Gunnar Bentz suspended 4 months by USA National Team

Regolare Commento Stampare

U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte will be suspended from his sport for 10 months and will not be allowed to participate in the 2017 world championship meet as a result of his involvement in a gas station incident in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics, a person with knowledge of the situation told CNN contributor Christine Brennan on Wednesday. This means Lochte, 32, won't be able to compete in the 2017 national championships - and, by extension, he'll be ineligible for the 2017 FINA World Championships. Lochte is also required to perform 20 hours of community service and must forfeit his access to the US Olympic training facility and funds.

Lochte will also get no monthly funding from either the USOC or USA Swimming.

The other three swimmers involved in the episode - Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen - also face suspensions of four months.

The USOC gives a $25,000 bonus to Olympic gold-medal winners, and USA Swimming has awarded a $75,000 gold-medal bonus at past Olympics.

USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus said today that the American swimmers "had lapses in judgement" and engaged in behavior that broke the code of conduct for U.S. Olympic athletes.

Lochte's lawyer, Jeff Ostrow, made a statement to USA Today Sports regarding the penalties. Bentz, 20, will be required to complete 10 hours because he was out of the Olympic Village after the curfew that had been established for swimmers under the age of 21.

While the near-10-month suspension is four months longer than what Michael Phelps received in 2014 for his second DUI, anything short of a ban from the next Olympics - never a realistic option - isn't enough to truly derail Lochte's career, either in or out of the pool. Brazilian police later said the swimmers had vandalized the station and were confronted by armed security guards when they tried to leave.

Lochte left Brazil the day after the alleged hold-up, before the story began to unravel, but Conger and Bentz were pulled off an airplane on August 17 and ordered to provide testimony to investigators.

While Lochte returned to the United States the Monday after the incident, Bentz, Conger and Feigen were left in Rio to handle the fallout. On the night of August 17, police removed Conger and Bentz from a US -bound plane at Tom Jobim Airport.

He was among four USA swimmers that initially claimed they had been robbed at gunpoint when returning to the Olympic Village before closed circuit television footage emerged of the men vandalising a petrol station following a night out. "Each of the athletes has accepted responsibility for his actions and accepted the appropriate sanctions". He added, "We look forward to focusing our energy on the Paralympic Games and the incredible men and women representing our country in Rio".

At least one of them, Jack Conger, will be suspended for four months, The Washington Post reported.

Last month, Brazilian police charged Lochte with filing a false robbery report, but Lochte has not said whether he'll return to Brazil to defend himself.

The swimmer's sponsorship deals have taken a hit since the incident, with Speedo, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gentle Hair Removal and mattress maker Airweave all saying they would be cutting ties with Lochte after the global incident. He has since signed a new endorsement deal with Pine Brothers throat drops.

He also scored a slot on Season 23 of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars".