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Drugs

Ryan Lochte doping ban – US swimmer suspended for 14 months after posting picture of violation on Instagram

The 12-time Olympic medallist posts a photo of himself receiving an IV and inadvertently breaks USADA rules

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 July, 2018, 10:41am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 July, 2018, 11:48am

US star swimmer Ryan Lochte has been banned for 14 months for receiving an intravenous infusion, after he posted a picture on Instagram showing himself getting the treatment, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced on Monday.

Lochte said he was receiving vitamins, a permitted substance, to enhance his immune system as his wife and child were both ill. But the amount he took was over 100 millilitres and he had no therapeutic use exemption for the infusion, which constituted an anti-doping violation, the USADA explained.

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“A rule is a rule and I accept that there is a technical violation,” Lochte said, acknowledging his misbehaviour. “I am hopeful other athletes will learn from my mistake and be mindful of this rule, as well as others.”

The swimmer is no stranger to controversy. Lochte previously lied about being robbed at gunpoint to cover up his drunken celebrations following the 2016 Rio Olympics that led to him vandalising a service station – he received a 10-month ban for that and missed the 2017 World Championships.

He was also involved in an incident on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” where protesters disrupted filming.

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The suspension, retroactive to the day he posted, will last until July 2019, which means the 12-time Olympic medallist will miss the upcoming US Swimming Championships in California and World Championships next year.