Can Ryan Lochte's Lochtegate Cost Michael Phelps And The Entire Team Their Rio Medals?

Ryan Lochte has been the butt of ridicule on Twitter for lying that he and his fellow swimming athletes were robbed at gunpoint during the 2016 Rio Olympics. Now the star athlete is being castigated by the American media, calling him the boy who cried wolf or simply stupid. The crux of the matter is that four U.S. Olympic athletes went for a night out after a harrowing day at the games and they all got very drunk.

Ryan Lochte, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, and Jimmy Feigen would drop by a gas station to answer the call of nature. However, finding the comfort room closed, Lochte had to break the door — but not before urinating on the door or was it the wall? Security guards swooped in on the Fantastic Four after Lochte created a loud noise by yanking the door.

The guards point the gun at the athletes and order them to pay for the damages. They pay up and security allows them to leave. End of story. So the aforementioned is the actual sequence of events, and all media covering the story agree, including Sporting News.

However, Ryan Lochte would lie about what happened because he admittedly wanted to cover up the fact that he and the rest of the boys were behaving badly — which would be way too embarrassing if the Olympic committee found out. According to Nylon, Bentz, Conger and Feigen have told Brazilian authorities that Lochte made up the whole story.

The Telegraph underscores the extensive backlash that Ryan Lochte has been receiving from the American press since he went back home to the United States. Here are just a few of the myriad terminologies that have sprung up to refer to the now infamous athlete who is second in rank to Michael Phelps when it comes to Olympic swimming achievement.

  • doofus, a Faulknerian idiot man-child
  • Liar, liar, speedo on fire
  • Lochte Mess Monster
  • #Lochtegate
  • The Ugly American
Sporting News would advise Ryan Lochte to make the right move as soon as he could by apologizing for lying as "the American public likes to forgive erring celebrities who seem genuinely sorry."
And true enough, a long apology in the Lochte saga follows on Twitter and Instagram. NBC News, however, finds that the apology was not contrite enough, as follows.
"Lochte, who'd never publicly mentioned the vandalism or argument with gas station staff, suggested in his statement that he still viewed himself as a victim, but that it didn't excuse how he acted."
American media also weighed in on the consequences of the Ryan Lochte fiasco, with NBC News stating that "the International Olympic Committee confirmed Friday it has set up a disciplinary commission to look into the matter."

Translation: Lochte and his swimming colleagues' worst nightmare is not over yet. So what exactly are the possible consequences of #Lochtegate?

Jail Time

Jail time is not likely, says CNBC. You can almost imagine Lochte, Bentz, Conger, and Feigen having a big sigh of relief about this one. As the source explains, "misdemeanor filing of a false report is not an offense, under the applicable treaty between Brazil and the United States, that is subject to extradition."

"Extradition would be applied only in more serious offenses such as murder and rape," the source clarifies further.

Banning from Future Olympics

That the Fantastic Four would be banned from future Olympic games is definitely a possibility says Sporting News.

"Who's to say USA Swimming or other Olympic bodies, won't seek to punish him [Lochte] for concocting a bogus crime story? His participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics — he says he plans to try to make the team at the age of 36 — could be on the line here."
Hey, Give Back All Those Medals

Medal confiscation is definitely a possibility not only for Ryan Lochte and his gang, but the entire U.S. Olympic swimming team as a matter of command responsibility, says Romper. After all, this happened before on many different occasions and for many different reasons — big and small.

So, in case you are still laughing about all the name-calling that is happening to Ryan Lochte and his cohorts, it's time to get serious and consider how the scandal can affect even Michael Phelps' very own medals. Never forget — the Olympics have strict protocols for everything and with extensive documentation to boot. Right now, somebody could be examining all the relevant protocols with a fine-tooth comb.

Immediate Consequences Such As Loss Of Sponsorship

Loss or diminished sponsorship is frightening to imagine on the part of Ryan Lochte, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, and Jimmy Feigen. This is where it will hurt the guys the most because it directly affects their livelihood — especially their individual net worth. Remember that companies like Nike, Adidas and so on base their sponsorship decisions primarily on the credibility and trustworthiness of the endorser, says CNBC.

Think Tiger Woods and what happened when the scandal about him broke. Does it look like the champion golfer has recovered from it yet?

It always helps to stay positive, especially in matters like the Olympics. At the same time, Olympians like Ryan Lochte know only too well of the need to take a hard look at the worst case scenario. He, Bentz, Conger, and Feigen have admitted their mistakes. Now it's time to face the music.

[Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images]