Olympian Ryan Lochte has been suspended for one year by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after the swimming star posted a photo that apparently pictured him breaking the organization’s rules.
The gold medalist got an intravenous injection, a method of medicine ingestion that is typically banned under anti-doping rules, back in May.
"I wasn’t taking anything illegal," Lochte, 35, said at a press conference in Florida Monday. "Everything was legal. You can get it at CVS, Walgreens, but there are rules and you have to obey them."
The organizations first learned of Lochte’s transgression after he posted a photo of himself receiving the IV on social media.
Lochte and U.S. officials said he “fully cooperated” with the ensuing investigation, which found the swimmer had "received an intravenous infusion of permitted substances at an infusion clinic."
But the organization states athletes cannot typically receive IVs unless related to a hospitalization or when allowed under the terms of a USADA-approved exemption, and Lochte did not fall under either category.
Lochte received a 14-month-long ban from competition that retroactively began on May 24 and will last until July 2019.
"I may be on the sideline from competition, but I'll continue to train every day," Lochte said. "I want nothing more than to earn the privilege to swim for my country in my fifth Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020."
This is Lochte’s second ban in less than two years, as the 12-time Olympic medalist received a 10-month suspension for behavior during an incident at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. He returned to competition last year, and won the 200-meter individual medley at the U.S. Open.
He has also become a father and a husband, marrying model Kayla Rae Reid in January. They welcomed their first child together seven months earlier.