Olympian Ryan Lochte has been going through a difficult phase in his career and public life after it emerged that he lied about being robbed at gunpoint and was charged with filing a false police report in Brazil last August. But when he tried to reach out to long-time friend and competitor Michael Phelps for support, he was disappointed by the treatment.
“I think he texted me back saying, ‘Yeah, sure. I’m here to help,’ or something like that,” USA Today quoted Lochte as saying. “But he didn’t call me. I was like, ‘Hey, can you please call me? Let me know, I need help.’ That never really happened.”
The 32-year-old athlete said that he did not step out of his house for six days after the scandal broke. He was not only banned from competing for 10 months but also lost a number of sponsorship deals including Speedo and Ralph Lauren.
“He’s busy,” Lochte said. “He has his own life. He has a kid. So it’s gotta be hard, you know?”
Lochte had claimed in August that he along with teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen was robbed at gunpoint after partying the previous night. However, it was later revealed that the group was confronted by the gas station’s security officers for alleged vandalism, Mail Online reported.
After the scandal broke, Lochte fled Brazil, leaving his young teammates behind. He later apologized for his behavior in a formal statement. Phelps, who retired after the summer’s Olympics, said that he had warned Lochte to be careful before the incident took place.
“I did have a talk with him about two days before about not doing anything bad,” he said. “I told him, ‘Just keep your head on straight. Have fun.’”
Us Weekly reported that Lochte, however, remained in the spotlight with ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” Season 23. However, there have been some disturbances during the filming of the show’s premiere with a couple of anti-Lochte members storming into the stage and shouting at the camera.