Although American superstar Ryan Lochte still has 3 months left to serve on his U.S. national team competition suspension, the 32-year-old has plans to return to racing. While ineligible to swim at the 2017 U.S. Nationals and, thus, unable to qualify for the World Championships in Budapest, Lochte is determined to get back into racing by way of the United States Masters Swimming (USMS) National Championship meet.
The USMS-sanctioned short course yards competition is scheduled for April 28th to May 1st in Riverside, California, with Lochte participating in the males 30-34 age group. According to the psych sheets available on usms.org, Lochte is entered to race the 50/100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, 200 free and 100/200 IM.
After seeing his image take a major hit following the gas station debacle in Rio, Lochte has slowly been making a comeback in the way of positive public persona and resulting sponsorships. Whereas immediately following the post-Olympics drunken incident, long-time sponsor Speedo, among other organizations, chose to end its relationship with the 12-time Olympic medalist, since last summer Lochte has been able to slowly re-enter the limelight, most recently with his ‘Dancing With the Stars’ stint and his sponsorship with TYR.
Elite-level swimmers racing at a Masters National meet is not completely out of the norm, with Olympian Nathan Adrian having competed in the past. The 28-year-old is slated to race against Lochte this year as well in Riverside, as Adrian is entered in the 100 fly, 100 IM, 50 free and 100 backstroke.