Swimmer Ryan Lochte suspended 14 months for anti-doping violation

United States' Ryan Lochte checks his time in a men's 4x200-meter freestyle heat

Ryan Lochte has accepted the 14-month ban Credit AP

Ryan Lochte has been suspended from swimming in competitions until July of 2019 for violating the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's rules.

While USADA said Lochte was not using a banned substance, athletes can typically only receive IVs as part of hospital treatment or through an exemption.

Ryan wasn't hospitalized nor did he have an exception when he posted a picture of him getting an IV to his social media accounts in May.

Lochte, who has been training with hopes of making the US Olympic team in 2020, had been expected to swim at this week's national championships in California.

It is the swimmer's second suspension since the Rio Olympics. He was banned for 10 months after claiming he and three other U.S. swimmers were robbed at gunpoint at those 2016 Games, a tale that quickly unravelled.

"It's a hard sanction because I didn't take anything illegal, but a rule is a rule", he said. "I am hopeful other athletes will learn from my mistake and be mindful of this rule, as well as others".

In announcing the suspension, USADA said that Lochte, 33, "fully cooperated" with the investigation, which revealed that he got "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".

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He added: "I know it sounds like a harsh penalty for something unintentional and where I didn't put anything prohibited in my body, but a rule is a rule and I accept that there is a technical violation".

And now, he's back in hot water.

"I've been swimming my whole life and I've been monitored by USADA for my entire competitive career", Lochte said. "Unfortunately although the rule is a newer one and not as widely known as others I should know better". He was also apparently targeted by two men wearing t-shirts bearing an anti-Lochte message rushed the stage while he was competing on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars".

Lochte will turn 36 during the Tokyo Games.

But he returned in 2017 at the U.S. Open, declaring himself wiser and more responsible after fathering a child.

Lochte was seeded fourth for the 400-meter individual medley, an event where he won the Olympic gold medal in 2012 and bronze in 2008, and was seeded seventh in the 200 IM, an event where he owns the world record.

"I'm just going to post on my son and my wife, leave everything else out", he said.

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