Ryan Lochte banned 10 months, to miss 2017 World Championships, reports say

Ryan Lochte
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Ryan Lochte has been banned 10 months, through next June, and excluded from next July’s world championships, after his gas-station incident and “over-exaggeration” in recounting the event at the Rio Olympics, according to TMZ and USA Today.

The three other swimmers involved — Olympic rookies Gunnar BentzJack Conger and Jimmy Feigen — received lesser bans of several months each, according to USA Today.

USA Swimming and the U.S. Olympic Committee have not confirmed the punishments. USA Swimming said Wednesday that no date has been set to announce any punishments. Lochte’s representatives did not immediately respond to messages.

Lochte’s ban would mean he won’t be able to compete at a world championships or an Olympics until 2019, the summer he turns 35 years old.

Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist, said after the incident but before the suspension announcement that he planned to continue swimming. He lost sponsors, including Speedo, but then added new ones. Lochte is currently busy training for Dancing with the Stars, with the season premiere Monday.

Lochte’s ban is four months longer than the suspension Michael Phelps received after his September 2014 DUI arrest, though Phelps also missed the 2015 World Championships.

Lochte missing the 2017 Worlds in Budapest, Hungary, dents any hope he had of breaking Phelps’ record of 33 world championships medals. Lochte owns 27 worlds medals, second all time, and had competed in the last six worlds in a row.

Given his 2016, Lochte is far from a lock to qualify for the first major international meet after his suspension ends — the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo.

Lochte struggled at this summer’s Olympic Trials and Olympics. While slowed with a groin injury, Lochte made the U.S. Olympic team in one individual event, the 200m individual medley, after making the team in four individual events each in 2008 and 2012.

In Rio, Lochte finished fifth in the 200m IM and earned gold with the 4x200m free relay.

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