Tags: ryan lochte | suspended | rio | robbery

Ryan Lochte Suspended 10 Months Over Rio Yarn

Image: Ryan Lochte Suspended 10 Months Over Rio Yarn

Ryan Lochte checks his time after a men' 4x200-meter freestyle relay heat during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

By    |   Thursday, 08 Sep 2016 09:21 AM

Ryan Lochte has been suspended for 10 months in connection with allegations that he lied about being robbed during the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The punishment was handed down by the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Swimming, the Olympic governing body of the sport in the United States, according to TMZ Sports.

"The punishment is harsher than Michael Phelps's six month suspension for his two DUIs,"  TMZ Sports said, noting that the other three swimmers involved in the incident – Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger – received lighter punishments.

"The punishment was debated within the USOC, because Phelps put people's lives at risk and Lochte arguably didn't lie about a material fact. We're told some of the USOC decision-makers felt Lochte's punishment was too severe," TMZ Sports continued.

The ban will force Lochte to miss the 2017 world championship meet next July scheduled to be held at Budapest, USA Today reported.

Lochte, a multiple Olympic medal winner, told NBC News on Aug. 14 that he was robbed the night before with the other three swimmers at gunpoint.

"We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over," Lochte said to NBC News at the time. "They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground. They got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn't do anything wrong, so I'm not getting down on the ground."

USA Today reported that the swimmers had stopped at a gas station after a night of partying. Rio police chief Fernando Veloso said the athletes had broken into the gas station's restroom and vandalized a soap dispenser and mirror.

Security guards drew their weapons on the swimmers afterward, but Veloso defended the action, saying that they were protecting themselves, according to USA Today. Lochte was eventually charged with filing a false robbery report, CBS News reported.

While Lochte was invited by ABC to participate in the latest edition of "Dancing With the Stars," the swimmer lost key endorsement deals, including Speedo, Ralph Lauren and Airweave mattresses, according to CBS News.

Feigen agreed to make a donation of nearly $11,000 to a Brazilian charity in order to leave Brazil after he was also indicted for falsely reporting a crime, BuzzFeed News reported. After being taken from an airplane at Rio's airport during the Olympics, Bentz and Conger spoke to police as witnesses before departing.

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Ryan Lochte has been suspended for 10 months in connection with allegations that he lied about being robbed during last month's Rio Olympics in Brazil.
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Thursday, 08 Sep 2016 09:21 AM
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