# USA Swimming Calls Lochte Incident “Lapse in Judgement and Conduct”

August 19th, 2016

USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus has released a statement, through USA Swimming, on the incidents involving 4 American Olympic swimmers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this week.

In the statement, Wielgus says that “the last five days have been ‘difficult'” for USA Swimming and that they “do not condone the lapse in judgement and conduct that led us to this point.”

Two American Olympic gold medalists, Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen, were indicted on Thursday in Brazil on charges of falsifying a police report. The story, which has dominated international headlines all week, involves an incident at a gas station in Brazil early on Sunday morning where Lochte told police and media that the group (which also included gold medalists Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz) were robbed at gun point by men posing as police officers.

Brazilian police have since determined that there was no such robbery, and instead they have accused the group of damaging the gas station bathroom and being confronted by security guards, with guns, to pay for the damages that they caused.

There have been conflicting reports about what exactly the damage was that was done.

Bentz and Conger were not charged with any crimes, because Brazilian police said they didn’t make any formal police reports, and the gas station owner did not press any charges over the vandalism.

The full statement from Chuck Wielgus, Executive Director of USA Swimming, is below:

“The last five days have been difficult for our USA Swimming and United States Olympic families. While we are thankful our athletes are safe, we do not condone the lapse in judgement and conduct that led us to this point. It is not representative of what is expected as Olympians, as Americans, as swimmers and as individuals.

“That this is drawing attention away from Team USA’s incredible accomplishments in the water and by other athletes across the Olympic Games is upsetting. The athletes and their remarkable stories should be the focus.

“We’re extremely thankful of the support and efforts from the USOC, Department of State and U.S. Consulate General throughout this process. USA Swimming will undergo a thorough review of the incident and determine any further actions, per our Code of Conduct.”

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Rafael
5 years ago

Seems USOC is being much more serious than US Swimming on this matter.

Lapse of Judgement? We are talking is a 32 year old adult!!

swimdoc
5 years ago

Just being consistent. When you give a second time DUI-er a 6 month slap on the wrist, this is what you’re left with.

Greg
5 years ago

Phelps was not in a foreign country representing the US at the time of the DUI. The criminal justice system was the appropriate place for the matter to be settled and punishment meted out

Arewereally
5 years ago

For all the comparisons, I do think that the fact that this happened while they were at the Olympics representing the USA and USA Swimming is a major factor.

mcgillrocks
5 years ago

Not to mention, missing a world championship one had already qualified for is a pretty big deal.

bwiab
5 years ago

Exactly! USA swimming wanted to intervene in the Phelps situation because it made them look good as a NGB. This situation is a REAL embarrassment for the entire country.

He Gets It Done Again
5 years ago

He didn’t get a 6 month slap on the wrist, he was kicked off the 2015 World Champs team.

Sergey v
5 years ago

White male privilege

swimdoc
5 years ago

White mail privilege would be getting a plea deal for community service and fine to avoid a one year prison sentence.

ChestRockwell
5 years ago

White Mail privilege would be having a white-gloved mail man leaving you in a velvet-lined mail box.

Arewereally
5 years ago

Whether the penalties are appropriate or not, you have an inaccurate idea of what penalties the average person faces for a DUI arrest.

HulkSwim
5 years ago

keep trying… it’s almost working

5 years ago

If paying $10k for$50-$100 of damage is part of this mythical white privilege then I’m not sure what there is to be jealous of. BTW, whites are the minority in Brazil. Cynthia mae Curran Reply to Cheatinvlad 5 years ago sort of, most the folks in Brazil are a mixture like most Latin American countries but more black compared to places like Mexico. HulkSwim Reply to Cheatinvlad 5 years ago but that isn’t what the fine was for. the fine was for lying to the cops/invesigators. the gas station owner never filed a report and they pid for the damage that night. Attila the Hunt Reply to Cheatinvlad 5 years ago Sergey referred to weak statement by USA Swimming, not about the Brazilian fine. Do you even read? Holly Woodlawn Reply to Sergey v 5 years ago White devils, helping acting up, white boys, and destroying property, and smearing Brazilian Police, because they thought they could. Neverwas 5 years ago USA swimming still lets this guy address the media? New beginnings Reply to Neverwas 5 years ago Wielgus’ crimes should’ve landed him in prison. Charlotte 5 years ago What are penalties for these four guys for code conduct violations? Lochte and Feigen should be “strongly encouraged” to retire from swimming. They’re past their peak and now a liability to US swimming community. If they don’t get it (dumb as rocks) a two year suspension should be enough to end their swimming careers. swimdoc Reply to Charlotte 5 years ago Using the same logic, Phelps should have been encouraged to stay retired after his second DUI instead of being given a 6 months suspension, and banishment from the Worlds team. He was thought at the time to be “past his peak” — obviously still is if you consider his 8 golds at Beijing his peak. Neither of these boneheads have even been indicted by a prosecutor and judge for a crime as I understand it. The police “indictment” is not the same as in the U.S., and still requires the prosecutor and judge to determine whether there is a formal charge. Maverick Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago WOOOO. Phelps was definitely past his peak after 2008. Why even bother… (Sarcasm). I’m sure lochte could still win 2 golds in 2020 swim2win Reply to Maverick 5 years ago What do you mean he barley won 1 gold in Rio, it was on a relay and he didn’t even have a fast split. The only shot he has in 2020 is getting a gold by swimming in the prelims. After seeing what T Hass did in the finals I can’t to see the young talent we have in 2020 on that 4×200 relay swimdoc Reply to swim2win 5 years ago He still has over a second to the next best 200 IMer in the U.S. Attila the Hunt Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago Not in 2020, no he won’t Daaaave Reply to Charlotte 5 years ago Let’s be reasonable. I am not condoning being drunk bros, or (potentially) knocking things off of wall at a rest stop, and certainly not concocting self-aggrandizing narratives about it after the fact. There should certainly be some penalty. But encouraging retirement seems not dissimilar to the bans given to child sexual predators. And Phelps was only suspended 6 months…for a DUI swimdoc Reply to Daaaave 5 years ago Exactly. Let’s have some sense of proportionality. HulkSwim Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago exactly- they were drunk! boys being boys! bros being bros! no crime in that? the gas station was asking for it anyhow. did you see how that sign was bung on the wall? you don’t hang on a wall like that if you don’t WANT to be punched. Daaaave Reply to HulkSwim 5 years ago I am not saying any of this stuff. I specifically say there should be a penalty. What they did was wrong and I do not condone it. But a forced lifetime retirement or a suspension significantly longer than those given for DUIs and doping offences seem excessive Just Another Opinion Reply to Daaaave 5 years ago Six to twelve month suspensions seems appropriate in this case – maybe 6 for the ones who didn’t give false testimony to the police and 12 for those who did. Nina 5 years ago I still don’t understand why Lochte’s mom went to the press. swimdoc Reply to Nina 5 years ago Lochte probably told her to warn her in case there was a negative press story about his behavior. She then freaked out, yammered on social media, and it all went down hill from there. HulkSwim Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago or because she believes her son’s nonsense, saw an opportunity to make his star shine and jumped on it Skipper 5 years ago It’s a official statement, you not going to get more than that. I’m sure that they are pissed. Brazil for all the troubles- deaths at the buiding sites, forced relocations, polluted water, ssimming pool and other venues issues, accomodation problems…. its all washed away now because of what these guys have done. The ultimate scapegoat was provided. The only way Lochte can save this for himself is if he takes 100 percent responsibility for everything that happened and ‘saves’ the other guys- who I’m sure are just as dumb, but they won’t have the same backlash as Lochte will get. I hope his current/previous coaches/mentors are telling him such- they have not only helped him succeed but have… Read more » swimdoc Reply to Skipper 5 years ago He’s not going to apologize —- at least if he listens to his lawyer — while there are potential charges pending. He has the perfect template for success to get out of this from his buddy Phelps. He might even want to hire his PR/marketing people. He should go to Vegas, gamble like crazy, maybe get arrested a couple of times for a disorderly intoxication (but makes sure his lawyer plea deals him out of it), hit “rock bottom,” go to rehab, say he was in a “very dark place” in his life, have his divorced mom and dad go to rehab with him and sing Kumbaya, start a charity “The Ryan Lochte School for Kids Who Don’t… Read more » swimdoc Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago Every down vote just proves how much we bought the Phelps redemption story every step of the way. Glad it worked out for him. Hope it works out for these guys. Syd Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago Phelps didn’t lie about his DUI. He didn’t fabricate a story in which he was the hero and cast shame on a city which was already sensitive about its crime rate. Dan Reply to Syd 5 years ago So getting in a car drunk (twice the legal limit ) and putting other people lives in danger is okay? Here is a simple life math equation DUI > Fabricated Robbery Story HulkSwim Reply to Dan 5 years ago oye- don’t fall for SwimDoc’s balogna. We crucified MP for that. Some still do. Obviously. All he’s doing is trying to make his hero look better by comparison. Remember Hitler guys? He was terrible!!! I mean, Lochte is no Hitler, amiright? swimdoc Reply to Syd 5 years ago You’re right. Can’t argue about that. But he was an habitual drunk driver. And it cost the U.S. team his participation at Worlds. If you think he only was drunk twice behind the wheel, then you must be sharing bong hits with him. Attila the Hunt Reply to Syd 5 years ago This. Anyone here who doesn’t understand this is clearly on the same level of Lochte’s thinking capacity. He Gets It Done Again Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago No, every downvote proves that people do not agree with your comment. HulkSwim Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago look at MICHAEL!!! stop looking at my hero… LOOK AT HIM!!! Remember the time HE did something bad (and got crucified publically for it)? Let’s talk about THAT!!! JudgeNot Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago No, not necessarily. I would guess most of the down votes are because people are tired of your false equivalency arguments and trying massage away what Lochte did by continually bringing up what Phelps did – when the two cases are independent and have nothing to do with each other. It’s clear you have a hard-on for Phelps (what, about 8 posts about him now?), and that’s fine – bring it up where it’s relevant. None of these threads are about Phelps – who, by the way, is retired. They’re about Lochte, Feigen, Conger, and Bentz. Charlotte Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago Very insightful analysis and deeply cynical. Agree that is the world we live in. These athletes, they are what they do. Shame on us for expecting them to be some sort of role models. swimdoc Reply to Charlotte 5 years ago The greatest and most truthful thing ever said by a famous athlete on this topic is Charles Barkley’s “I’m not your role model.” Swimsweep Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago Yup Swimsweep Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago BTW Where’s Bobbie on this? His higher than thou moral ground …. All we have is crickets. Head coach failure. swimdoc Reply to Swimsweep 5 years ago I’m sure ASU told him to clam up, even if he wanted to say something. Universities only want it known when their head coach does something great, like being an Olympic coach. They don’t want a headline, “ASU and Olympic Coach Bob Bowman Asleep at the Wheel.” I’m sure Bowman conferred with his AD. HulkSwim Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago hahaha- yes, Bowman was asleep at the wheel two days after the meet ended when four adult men left the village, knowingly violating team rules and behaved like idiots in a foreign country. definitely seems like a coach issue there. haha. swimdoc Reply to HulkSwim 5 years ago Didn’t say it was a coach issue. I said that’s what a University would imagine. If you’d actually ever worked for one, you’d know this. HulkSwim Reply to Swimsweep 5 years ago Yes- I am also upset that the coach hasn’t chimed in before all the info is out or known. I wanted him to act like us internet commenters and just give us his version of speculation and guesswork too. paolo 5 years ago Swimdoc’c obsession against Phelps to excuse the really, really incredible Lochte’s behaviour, in this circumstance, is embarassing in my opinion. To repeat the same thing 50 or more times do not make it plausible.. Phelps made two clear mistakes (and he paid for them), but no teammates were involved and, above all, they didn’t happen at Olympics, with a poor, poor figure for Usa swimmi9ng and the USOC. In Italy everyone is talking about that: how to ruin the great Olympics the Usa swimmers (not Lochte en passant) have made in the pool. swimdoc Reply to paolo 5 years ago Not using it to make an excuse for his boneheaded behavior. Just adding perspective and proportionality. If I’m obsessed about it, as you say, it’s because I’ve seen hundreds, maybe thousands of victims of drunk drivers in my career in trauma ICUs, and I can tell you that if you asked any of those victims (if they survived) or families who committed the greater offense — Phelps or Lochte — they would laugh at the question. I’m sure the same would be true in Italy. Buzzkilling an Olympics with boneheaded behavior is one thing. Drunk driving, and the ramifications of it, are another. You appear to assume that the two times Phelps got caught were the only two… Read more » HulkSwim Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago EVERYONE was killing MP on these boards, except for his SwimDoc fanboys. swimdoc Reply to HulkSwim 5 years ago You weren’t. https://swimswam.com/phelps-addresses-dui-arrest-apologizes-twitter-account/. Zero HULKSWIM comments. Seven from me. Just Another Opinion Reply to swimdoc 5 years ago Just because the bad thing you are familiar with is drunk driving doesn’t mean that smashing property in front of security guards is any more safe (for the people involved or for innocent bystanders). Unless you have evidence that people are hurt by drunk driving at a higher rate than by guns drawn in anger? Or do you not consider Lochte and company responsible for misbehaving to the point that security guards felt it appropriate to unholster their weapons? Just trying to add perspective and proportionality. If I’m obsessed about it, it’s because I’ve seen what weapons will do when employed by people who are trained to use them in situations where they are obligated to do so. I’ve… Read more » Dan Reply to paolo 5 years ago Since no teammates were involved we should excuse him for his Driving Under Influence? I am sorry but Michael Phelps isn’t innocent and the media treats like the golden child that hasn’t done anything wrong. I am not condoning Ryan Lochte behavior in Rio and cover up that came with it. The media made it sound like he murder someone. Phelps drives drunk and potentially could of killed someone. All the media focus is on his rehab and dad relationship? Give me a freaking break…. Name another top star athlete that has gotten two DUI and the media loves? Guarantee you won’t find many… HulkSwim Reply to Dan 5 years ago the media is consistent in his REDEMPTION story, as foolish as it may be. and in order to be redeemed for something, you had to have done something bad. anyhow- here is one article from MP’s days in the spotlight- you were VERY critical of him, it is to be noted. https://swimswam.com/phelps-addresses-dui-arrest-apologizes-twitter-account/ And there were more fanboys defending him than Lochte because that’s how it goes, which probably upsets you even more… Simonemanuelslays Reply to Dan 5 years ago Bad behavior is bad behavior either way, but sometimes only God and the perpetrator are privy to the mistake. Regardless, lying on top of a misdemeanor should not get a free pass on the rationalization that others stars’ crimes have been worse… Escape Goat 5 years ago Some of you need to lighten up. It’s pretty clear what happened here. Lochte knocked a poster off the wall and they annoyed the gas station workers by showing up hammered and acting a fool at 6am–so some security guards decided to play tough guy. What’s not clear is whether Brazil ACTUALLY tolerates pulling people out of a car and holding them at gunpoint for knocking a poster off a wall, or if they’re just acting like that’s OK so they don’t vindicate Lochte’s story that they clearly didn’t like being told. Escape Goat Reply to Escape Goat 5 years ago But, in fairness, considering how they pulled Conger and Bentz off the plane and extorted$10k from Feigen for all of this, they maybe do actually tolerate that kind of stuff.

Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

Oh my God.

Does the fact that Lochte brazenly lied to international media repeatedly about what really happened, making him a victim and hero of non existent crime which is already a very sensitive issue for Rio and Brazilians truly escaped you?

Escape Goat
5 years ago

He didn’t “brazenly lie” to “international media.” (By the way, is US media “international media”?)

His story turns out to be basically accurate, with a hint of self-serving embellishment. He was in fact forced out of the cab and onto the ground by two rent-a-cops at gunpoint. He did apparently stand up and argue with them while the others were on the ground. They did demand money from Lochte et al.

The Brazilians apparently don’t think that’s a robbery (again, not sure if they always feel that way or only when a prominent American Olympian embarrasses them), but that doesn’t change the fact that Lochte didn’t just fabricate this story, as has been reported.

spectatorn
5 years ago

Lochte failed to mention what happened at the gas station before they were pull out of the cab is definitely a problem. But an American get pull off a cab, pointed by a gun and ask to pay for damage that he think is too high, certainly can feel like robbery to him.
No idea what is in their police report or statement to determine how much is fabricated vs not including all details lead up to the event.

On the other hand, may be there is wisdom for not filing police report in the first place (then there will be no false report).

Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

Or, maybe, he shouldn’t have just lied to the media, especially in that ridiculous interview with NBC.
Right after he heard his mummy broadcast his “ordeal” to international media and when his hangover has passed, he should have quickly clarified the issue, saying there was a miscommunication, nothing really happened etc etc.

Escape Goat
5 years ago

Something DID happen, though. Lochte didn’t exactly provide the full context and probably embellished about a gun literally being to his head, but you can’t seriously sit there and say nothing happened. They were held at gunpoint until they gave these guys some money.

Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

So if Lochte had seriously believed it had happened, surely he AND the three other guys would have reported the robbery right away. Just like what happened in many other athletes/officials who were robbed in Rio.
Saying “oh, we don’t want to get into trouble” is such a BS because next thing we knew he was blabbering all over NBC about being tough and telling off some robbers to “whatevs”..

Why didn’t Lochte tell NBC that oh yeah, we damaged some property and they made us pay for the damage and they called the cops and we surely wouldn’t want to wait for the cops because if the whole thing blew up we’d ruin our reputation?

Escape Goat
5 years ago

It seems clear that they would have just let it go because they didn’t want to get press for “trashing a gas station blah blah blah.” But when Lochte told his mom they were robbed, she freaked out and started making a big deal out of it. So then he started getting asked about it, and the story he told was basically accurate–he just didn’t mention that he had knocked a poster off the wall (which I’m sure he understood by that time to be connected to the robbery). So, yeah, he ommitted details about the lead-up to being held at gunpoint because it would have been embarrassing to say, “I got drunk and knocked a poster off the wall,… Read more »

Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

1. Lochte said the fake police stopped the car –> Lie
2. Lochte forced out of the cab –> He knew it was a lie because they tried to leave after damaging the property and not interested to pay up for the damages, and not waiting for the police to arrive after the gas station called them
3. Lochte claimed the robber cocked the gun and pointed at his head –> Lie
4. You claimed there were two rent a cops —> you lied.

Lochte knew the whole truth and yet he was acting as if he was the victim and hero of non-existent crime.

Escape Goat
5 years ago

Lochte never said the fake police “stopped the car.” He said they were “pulled over,” which, as I have said, was misleading (but arguably not blatantly false if meant in the sense that the car was detained).

I’m not sure how Lochte having knocked a poster off the wall means that it is “a lie” to say they were forced out of the cab.

We don’t know exact details of how the gun was pointed at Lochte, but I have also said that Lochte was likely embellishing to the extent that he suggested the gun was literally held to his head.

I thought it was reported that there were two rent-a-cops. If it turns out there was only one, it… Read more »

OliverL
5 years ago

EscapeGoat says:
“What’s not clear is whether Brazil ACTUALLY tolerates pulling people out of a car”
“He was in fact forced out of the cab”

Reality:
“Bentz told the swimmers to come back because he believed the guards were police.” (says the attorney who got Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger the permission from a judge to leave Brazil)

EscapeGoat is manipualting facts. He can’t be trusted.

Escape Goat
5 years ago

They were detained at gunpoint. You can quibble with semantics or whatever it is you are arguing about, but the bottom line is guys with guns and a badge forced them onto the ground at gunpoint and wouldn’t let them leave until they gave them money.

Spin away, Oliver.

Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

In the video I did not see they were detained at gun point. The police report also doesn’t say they were held at gunpoint.
I also don’t see they were on the ground.

And where is that cocked gun held to his head?

Spin away, escapegoat.

Escape Goat
5 years ago

The police have confirmed that at least one gun was brandished. The swimmers all say it happened (actually, two guns), and the video is consistent with that, as they all sit down on the ground with their hands up.

OliverL
5 years ago

Well, I hope that you don’t have a career in Journalism or Law ahead of you, because correctly reciting simple facts would be a requirement.

Your bottom line is unfortunately insufficient again:
Real Bottom Line:
4 Swimmers were intoxicated and at least one of them commited vandalism. They tried to leave the scene without apologizing or compensating for the damage they have done. They returned to the scene because Bentz believed the security guys were actual police. Lochte was acting according to his intoxication. To prevent the scene from escalating further the security guys made them sit at the ground and called the police. Naturally, Lochte and co didn’t want any involvment with the police so they paid… Read more »

Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

Escape Goat
5 years ago

Your recitation of the facts is every bit as much of a spin job as Lochte’s story is.

They made them sit on the ground… by pointing guns at them. Kind of a key detail.

OliverL
5 years ago

“every bit” … I see you are being very precise again…

They made them sit on the ground… by pointing guns at them. Correct. But were those police officers? No. Did I say that this was the best way to manage the situation? No. Were 2 security guys confronted with 4 intoxicated individuals, one of them clearly looking for trouble? Yes.
It’s easy for you to say in hindsight, that in the situation it was not appropriate to point guns at them because they were just 4 harmless swimmers out on a night having fun… well the security guys didn’t know that and neither could you if you were in that situation.
So how much did they… Read more »

Escape Goat
5 years ago

Lochte wasn’t “clearly looking for trouble.” He was trying to leave the gas station, and the guys with guns in his face wouldn’t let him.

I discredit the Rio police on the grounds that they are accusing Lochte of fabricating the whole story (not true), claiming that the video shows them vandalizing the bathroom (not true), saying that Conger and Bentz confirmed that Lochte made it all up (apparently not true), spinning the guards holding them at gunpoint as not a big deal (it is), extorting Feigen for almost $11k and generally blowing this thing out of proportion as it pertains to the Americans’ behavior. OliverL Reply to Escape Goat 5 years ago 1. and the guys with guns in his face wouldn’t let him.–> It’s called citizen arrest. The police was called. If Lochte felt that he was robbed, why didn’t he wait for the police? 2. And.. even if you keep repeating it won’t become true. There were no guns in his face. 3. claiming that the video shows them vandalizing the bathroom (not true) –>where is this claimed in an offical police statement?and do you have access to every video that the police has access too? 4. extorting Feigen for almost$11k –> gosh, this is a decision made by the judicial system, not the police…

5. generally blowing this thing out of proportion –> Lochte was the one… Read more »

Caleb
5 years ago

I can’t believe there are so many rednecks on the board who think it’s ok to pull a gun on someone for something like this.

Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

The swimmers were going to fled the premise after vandalizing the property before the cops arrived.

Escape Goat
5 years ago

And OJ Simpson was just trying to get his memorabilia back, but he’s locked up on a 33-year sentence for kidnapping and armed robbery.

And get real with the “vandalism” stuff… What we’re really talking about apparently is Ryan Lochte punching an advertisement, which knocked it off the wall.

Just Another Opinion
5 years ago

I can’t believe there are so many bros on this board that don’t believe Lochte was in the wrong here.

Jim
5 years ago

I have long suspected that Lochte rammed his head into the sidewalls, a few too many times….

swimdoc
5 years ago

I think it was training for the 400 IM.

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