Ryan Lochte has been suspended from competitive swimming once again, this time for violating the United States Anti-Doping Agency's policy by receiving an IV injection.
Back in May, Lochte shared a photo to social media that saw the 33-year-old receiving an IV drip at the Revival IV Lounge in Gainsville, Florida.
"Athletic recovery with some #ivdrip @revivalivlounge #vitamins," the Olympian wrote.
This is the photo that got Ryan Lochte banned 14 months. pic.twitter.com/1CljxSFlzy— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) July 23, 2018
According to the USADA's policy, athletes can only receive over 100ml of permitted substances through an intravenous bag if they receive an extension in advance or are receiving medical treatment. Lochte's use violated the policy, leading to a 14-month ban.
The ban, retroactive to May 24, means that Lochte will not be able to compete in this week's 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships, this year's national championships and Pan Pacific Championships and next year's world championships. He will be able to re-enter the sport in July 2019.
"On May 24, 2018, Lochte, 33, posted an image on social media depicting himself receiving an intravenous infusion," the USADA said in a statement on Monday, July 23. "A subsequent investigation by USADA, with which Lochte fully cooperated, revealed that Lochte received an intravenous infusion of permitted substances at an infusion clinic in a volume greater than 100 mL in a 12-hour period without a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)."
At a press conference on Monday, Lochte noted that he was not using a banned substance.
"I have never taken a prohibitive substance," he said, via ESPN. "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. Unfortunately, while the rule is a newer rule and is not widely known as others, I should know better."
Lochte is no stranger to controversy, as he and three other teammates made headlines during the Rio Olympics in 2016 after they were found to have lied about getting robbed at gunpoint at a gas station.
In actuality, the group had damaged the location's bathroom and were stopped by security guards. Lochte was banned from competitive swimming for 10 months after the incident and had to forfeit $100,000 in Olympic medal bonus money. He was accused of "falsely communicating a crime to authorities" but the case was later dismissed.
Lochte, who has competed at three Olympic games and won 12 Olympics, has previously said that he hopes to compete at the summer games in Tokyo in 2020. If he makes it there, he could become the oldest Olympic swimming champion at age 36.
Photo Credit: Getty / Matt Hazlett