Ryan Lochte to Time Trial 200 IM at U.S. Nationals for First Race in 14 Months

2019 PHILLIPS 66 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Six-time Olympic champion Ryan Lochte is expected to log his first race since June 3, 2018, at the 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships in Palo Alto, California, Wednesday morning.

He is entered to time trial a 200 IM (shown on Meet Mobile), in which he holds the world record at 1:54.00. Time trials are scheduled to begin around 11 a.m. Pacific Time. Lochte is scheduled for a press conference in the early afternoon and also entered to swim the event on Sunday.

After serving a 14-month suspension for intravenously receiving a vitamin infusion at a rate above the allowed limit, Lochte became eligible to race in the middle of last week. Although the qualification period for Nationals had officially closed, SwimSwam learned from USA Swimming that Lochte’s times from the 2018 Mel Zajac Jr. International Meet early last June were eligible for entry; he swum at that meet before he was officially suspended on June 23. Despite his suspension being backdated to May, the nature of his infraction was such that his ensuing times did not need to be forfeited, USA Swimming said.

Lochte is also entered in the 100 fly, 100 back and 400 IM this week with times equal to or slower than the ones from that meet, but was granted an “exemption” to enter the 200 free. Lochte has only logged 24 races since Rio prior to his expected Wednesday morning swim.

The nearly-35-year-old did not strictly need to swim at Nationals to get back on the United States’ 2019-2020 National Team, and receive the funding that comes with it. Lochte just has to be in the top six American swimmers, based on FINA world rankings, in an individual Olympic event – from the combined results of USA Swimming or FINA sanctioned meets – with his qualifying swims occurring on or before August 25. Note that time trials do not count toward making the team.

Click here to view the current top six American swimmers in every Olympic event, as they stood after the 2019 FINA World Championships.

Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist overall, has been struggling to stay eligible since the Rio Olympic Games, where he missed the podium in the 200 IM and didn’t receive any individual medals. After swimming concluded at those Olympics, he embellished a story that went global about the now-infamous gas station run-in. He was ultimately given a 10-month suspension and dropped by a handful of high profile sponsors, including Speedo. His next suit sponsor, TYR, retained him in light of the most recent suspension.

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joe
1 year ago

Torrey–any idea whether this 200 IM time trial will count towards the National Team?

Ol’ Gator
Reply to  joe
1 year ago

I think I saw that time trials don’t count but maybe I’m wrong

Ol’ Gator
1 year ago

On the live stream or nah?

JerDawg
Reply to  Ol’ Gator
1 year ago

I can’t even get the live stream to load. Would love to see this. Do you have a link?

Ol’ Gator
Reply to  JerDawg
1 year ago

I don’t think it’s live streamed

Jimbo
1 year ago

Cool gets banned and is given an exemption

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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