In August 2016, the swimmer falsely claimed that he and Team USA swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen were robbed at gunpoint at a gas station in Brazil during the Rio Games. He was admittedly “hammered” at the time, as he’d been celebrating their win; Lochte later confessed he didn’t remember all the details of the night. After returning to the Olympic Village, Lochte exaggerated the story to his mom, who later told the media that Lochte had been robbed at gunpoint. He repeated the story on NBC’s Today—and before long, his lies got the best of him.
At first, Lochte had told Billy Bush on the Today show, “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. 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.”
After the truth came out, Lochte was dropped by his sponsors and a given a 10-month suspension by the U.S.A. Swimming and the United States Olympic Committee.