Ryan Lochte, the 32-year-old swimmer who caused an international scandal after he exaggerated a tale about getting robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro this summer, confirmed Friday that he plans to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Lochte, who would be 36 by that point, said he’s taking a “mental break from the sport” while he competes on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Along with his “mental break,” Lochte is also serving a 10-month suspension for his actions at a Rio gas station that caused the scandal this summer. Brazilian police charged Lochte with a false crime report after he allegedly vandalized a gas station then misrepresented what happened when security personnel asked for reimbursements for the damage.
As part of his punishment over the incident, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Swimming barred Lochte from competing in the 2017 world championships and took away his stipends and other bonuses, which could total $100,000. Lochte was also banned from attending a ceremony for Team USA at the White House last month.
“Unfortunately, this story line took attention away from the athletes who deserved it the most,” USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus said in a statement accompanying the Sept. 8 announcement of the suspension of Lochte and the three other swimmers involved in the Rio incident.
Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen all received four-month suspensions but remain eligible to compete at the 2017 world championship meet.
Neither the U.S. Olympic Committee nor USA Swimming has commented on Lochte’s announcement that he aims to compete in Tokyo.