Ryan Lochte Comments on Michael Phelps’ DUI Arrest

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte have traveled the world together, fought hard for Olympic hardware, and shared some of the most exciting moments in swimming history. In the aftermath of Phelps’ DUI arrest, Ryan Lochte opened up to TMZ Sports, who originally reported the arrest:

Ryan Lochte:

“I’m not concerned…he just makes dumb decisions.”

“He has so much money to get a driver. I even have a driver. Just stinks for the sport of swimming.”

“But he will become smarter from this. Luckily he did not hurt himself or someone else.”

Ryan Lochte  will represent  the USA Swimming National Team at the 2014 Short Course FINA World Championships  in Doha, Qatar.

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I appreciate Ryan’s candid comments. But it’s also worth pointing out his follow up that Michael is like family to him and that his reaction is how anyone would react.


“I’m not concerned… he just makes dumb decisions.”

^^^This. For all of the people who are saying “poor Michael is battling issues with alcohol.” It’s one thing to be an alcoholic and put your own body and mind at risk, it’s another thing to throw not only your own health, but someone else’s, in harm’s way.

Justin Thompson

You make it sound like he’s battling alcoholism. Do we know that for a fact? It is possible that he just drank too much on this particular night and doesn’t get drunk on a regular basis.


Are you forgetting how he broke his hand after losing at beer pong?


When did this happen?


Can’t remember exactly. 08 or 09 though.

Chris DeSantis

In the addiction community, alcoholism is frequently defined as continued drinking in spite of the negative consequences. Two dui’s gives some evidence that Michael may be an alcoholic


So, if you know that you have a bad habit of calling your ex when you are drunk, but continue to drink anyway and it leaves you embarrassed in the morning.. are you an alcoholic? I think comparing Michael to the standard definition of an alcoholic is a bit of a stretch. Now, by no means am I saying what he did is okay in any way whatsoever, but it could very well be that he just made a VERY stupid decision on one night and those consequences are VERY severe. As far as I know, Michael has never been known to battle with addiction, however alcohol does cause people to do very stupid things and Phelps is no exception.… Read more »


Phelps Is My hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Two DUIs in a span of 10 years does not make him an alcoholic.

Lane Four

I read Philip Hersh’s article in the Chicago Tribune a while ago. He stated that USA Swimming is in a very difficult position as there really is no stated penalty for this kind of infraction. Some are talking a year suspension and others less. If Michael is suspended for a year and misses the Worlds, then what???? Train harder than ever before to make the Olympic Games? I have no say in this matter. Michael did what he did. Must there be consequences? Of course. Even though nothing happened (thank God), the fact remains that something COULD have happened and this is where and why something must be done. Exactly what, I don’t know. But I agree with Mr. Hersh,… Read more »

Justin Thompson

I don’t think USA Swimming should suspend him at all because there are no rules currently on the books that outline suspensions for this type of infraction. If they had a policy and the swimmers knew they had to adhere to it then yes they could suspend him, but they shouldn’t run out and make up a punishment just to appease people.


They already did that with the bong incident. Since a precedent was set, they will have to do something.


Use of illegal substances is a code of conduct violation. Alcohol is not an illegal substance.


Alcohol isn’t an illegal substance, but driving while drunk is illegal.


Yes, he made a stupid mistake. A potential grave mistake. However, I don’t think he necessarily should be suspended from the sport. Would you like to be suspended from your job for a lapse of judgment? I think not. For some silly reason, we put elite athletes and other high profile individuals on a pedestal when, in truth, they are no different than you and me, in that they are not failsafe. Charges have been laid, he will have his day in court, and subsequently will suffer the consequence. Let the court of law, not public opinion, take care of it.


There are plenty of workplaces that would suspend or fire an employee for serious infractions that occur outside working hours. The idea of a suspension for bad behavior outside the workplace is not limited to professional athletes.


People are suspended all the time (as well as fired) from their jobs for what you term a lack of judgement. That is the grownup world.


I am no expert on the law, but given that he has had 1 DUI already, having a 2nd, unless he somehow got the ARD program or his record expunged, a 2nd offense is much more severe in most states. While I am sure he has plenty of lawyers to keep him out of jail, it wouldn’t actually surprise me if Maryland State law puts him in jail for a short period of time. DUI laws have become more strict over the past 10 years, and while I’m a huge fan of Phelps, there is no place for this in our sport, especially being who he is. I disagree with others posting messages on this site about alcoholism. Phelps does… Read more »


This is a matter for the courts……not the kangaroo courts. Let the judge decide the penalty and if this is not a code violation, US swimming should d nothing. Imagine if all swimmers and coaches were subject to a DUI code violation rule. There would be hundreds of suspensions every year. Coaches, who are normal citizens, probably would have the same rate of conviction as the rest of the population. I haven’t heard of US swimming banning any of them, but I do see a lot of them on this site calling for an MP ban. Thoughtless and Hypocritical.

David Berkoff

Incorrect. USAS can take action for this kind of offense. USAS has the ability to punish any member or former member under Article 304.2, which states: Any member, former member, or prospective member of USA Swimming is subject to the jurisdiction of the Board of Review. Any member, former member, or prospective member of USA Swimming may be denied membership, censured, placed on probation, suspended for a definite or indefinite period of time with or without terms of probation, fined or expelled from USA Swimming for life if such person violates the provisions of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct, set forth in 304.3, or aids, abets or encourages another person to violate any of the provisions of the USA… Read more »


Quot: “if this is not a code violation, US swimming should do nothing” pleased read the word IF. Everything else I said still stands. IF this IS a code violation US Swimming are perfectly entitled to act, however it is important that the do so with an even hand, and treat MP in the same way that they have treated all the other coaches an swimmers who have DUI convictions. I have never heard of anybody being sanctioned for this by US swimming. Happy to hear names if you have them. If not, the double punishment argument is very weak.


Totally agree Blastoff!


Berkoff, In other words, felony or not, USA Swimming WILL find a way to punish Phelps because Phelps IS Phelps. Because it’s the politically correct path to take? As you stated section .19 gives USA Swimming the ability to punish whomever they want. So Phelps actions tarnish the image of USA Swimming, but cheating officials don’t tarnish the image of USA Swimming? Tyler Clary participating in a corrupt BOR does not tarnish the image of USA Swimming (a BOR that was put off over and over again (10 months) waiting for a mature athlete to be available – or waiting for a particular athlete?) (Perhaps the appointed BOR athletes (Marshall and Vencill) wouldn’t go along with the plan so it… Read more »


If US Swimming is going to act to make an example of MP, then I hope that they realise that the precedent that they set, will stand and be applicable going forward.

Message To All Administrators: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. That means that you should be willing to accept the same sanction if you transgress in the future. Sobering thought isn’t it.


USA Swimming only acts when the transgressions become public. It’s unbelievable what actions they tolerate and even condone. At their disposal are many, many, many unethical people including attorneys, officials, administrators, board members, etc. Their review process (even though mandated by the Amateur Sports Act to be fair and equitable, and timely) is an unbelievably CORRUPT process. Is USA Swimming that ignorant, not realizing simple google searches produce paths leading to how people are connected to each other? I don’t think they can be that ignorant, I think they believe everybody else is ignorant and wouldn’t question being hit by a semi-tractor.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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