LOS ANGELES: Six-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte is seeking treatment for alcohol addiction, his lawyer told US media.
Attorney Jeff Ostrow told celebrity website TMZ on Friday that Lochte was pursuing treatment and remained hopeful of qualifying to swim in a fifth Olympics at Tokyo in 2020.
“Ryan knows that conquering this disease now is a must for him to avoid making future poor decisions, to be the best husband and father he can be, and if he wants to achieve his goal to return to dominance in the pool in his fifth Olympics in Tokyo in 2020,” Ostrow told TMZ.
Lochte, 34, has won a total of 12 Olympic medals.
His decision to pursue treatment follows an incident in California where police were called on Thursday morning after he tried to break into his own hotel room.
Less than 24 hours later, Lochte was involved in a car crash shortly after arriving in Gainesville, Florida.
He was cited for “careless driving” but there was no mention of alcohol in the police report.
Drinking was a factor when Lochte was embroiled in scandal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He claimed that he and three other US swimmers were robbed after a night of revelry but Brazilian police later determined that Lochte had largely fabricated the story.
He was handed a 10-month suspension by USA Swimming.
Lochte is currently serving a 14-month suspension for a doping violation after receiving an intravenous infusion without a therapeutic use exemption.
There was no indication that the infusion involved a banned drug.
The suspension was announced in July and made retroactive to May 24, the date he received the treatment that he said was taken as a precaution after his wife and son fell sick.