In 2016, after he competed in the Summer Olympics in Rio, the United States Olympic Committee and USA Swimming suspended Ryan from taking part in domestic and international competitions for 10 months after he said he “over-exaggerated ” a story about being robbed at gunpoint in the Brazilian city along with some swimming team mates.
“It’s been a long suspension but it’s over, I’ve learned and became a better man from it. Now let’s go #2020 #teamtyr #2020isforyoucaiden #justletmework,” Ryan wrote on Instagram in July 2017 after he was free to compete again, giving a shout-out to his and Kayla’s then 1-month-old son.
In July 2018, a year after his suspension over the Rio incident was lifted, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) suspended Lochte for 14 months for his use of a prohibited intravenous infusion at an infusion clinic after he posted a photo of himself getting the IV on social media. The group explained in a statement that while the substance that was infused was permitted, athletes were not allowed to get IVs outside of a hospital unless given special permission.
ESPN reported that Lochte later said at a press conference he has “never taken a prohibitive substance” and “never attempted to gain any advantage by putting anything illegal” in his body.
In his press conference on Friday, Ryan said he competes not just for himself but because he “wants to make everyone happy.” He also reflected on how different his life became once he got married and had kids.
“I just want to do it for everyone and prove to everyone that I have changed,” he explained. “I’m a different person. My life has definitely changed. Swimming is, I guess, my second job now. Once my son was born and I became a father and a husband…that’s my number one thing, and swimming is just the cherry on top. But in the midst of everything, I just felt like I kind of let everyone down just because I mean, I care about everyone.”