medical needs won’t disqualify you.
Getting an injection for funsies, on the other hand, and you’re looking at 14 months out of the pool.
Lochte’s estimated net worth is $ 6.2 million, build out of endorsement deals based upon his Olympic record and, of course, his famous goofy persona.
So the good news is that he won’t spend the next 14 months working odd jobs or crashing on a friend’s couch, as most people might if they found themselves forbidden from their profession for over a year.
The bad news is that this is still an embarrassment for him, personally.
He’s also a father now — his son just turned one year old last month.
He’s going to need to supplement his small fortune over time in order to plan for his family’s future.
That means that he needs to retain his career as a swimmer in order to get future endorsements. This puts his role in the 2020 Olympics in jeopardy.
When some little beast decided to record Michael Phelps taking a hit off of a bong and share that video with the world, it didn’t hurt Phelps’ brand because, well, only Jeff Sessions cares about pot.
This incident is similarly unlikely to hurt Lochte’s reputation.
Why? Because his reputation is mostly that he’s a loveable idiot.
This little suspension is exactly something that you’d expect from him — at least, if you’re familiar with USADA rules.
Clearly, Lochte was not familiar with those regulations. But now he is.