If you were somehow able to tune out all the news of Ryan Lochte and the other American swimmers making up a false report in Rio about being robbed by somebody with a fake police badge after a night out of partying, then consider yourself lucky. Literally an international incident, one that ultimately saw Brazilian authorities bring charges against Lochte as well as plenty of ridicule from all over the place – including Stephen Colbert to John Oliver – Lochte took the spotlight off the athletes and the competition in the final days of the 2016 Summer Olympics, and now he’s being punished.
First reported by TMZ, Lochte was suspended for 10 months and will lose upwards to $100,000 in bonuses, won’t visit the White House, won’t have access to Team U.S.A. swimming centers and has to perform 20 hour of community service. Other swimmers in the incident, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen, all received four month suspensions and also won’t visit the White House with the other American Olympians.
But is it enough?
Lochte was an embarrassment to his country on one of the biggest stages in the world. He went into a foreign country as a guest and tried to embarrass his hosts in order to save his own skin. Lochte was the portrait of the ugly American abroad. He represented his country in the water, but failed to do it anywhere else.
So why not just suspend him outright from the next Olympics in 2020? There was already a chance that Lochte, who is 32, would make Rio his last time representing his country. Maybe the USOC should consider making that the case. No shot at redemption or anything like that, just be done with it and that’s that.