Ryan Lochte Suspended For 14 Months After Social Media Post Lands Him In Hot Water

The Olympic gold medalist is banned from pro swimming competitions until next July.

Michael Sohn / AP Images

The Olympic gold medalist is banned from pro swimming competitions until next July.

Ryan Lochte has been hit with a suspension by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after posting an incriminating photo of himself on social media. The 33-year-old Olympic swimmer landed himself in hot water after posting a photo of himself receiving an IV drip at an IV infusion therapy lounge in Florida. Lochte captioned the pic with “Athletic recovery with some #ivdrip @revivalivlounge #vitamins.”

But Lochte found out the hard way that his quick drip is a violation of strict U.S. Anti-Doping Agency policies. USADA prohibits IV infusions or injections for athletes in a volume greater than 100 mL within a 12-hour period that are not related to a hospital treatment or directly approved by the agency, according to Yahoo Sports.

In a statement about the Instagram photo Ryan Lochte posted on May 24, USADA announced that the 12-time Olympic medalist, who was previously banned from USA swimming for 10 months after engaging in drunken antics with his teammates after the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, will be suspended from professional swimming competitions for 14 months. The penalty against Lochte comes just ahead of the Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships. Lochte will also miss next month’s Pan Pacific Championships and the FINA World Championships next year due to the doping violation.

It is unclear if Lochte was paid to endorse the Revival IV Lounge, the Florida facility where he received the IV treatment, but the lounge boasts an “IV Menu” that offers treatments for hydration, hangovers, energy, allergy, and migraine relief. At a press conference about his suspension, Lochte told reporters the infusion he received was a legal B vitamin complex that can be purchased at any drug store, and he said he decided to get the vitamin cocktail after his wife, Kayla Rae Riei, and baby son were sick with colds.

“I wasn’t taking anything illegal,” Lochte said, according to Time. “Everything was legal. You can get it at CVS, Walgreens, but there are rules, and you have to obey them. It’s a hard sanction because I wasn’t taking anything illegal, but a rule is a rule. I wasn’t too clear on the rules, but now I am.”

Ryan Lochte returned to professional swimming last year after his 10-month ban from the sport and remained committed to returning to Olympic swimming in Tokyo in 2020. The time clock for his latest ban begins on the date he posted the photo in May, which means he can swim professionally again in July 2019. Lochte told fans he is “not giving up” on his plans to return to the Olympics in 2020.

Ryan Lochte appears to have deleted the incriminating IV photo from his Instagram page, but you can see it here.