US swimmer Ryan Lochte has been suspended for 10 months without pay after Rio scandal

The 32-year-old has to serve 20 hours of community service and will not receive a monthly salary for the duration of the suspension.

Image: Michael Sohn

US SWIMMER RYAN LOCHTE has been suspended for 10 months for his part in an infamous controversy which occurred during the recent Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The 32-year-old said he and three team-mates – Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen – had been robbed after being pulled over by armed men who were posing as police officers.

Lochte claimed a gun had been pressed against his forehead during the ordeal.

But, the story quickly disintegrated and local police said the foursome had actually stopped at a petrol station and vandalised a bathroom before being caught by security guards.

Lochte, who stuck to his story when appearing on US television in the immediate aftermath, later apologised for ‘not being more careful and candid’ and confessed to having fabricated the tale.

Brazilian police have charged Lochte with falsely reporting a crime and that could lead to a six-month prison sentence.

Rio Olympic Games 2016 - Day Thirteen Gunnar Bentz, left, and Jack Conger leave a police station in Rio on 18 August. Source: Leo Correa

USA Swimming and the US Olympic Committee (USOC) has now banned Lochte for 10 months – which means he will miss the 2017 World Championships.

He must also serve 20 hours of community service and will receive no monthly stipend. He will be unable to use any USOC training facilities and also forfeits the extra funding he was set to receive following his gold medal in Rio.

Meanwhile, Bentz, Conger and Feigen haven’t got off lightly. After the incident, the trio had been blocked from leaving Rio and one – Feigen – was forced to settle a case due to comments he gave in a statement to police. He paid almost $11,000 just to leave Brazil.

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They’ve been hit with a 4-month ban and though they don’t have to serve community service, they, like Lochte, will not be paid for the duration of their bans and will not be permitted to use any USOC training centres.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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