Aside from formal statements by Chuck Wielgus and the United States Olympic Committee, on a public level USA Swimming and the Olympic coaching staff has been relatively quiet concerning the drunken gas station incident that occurred in Rio with American swimmers Ryan Lochte, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen.
The incident resulted in the Brazilian police getting involved and Feigen paying approximately $11,000 to return to the U.S. All Americans are home safely and have since issued their own apologetic accounts of the situation. Since the incident, however, Lochte has lost four major sponsors, including Speedo, with whom the former Gator has had a business relationship for the better part of a decade.
Now, Lochte’s coach from SwimMAC Elite, as well as the overall U.S. Olympics Head Coach for the women’s team, David Marsh, has offered up his take on the now notorious situation.
As far as when Marsh and Lochte were able to communicate, Marsh is quoted as saying, “My advice immediately was, ‘Tell the whole truth and be very sorry about it.’ That’s just we way we operate at SwimMAC. That’s the way I operate.” (Auburn.247sports)
“He could have avoided a lot of the problems had he just done the right thing right away. I know he feels terrible about it, and I feel for him. Unfortunately I don’t think the end is finished yet.”
“I think a guy like him forgets that even though he’s been able to kind of thrive in the limelight, when you represent the United States of America and you’re not telling your mom the truth, you’re not telling the media the truth, you’re not telling America the truth, they don’t like that,” Marsh said.
“I hope he can figure out how to navigate out of this. There’ll be some more penalties. He’s had a bunch of sponsors already drop him. I’m sure that things have not ended yet. It’s going to be a very tough and very expensive lesson for him.” (Auburn.247sports)
“I think the gas station incident will be part of the Olympic story,” said Marsh, “which is a sad thing for how great an event it was for the USA swimmers.”
Even before the highly publicized incident, Lochte had announced plans to move his training base to California, although a specific club wasn’t yet mentioned. He anticipated taking a break from swimming immediately after Rio, which reports now indicate may include a stint on the ABC reality show, ‘Dancing With The Stars’.