The United States Anti-Doping Agency announced this morning that jolly bro airhead Ryan Lochte would be suspended for 14 months for “his use of a prohibited method.” As the language of USADA’s release hints at, Lochte’s is not a normal doping violation, which is not surprising since Lochte is not a normal swimming guy.
Lochte apparently picked up the ban after anti-doping officials noticed a May 24 Instagram post showing Lochte receiving an “athletic recovery” IV injection drip of vitamins. USADA began investigating and quickly learned that Lochte hadn’t taken any illegal substances, but that he had violated USADA policy on intravenous infusions, which only allows athletes to receive more than 100 ml of permitted substances through an IV with a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). Lochte, obviously, was just doing this for fun, and he accepted the ban. If he mounted an “I didn’t know the rules!” defense, it didn’t work, which is a pity, because he definitely did not know the rules.
Lochte was set to make a comeback at the U.S. National Championships this week, and his suspension means that he’ll also miss next year’s World Championships. His participation at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where he’ll turn 36, are probably in serious jeopardy, because, once again, he posted a gleeful photo of himself breaking anti-doping rules without knowing what he was doing.