Ryan Lochte has reportedly been handed a 10 month suspension by the U.S. Olympic Committee after over-exaggerating a story that he was held at gunpoint during the Rio Olympics last month.

According to USA Today, Lochte will be suspended from all competition by 10 months and will be banned from the 2017 world championships in Budapest.

In a recent interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, the 12-time Olympic medallist said he "over-exaggerated" parts of his initial story - the one claiming he and several teammates were forced out of their taxi and onto the ground, then robbed of their wallets by thieves pretending to be police.

Rio's actual police had earlier put it more bluntly, saying the crime as Lochte and fellow US swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen had reported never occurred.


Suspicion was first raised about the 32-year-old's version of events when footage appeared to show him, along with his teammates, returning to the Athletes' Village the night of the alleged robbery with what looked like their wallets in tow - the very wallets that were supposed to have been stolen.

CCTV footage later emerged of the swimmers at a petrol station. It was then alleged they were drunk and vandalising a bathroom, which led to them being apprehended by security and made to pay for damages.

Bentz, Conger and Feigen have reportedly been handed bans but not us much as the 10 months handed down to Lochte.

Following the incident, Lochte flew back to the United States, while the other three stayed in Brazil.

Last month a Rio judge ordered their passports be confiscated so that they could not leave the country, with all three questioned by police. Bentz and Conger were reportedly on a plane ready to fly back home, only for federal police to come on board and escort them off.

"I let my team down," Lochte said when asked how he felt being home while his teammates were detained in Brazil.

"I wanted to be there, like, I don't want them to think that I left, and left them dry because they were my teammates.

"I just wanted to make sure that they were at home safe before I came out and talked," he added.

Lochte had similar words of contrition when interviewed by Brazil's Globo TV. "I am sorry, it won't happen again," he said.

"It was my fault ... I was immature."

US Olympic Committee chief executive Scott Blackmun said the swimmers' ordeal wasn't over, confirming "we are going to have further action over this".

"(They) really let down our hosts in Rio, who did such a wonderful job, and we feel very badly about that."

-With News.com.au