Prior to the gas station incident, Ryan Lochte had said he would like to continue to train for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
But according to an unnamed source for the USOC, swimming at future Olympics might not be an option for Lochte and teammate Jimmy Feigen, People reported.
The unnamed source told People that “no amount of gold medals is worth” the situation caused by the Ryan Lochte scandal.
“They totally took over the entire Olympics with foolishness. Do you know anyone who won a medal yesterday? No, you don’t. All you know is that Ryan peed outside a gas station and then told a story about being robbed to Billy Bush. It’s disrespectful to the USOC and every other athlete that trained for years to get to this moment.”
According to People, the unnamed source said that there “will be severe consequences and the USOC officials aren’t going to let the incident slide – they want to send a message to future athletes that the kind of behavior displayed by the swimmers in Rio is unacceptable.”
The Lochte situation came to light shortly after the end of the swimming competition during the 2016 Olympic Games. Initially, Lochte claimed that he and teammates Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger had been robbed at gunpoint after attending a party at France House, located across town from the Olympic village.
After an investigation by Brazilian authorities, additional details about the incident emerged, and some began to question whether Lochte’s story was entirely truthful. Brazilian police were unable to find anyone to corroborate the story told by Ryan Lochte and the other swimmers, and authorities soon claimed that Lochte had “fabricated” the story.
Ryan Lochte tears up while talking about letting his teammates down in his Rio robbery scandal: https://t.co/dh0GoIQLzK
— People Magazine (@people) August 21, 2016
As details continued to emerge, it became clear that there was more to the story. A Brazilian judge ordered that passports from the four swimmers involved be seized, but Lochte had already returned to the United States. Bentz and Conger had already boarded an airplane but were removed from the flight, and Feigen never arrived for the flight.
Ryan Lochte admits it was “immature” of him to “leave details out” of his Rio robbery claim: https://t.co/MJt8uj6BFK
— People Magazine (@people) August 20, 2016
The three swimmers were questioned more, and it became clear that the foursome had not been actually robbed at gunpoint as originally indicated. Instead, it seemed that the group had stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom and, in the process, vandalized the facility. Security at the gas station confronted the swimmers and demanded they pay for the damage done. Lochte and the others maintain that the security guard used a gun to keep them until they paid for the damage.
Ryan Lochte is one of the most dishonest people ever in the Olympics. Al Roker agrees and says he’s a total liar. pic.twitter.com/I6BAG2ZFUY
— Eric Schiffer (@ericschiffer) August 20, 2016
In order to leave Brazil, Feigen was ordered to donate more than $10,000 to a local charity. After Feigen and the others returned to the United States, Lochte issued an apology via his Instagram account, saying, “It’s traumatic to be out with your friends in a foreign country — with a language barrier — and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave, but regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night, I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself, and for that I am sorry to my teammates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors and the hosts of this great event.”
Lochte also apologized to the IOC and the USOC, but according to the unnamed source for People, the apology won’t be enough.
In a public statement, USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus wrote about the difficulties faced as a result of the Ryan Lochte scandal.
Statement from USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus on five “difficult” days: pic.twitter.com/X68foI5Y44
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 19, 2016
“The last five days have been difficult for our USA Swimming and United States Olympic families. While we are thankful our athletes are safe, we do not condone the lapse in judgement and conduct that led us to this point. It is not representative of what is expected as Olympians, as Americans, as swimmers and as individuals. That this is drawing attention away from Team USA’s incredible accomplishments in the water and by other athletes across the Olympic Games is upsetting. The athletes and their remarkable stories should be the focus.”
In the statement, Wielgus indicated that further disciplinary action could take place after the Lochte scandal is reviewed in conjunction with the organization’s code of conduct.
What do you think of the possibility that Ryan Lochte could be banned from future Olympic Games? Do you think Lochte and Feigen should be banned from the 2020 Olympics? Why or why not?
[Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images]