Ryan Lochte Finishes 25th, Fails to Advance in 200M Freestyle at USA Olympic Trials

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIJune 14, 2021

OMAHA, NEBRASKA - JUNE 14: Ryan Lochte of the United States reacts after competing in a preliminary heat for the Men’s 200m freestyle during Day Two of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials at CHI Health Center on June 14, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Ryan Lochte, a six-time gold medalist for Team USA, failed to advance from the preliminary round of the 200-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials on Monday, per the Associated Press

The 36-year-old, who has made four Olympic teams in the past, finished 25th with a time of 1 minute, 49.23 seconds. The top 16 earned a spot in the semifinals. 

Lochte still has a chance to travel to Tokyo if he can qualify in the 200 individual medley. He was also entered in the 400 IM and the 100 backstroke, but scratched both events. 

Kieran Smith, who claimed the 400 free title on Sunday to punch his ticket to the Olympics, led the pack with a time of 1:46.54. 

Lochte, who has 12 total Olympic medals (good to tie him for second-most in swimming behind Michael Phelps' 28), entered six events at the trials in Omaha, Nebraska. 

His best showing on the Olympic stage came in London in 2012, when he won two gold medals and a pair of silver medals to follow up on his 2008 outing in Beijing, when he won two golds and two bronze medals. 

While he was a member of the 4x200 freestyle relay team that claimed gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, his fourth Olympic appearance was blemished by controversy when Lochte claimed he and some teammates were robbed at gunpoint. 

When an investigation revealed the story was false, Lochte was charged with filing a false report, which was punishable by up to 18 months in prison.

A Brazilian court dismissed the case in July 2017, but not before Lochte served a 10-month suspension from USA Swimming. He was also dropped by four major sponsors, including Speedo USA and Ralph Lauren.

With that behind him, the New York native was suspended for 14 months in July 2018, following an investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. The investigation, which stemmed from an Instagram post, found he was injected with an illegal amount of fluid (though not any banned substances). 

In March 2020, when the Olympics were postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Lochte, who is now a father of two, told ESPN's Greg Garber that he wasn't quitting on a return to the international stage. 

"I still have a bunch of goals I want to accomplish in the sport," he said.