As Sports Illustrated rolls out its annual ‘Where Are They Now?’ issue on former baseball player Alex Rodriguez, one name that has kept swimming in headlines (for reasons palatable and not) appears some 70 paragraphs down in the spread: Ryan Lochte.
For all Lochte has done in the pool– which has amounted to one of the most impressive careers in the sport, as he has collected six Olympic gold medals and over 50 gold medals in major international championships– he has been involved with haphazard mistakes and incidents that have been more tabloid-worthy than anything else. It was hardly surprising when he launched the TV series What Would Ryan Lochte Do in 2013, which the Washington Post called ‘gloriously stupid‘ after E! re-ran the show in 2016 following the forsaken Rio gas station incident.
So, Alex Rodriguez, a public figure who has been hated (here are nine reasons why, according to Fox Sports) but has since smoothed over his image (see this piece in Vice, or the aforementioned feature in SI), is now mentoring Lochte.
Indeed, Rodriguez has a show called ‘Back in the Game’ on CNBC, where he mentors athletes who have hit hard times. When filming for the episode earlier this year, Rodriguez denounces Lochte’s apology for the Rio incident, and gives him wise advice to never again refer to himself in the third person.
“Being with him, learning, having him help me out—it’s amazing what he’s been able to do,” Lochte said.
Rodriguez didn’t just offer him life coaching a la Karamo from Queer Eye, though. He also had Lochte create content for one of the fitness companies A-Rod Corp has invested in, starting him at $15,000 a month. The cash infusion from A-Rod comes on the heels of the sponsorship fallout post-Rio that saw major brands like Speedo and Ralph Lauren pull out of agreements with the swimmer.
Lochte was recently on a season of CBS’s Celebrity Big Brother, through which he trained in the pool. The four-time Olympian is also nearing the end of a 14-month ban following his usage of an intravenous infusion without a therapy-use-exemption (TUE). The ban started on May 24th, 2018, with its conclusion coming at the end of July.