Ryan Lochte, U.S. swimmers receive official suspensions from USOC, USA Swimming

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The punishments are in for Ryan Lochte and the other three U.S. swimmers from the Rio Olympic gas-station incident.

Lochte, as previously reported, is suspended through June 30 of next year and excluded from the 2017 World Championships in July.

Gunnar BentzJack Conger and Jimmy Feigen are banned for four months each, through the end of 2016.

The announcements were made by the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Swimming.

The suspensions were “due to violations of each organization’s code of conduct.”

“We accept the decision as believe it is in everyone’s best interest to move forward,” Lochte’s attorney said, according to USA Today. “Ryan is grateful to be a member of the U.S. Olympic Team and USA Swimming. He recognizes his lapse in judgment, and is looking forward to continuing his training, volunteer work with kids, and resuming his swimming career next year with an eye toward representing his country at the 2020 Olympic games in Japan.

“That said, in my opinion, while the collective sanctions appear to be harsh when considering what actually happened that day – Ryan did not commit a crime, he did not put the public safety at risk, and he did not cheat in his sport – we will leave it to others to evaluate the appropriateness of the penalties.”

VIDEO: Rowdy Gaines comments on Lochte suspension

Lochte’s ban means 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.

From Thursday’s press release:

Applicable to Ryan Lochte:

1. Suspended from domestic and international USA Swimming national team competitions for 10 months (through June 30, 2017), including the 2017 National Championships, which renders him ineligible for the 2017 FINA World Championships.
2. During the suspension, no monthly stipend from USA Swimming or the USOC.
3. During the suspension, no direct support or access to training centers or other facilities of the USOC.
4. Forfeits all USOC and USA Swimming medal funding for his gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games.
5. Will perform 20 hours of community service.
6. Not permitted to join Team USA for its White House visit in connection with the Rio 2016 Games.
7. Not permitted to attend USA Swimming’s annual “Golden Goggles” event in 2016.

Applicable to Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen:

1. Suspended from domestic and international USA Swimming national team competitions for four months (through Dec. 31, 2016).
2. During the suspension, no monthly stipend from USA Swimming or the USOC.
3. During the suspension, no direct support or access to training centers or other facilities of the USOC.
4. Not permitted to join Team USA for its White House visit in connection with the Rio 2016 Games.
5. Not permitted to attend USA Swimming’s annual “Golden Goggles” event in 2016.

Further applicable to Gunnar Bentz due to violating a USA Swimming Olympic Village curfew rule placed on athletes under the age of 21:

1. Will perform 10 hours of community service.

“As we have said previously, the behavior of these athletes was not acceptable. It unfairly maligned our hosts and diverted attention away from the historic achievements of Team USA,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “Each of the athletes has accepted responsibility for his actions and accepted the appropriate sanctions. We look forward to focusing our energy on the Paralympic Games and the incredible men and women representing our country in Rio.”

“During an otherwise extraordinary Olympic Games, a small group of athletes had lapses in judgement and conduct that are unacceptable and not consistent with our expectations. When Code of Conduct infractions occur, it’s our responsibility to take action that reflects the seriousness of what happened,” USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus said. “Unfortunately, this storyline took attention away from the athletes who deserved it the most. These athletes took accountability for their mistakes and are committed to represent themselves and our country with the great character and distinction we expect.”

The sanctions take effect immediately.

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