Ryan Lochte Facing 14-Month Suspension for IV Infusion
12-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist, Ryan Lochte, is currently facing a 14-month suspension for violating World Anti-Doping Agency regulations. The unintended reprieve comes at the swimmer’s own hand – his suspension is a direct response to his social media post, which showed him receiving an intravenous infusion. The photo came to the attention of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which became suspicious and launched an investigation, ultimately finding that although the substances comprising the treatment were permissible, the volume of the substance exceeded the permissible limit. The World Anti-Doping Agency allows a maximum of 100 milliliters of the infusion over a 12-hour period, and any volume in excess of that limit must be preceded by an approved Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) in order to adhere to anti-doping rules. The USADA determined that Lochte’s treatment did in fact exceed the limit, and he did not have a TUE to substantiate it retroactively.
“I have never taken a prohibitive substance,” Lochte declared. “I have never attempted to gain any advantage by putting anything illegal in my body. I would never do that; this is very serious to me.” He continued, “Unfortunately, while the rule is a newer rule and is not widely known as others, I should know better.”
This suspension went into effect on May 24, 2018, the day of Lochte’s IV infusion. It is apparently the longest suspension imposed by the USADA over the past 10 years for any reason. The ban follows the swimmer’s infamous 2016 gas station fiasco amid the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, initially claimed to have been a gunpoint robbing of himself and others, but eventually determined to be Lochte’s own intoxicated vandalizing, earning him a 10-month sanction.