(SportsMax)-Swimmer Ryan Lochte insists he was not aware of the anti-doping rule that prompted his 14-month ban.
Twelve-time Olympic medallist Lochte was found to have breached regulations after a photograph he posted on social media in May of himself receiving fluids intravenously prompted an investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).The 33-year-old, who will be clear to return to competition in July 2019, highlighted no prohibited substances were involved and claims he has been penalised due to a rule he was unaware of.
“We received an IV infusion consisting of vitamins and B12. There were no prohibited substances in the infusion,” Lochte said when addressing the media on Monday. “I had the IV as both Kayla [his wife] and my son Caiden were sick.
“I posted a picture on my Instagram account of Kayla and I doing the vitamin infusions. I received an inquiry from USADA about what was in the IV. I fully co-operated with their request.
“What I did not know was that, even though I was not taking any banned substances from WADA [the World Anti-Doping Agency] and there was nothing that I was taking that was prohibited on the list, in WADA’s rules you can’t take more than 100ml of anything in an IV infusion.
“I was not aware of that. What I was taking was over 100ml.
“I’ve been swimming my whole life and I’ve been monitored by USADA for my entire competitive career. I’ve never taken a prohibited substance and I’ve never attempted to gain any advantage over my competition by putting anything illegal in my body.
“I would never do that. This is very serious to me. I would never intentionally violate any anti-doping rule.
“Unfortunately, although the rule is a newer rule and not as widely known as others, I should know better.”