SwimSwam Pulse: 89% Find Discipline Too Harsh On Bentz, Conger, Feigen

Jared Anderson
by Jared Anderson 18

September 22nd, 2016 News

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers about the U.S. Olympic Committee’s disciplinary measures taken against Jimmy Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz for their role in the now-infamous gas station incident in Brazil:


Question: Are the USOC disciplinary measures for Bentz, Conger & Feigen

  • Fair – 8.1%
  • Too Harsh – 89.5%
  • Not Harsh Enough – 2.4%

SwimSwam voters overwhelmingly found the punishments to be too severe for the three. A quick look at the major points of the punishments (you can read about them in full here):

Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen:

  • 4-month suspension
  • No monthly USA Swimming stipend during suspension
  • Not allowed to visit White House with Olympic team
  • Not allowed to attend Golden Goggles

Gunnar Bentz:

  • 4-month suspension
  • No monthly USA Swimming stipend during suspension
  • Not allowed to visit White House with Olympic team
  • Not allowed to attend Golden Goggles
  • 10 hours community service

Bentz’s additional community service comes for breaking USA Swimming’s curfew rules for athletes under 21.

Ryan Lochte, for his part, will serve 10 months suspension and miss the 2017 U.S. Nationals and World Championships. In the incident, Lochte was the only one to publicly misrepresent what happened at the gas station, framing it as an armed robbery rather than a collection of payment for damages allegedly caused to a bathroom.

Our poll focused specifically on the three others, who didn’t exaggerate the story to media the way Lochte did. The trio was still hit with four months of suspension that will keep them out of the Short Course World Championships as well as U.S. Winter Nationals, along with a removal from the U.S. Olympic team’s visit to the White House and USA Swimming’s Golden Goggles awards ceremony.

In one of our most-voted-on polls in history, 2,619 votes were cast for the “too harsh” option out of 2,925 total votes. That’s just under 90%. Only 236 votes went to the “fair” option and just 70 found the punishments “not harsh enough.”


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters which is a bigger threat to the integrity of swimming, doping or intentional misrepresentation of swimmers classified under paralympic rules:

Which is a bigger threat to the sport?

View Results

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A3 Performance was founded in 2004 and is based in Wisconsin. A3 Performance was founded on the ideals that great products could be made and offered at great prices. Innovation and purpose is the focus of all product development. The swimmer is the focus of everything we do.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

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Last time I checked… someone was speaking (yelling?) to them in a different language and had guns and demanded money. Regardless of anything that happened before that is robbery in my book. I don’t even see why Lochte deserves the punishment he got…


In the US, what happened to them was armed robbery. Some who claim to be familiar with Brazilian law said it was armed robbery there too. They left out some details, but they didn’t exactly lie. That said, urinating behind a gas station isn’t the best way to be an ambassador for your country.

Can Bentz and Conger compete in the NCAA? It seems that they would be allowed at duel meets but maybe not an invitational that is also a USA Swimming sanctioned event.

CJ Melsha

The important thing to also keep in mind with this incident, as the USA Today has been reporting, these guys, including Lochte, were not misrepresenting what happened as badly as it first seemed. The police in Brazil most definitely do not have clean hands here, either. While Lochte certainly seems to have grossly exaggerated what happened (which was just plain stupid) and the language barrier seems to have contributed to some confusion, the USA Today reports could certainly seem to support the belief by the four swimmers that they were held up at gunpoint.


Tell that to Attila the Hunt and others who ran with every single media report to slam them all on this site.


Word around convention is that the USOC wanted lifetime bans. USA swimming talked them down to the current suspensions.


But no lifetime ban for PE users? If true, that’s insane.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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