Phelps warned Lochte be­fore in­ci­dent in Rio

Olympic stand­out told his team­mate to ‘just keep your head on straight’

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Jim Litke

CHASKA, MINN. — Add Michael Phelps’ name to the list of Amer­i­cans who were less than amused by team­mate Ryan Lochte’s post-com­pe­ti­tion, early-morn­ing drunken an­tics at the Rio Olympics.

“I did have a talk with him about two days be­fore about not do­ing any­thing bad,” said Phelps, who grew up in Rodgers Forge and re­tired af­ter the Sum­mer Games as the most dec­o­rated Olympian of all time. “I told him: ‘Just keep your head on straight. Have fun.’ ” Ap­par­ently, the warn­ing didn’t take. Lochte and three team­mates got into a scrape with a se­cu­rity guard at a gas sta­tion in Rio de Janeiro af­ter a night of par­ty­ing. He orig­i­nally said he and team­mates Jack Conger of Rockville, Gun­nar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen were threat­ened and robbed at gun­point but was later charged in Brazil with fil­ing a false po­lice re­port.

Lochte, 32, whose 12 medals, in­clud­ing six gold, make him the sec­ond-most dec­o­rated Olympic swim­mer, was banned from com­pe­ti­tion for 10 months — in­clud­ing a chance to qual­ify for next sum­mer’s world cham­pi­onships — by the U.S. Olympic Com­mit­tee and USA Swim- ming.

He also for­feited $100,000 in medal bonuses, was dropped from the Olympic team’s White House visit and was or­dered to per­form 20 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice. His three team­mates were given four-month bans and dropped from the White House visit.

De­spite los­ing a num­ber of spon­sor­ship deals as well, Lochte hasn’t low­ered his pub­lic pro­file. He is com­pet­ing this sea­son on “Danc­ing with the Stars,” where two pro­test­ers rushed the stage dur­ing a tap­ing of the show in Los An­ge­les two weeks ago. Lochte had just per­formed a fox trot with pro­fes­sional part­ner Ch­eryl Burke to “Call Me Ir­re­spon­si­ble” and ap­peared briefly shaken.

The two men were quickly tack­led by se­cu­rity guards and ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of tres­pass­ing. They later said their pur­pose was “to get the mes­sage out that Lochte is a coward, a liar and un­der Brazil­ian law, a crim­i­nal.”

Lochte posted on In­sta­gram the day af­ter the show aired, thank­ing “ev­ery­one on the show, in­clud­ing my part­ner Ch­eryl, my fel­low com­peti­tors, the pro­duc­ers, the se­cu­rity team and its fans.”

Phelps won five gold medals and a sil­ver in Rio, bring­ing his ca­reer to­tals to 23 golds and 28 medals. He was in Min­nesota get­ting a be­hind-the-scenes look at Ry­der Cup prepa­ra­tions ahead of this week­end’s matches. The avid golfer was sched­uled to play in Tues­day’s celebrity tour­na­ment and is also mak­ing ap­pear­ances on be­half of his spon­sor, Omega.

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