Ryan Lochte handed doping ban after Instagram post

The picture that got Ryan Lochte banned for 14 months
The picture that got Ryan Lochte banned for 14 months

American swimming star Ryan Lochte has accepted a 14-month doping ban after he posted a picture on Instagram of himself and his wife receiving intravenous infusions, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has confirmed.

Just as former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri discovered when he made the same mistake in 2016, IV drips or injections of more than 100 millilitres of fluid in a 12-hour period are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency even if the substances are legal.

In a statement, USADA said: "Ryan Lochte has accepted a 14-month sanction for his use of a prohibited method.

"On May 24, Lochte posted an image on social media depicting himself receiving an intravenous infusion.

"A subsequent investigation by USADA, with which Lochte fully co-operated, revealed that Lochte received an intravenous infusion of permitted substances at an infusion clinic in a volume greater than 100ml in a 12-hour period without a therapeutic use exemption."

Lochte, 33, has won 12 Olympic medals - second only to American rival Michael Phelps' tally - and has three times been named swimmer of the year by the sport's world governing body FINA.

But this is not his first scrape with controversy as he invented a story at the Rio Olympics in 2016 to cover a drunken night out with three team-mates.

Lochte claimed he and his friends had been robbed at gunpoint by men wearing police uniforms but this story soon unravelled, provoking outrage in Brazil and embarrassment in the United States.

He was later given a 10-month suspension by Swimming USA and he may still face a criminal charge in Rio for filing a false report.

To the surprise of many, though, he returned to swimming after his suspension and was scheduled to race at next week's US Nationals. But that is now impossible as he is banned from competition until July 23, 2019, a week-and-a-half before his 35th birthday.

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