The Ryan Lochte comeback tour is off to a poor start.
The 12-time Olympic medalist failed to advance from the preliminary rounds of the 200-meter freestyle at the U.S Olympic swim trials in Omaha, Neb. Lochte’s time of 1 minute, 49.23 seconds placed him 25th overall, which fell short of the top-16 finish needed to qualify for the next round.
The leading time belonged to Kieran Smith, who led the event with a time of 1 minute, 46.54 seconds. The next closest was Caeleb Dressel with a time of 1 minute, 46.63.
Lochte was supposed to participate in six events at the trials, but dropped out of the 100-meter backstroke and the 400 individual medley. Now, the best chance Lochte has to return to Olympic glory is the 200-meter IM event.
The 36-year-old is pursuing what would be his fifth Olympics appearance, which would earn him a trip to Tokyo. Lochte’s last appearance was in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro. He was able to win his sixth career gold medal that year, but there was another reason Lochte became a household name worldwide.
While in Rio, Lochte and three other swimmers were charged with filing a false robbery report after an incident at a gas station in Brazil.
The group, which included Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, reported they were robbed by taxi drivers posing as policemen, but security video showed Lochte and the others urinating and vandalizing the outside of a gas station.
The charges eventually were dismissed. USA Swimming and the United States Olympic Committee suspended Lochte 10 months for his role in the incident.