Reuters – Six-time Olympic gold medallist swimmer Ryan Lochte said on Monday (July 23) that he was cooperating with the U.S. anti-doping agency (USADA) following his 14-month suspension for receiving an intravenous infusion of a permitted substance without a therapeutic use exemption.
Lochte, who was expected to compete at this week’s national championships in California, posted a photo of himself on social media in May that depicted himself receiving the infusion, which triggered the USADA investigation.
USADA said in a statement that Lochte was not using a banned substance but that it prohibits such infusions or injections in excess of 100 mL within a 12-hour period unless received in the course of hospital treatment, surgical procedures or clinical diagnostic investigations.
The 33-year-old’s period of ineligibility began on May 24, the date of the infusion, and will keep him from competing in Japan next month at the Pan Pacific Championships and at the world championships in South Korea next July.
Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medallist who made headlines in 2016 over a tale about being robbed and held at gunpoint after a party during the Rio Games which he later admitted was “over-exaggerated”, fully cooperated with the investigation.
The swimmer, who won gold in the 4×200 meters freestyle relay in Brazil, missed last year’s world championships while serving a 10-month ban handed down by the United States Olympic Committee for his part in the Rio scandal.
Lochte, speaking at a news conference shortly after the USADA announcement, said the substance he injected mainly contained mainly b-complex vitamins and he hoped to educate other athletes about the sanction on intravenous injections.