And the award for dumbest athlete goes to ... well, it can only be Ryan Lochte. Jeah!
After his mindblowingly stupid Instagram post got him banned, we look back on the swimmer's long career of gaffes
Call off the dogs. The hunt is over. The search was exhaustive, the competition ferocious, but the title for sport’s stupidest athlete can now be awarded in perpetuity to Ryan Lochte: swimmer, model, idiot extraordinaire.
On Monday, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced that it was suspending Lochte for 14 months after he received an intravenous infusion without a therapeutic use exemption.The source of Usada’s information? Lochte’s own Instagram account. Much like a thief getting caught for taking a selfie on a stolen phone, Lochte had posted a picture of himself hooked up to an IV drip. Just for good measure, Lochte added “Athletic recovery with #IV”. Even if Usada accepted Lochte’s explanation that he was using “vitamins” rather than a performance-enhancing substance, this was not a rookie mistake. Lochte is 33. He has won 12 medals at four Olympic Games.
The awards panel would like to make clear that Lochte has not been decorated for a single act, however outstandingly boneheaded, but for a consistent body of work going back many years.
Most people will recall his previous greatest hit, the Rio taxi robbery fabrication. Lochte claimed that he and fellow swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen were robbed at gunpoint from a taxi by men posing as police officers on a night out during the Rio Olympics.“They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground,” Lochte said at the time. “I refused. I was like, we didn’t do anything wrong, so I’m not getting down on the ground.”The truth, which gradually came out after Lochte fled back to the United States, was that the quartet had vandalised a petrol station bathroom and urinated on a wall at 5am while blind drunk. The confrontation occurred when security guards requested appropriate compensation.
While his team-mates were held in Brazilian police custody and United States Olympic Committee issued a grovelling apology, Lochte was releasing cartoonish videos of himself babbling inanities. He later blamed the media, naturally.As Sally Jenkins wrote in The Washington Post: “Ryan Lochte is the dumbest bell that ever rang.” The perfect embodiment of the Frat Boy sense of entitlement, he was the inspiration for Zac Efron’s moronic character in the recent Baywatch film.
He previously attempted to trademark the word “Jeah” as his own personal catchphrase. “It means almost like everything — like, happy,” Lochte said. “If you have a good swim, you say ‘Jeah!’ Like it’s good. So I guess ... it means ... good.”
As the home of the Kardashians, the E! network recognised a prize fool when it saw one and handed Lochte his own reality television show called What Would Ryan Lochte Do? The answer involved going on dates with air-heads of equal vapidity and having his mother show him how to tie a tie (aged 27).It was cancelled after five weeks, which is a shame because the world will be denied future pearls such as: “Something will pop up in my head. All of a sudden like, I have like, a jumping banana in my head. And I stop and pause. I’m like, that damn jumping banana is in my head. Like, I don’t know what’s going on.”
The suspension means that Lochte will miss the World Championships and in all probability the Tokyo Olympics.
Still, at least he has one more award for his mantlepiece. I am sure he appreciates shiny things.
– © The Daily Telegraph