Ryan Lochte Says He Was Not Suicidal After Rio Olympics Despite Reports

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2017

FILE - In this Aug. 9, 2016, file photo, United States' Ryan Lochte prepares before a men's 4x200-meter freestyle heat at the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lochte is banned from swimming through next June and will forfeit $100,000 in bonus money that went with his gold medal at the Olympics, part of the penalty for his drunken encounter at a gas station in Brazil during last month's games. The U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Swimming announced the penalties Thursday. Sept. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)
Michael Sohn/Associated Press

Six-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte clarified comments he made to ESPN The Magazine's Allison Glock in which he intimated he considered suicide following the 2016 Summer Olympics. 

"To be clear, yes, I was in a very dark place after Rio, but I never thought about taking my own life," Lochte told TMZ Sports. "That's the media twisting what I told ESPN. I would never do that. That's not me."

Lochte's public reptuation took a hit last summer when he confirmed he embellished a story in which he said he was robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro. Instead, Lochte and three others were being held at a gas station by armed officials until they paid for damage they caused to a nearby bathroom.

"After Rio, I was probably the most hated person in the world," Lochte said in his interview with Glock. "There were a couple of points where I was crying, thinking, 'If I go to bed and never wake up, fine.'"

Glock asked Lochte if he was referencing suicide, and he nodded before saying, "I was about to hang up my entire life."

The International Olympic Committee, United States Olympic Committee and USA Swimming all handed Lochte a 10-month suspension last September, a ban that extended through the 2017 world championships in July.

Lochte returned to competition at the U.S. Masters Swimming Spring Nationals in April, and he hinted to Glock a desire to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.