U.S. swimming’s resident airhead Ryan Lochte—who also happens to be a 12-time Olympic medalist—was suspended for 14 months by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Monday for receiving a prohibited intravenous infusion. Lochte, U.S. swimming’s second-most decorated athlete behind Michael Phelps, ran into trouble with the anti-doping authority in the most Lochte possible way: He posted a picture of himself on Instagram receiving the IV, complete with the hashtag “#ivdrip.” Neither the picture—since deleted—nor the subsequent investigation showed that the 33-year-old swimmer used a ban substance; the violation is that he used the IV drip at all.
“Lochte received an intravenous infusion of permitted substances at an infusion clinic in a volume greater than 100 ml in a 12-hour period without a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE),” USADA said in a release. “Intravenous infusions or injections in a volume greater than 100 mL within a 12-hour period are prohibited at all times–except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital treatment, surgical procedures, or clinical diagnostic investigations under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the Fédération Internationale de Natation Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.”
Lochte said he was taking B12 and other vitamins available over the counter intravenously in order to boost his immune system and avoid catching a bug from his family. “I have never taken a prohibitive substance,” Lochte said of the suspension. “I have never attempted to gain any advantage by putting anything illegal in my body. I would never do that; this is very serious to me. … Unfortunately, while the rule is a newer rule and is not widely known as others, I should know better.”
“The 14-month ban, retroactive to May 24 [-] is his second in less than two years after his 10-month suspension for his behavior during a drunken incident that created widespread scorn at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics,” ESPN reports.