Was Lochte in the wrong?

Athlete scandals and more…

Tariah Harrell, Staff Writer

What really happens to the athletes that lose endorsement deals when they become involved in bad news? Many might say that they are not good role models, or they are just acting undisciplined.

For instance, twelve-time U.S. Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte was involved in an incident in Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Olympic Games with three of his fellow  American teammates.  Lochte, 32, took a major financial hit when he tried to pass the incident as something that it was not. Due to this event, his sponsors took action.

Swimsuit company Speedo USA, clothing brand Ralph Lauren, and skin-care company Syneron-Candela all dropped Lochte from being affiliated with their brand.

Marion Jones, 40, was an American former World Champion track and field athlete and a former professional basketball player for Tulsa Shock in the WNBA. Jones, who won five medals during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia acknowledged that she used steroids as she prepared herself for the Olympic Games.

In 2004, the International Olympic Committee had an open investigation because of those allegations. She denied using any performance-enhancing drugs. In 2007, Jones admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, and plead guilty in New York on two counts of lying to federal agents about the doping, and unrelated financial matter.

In this case, Jones was sentenced six months in prison and two years of probation and community service. “I want to apologize to you all for all of this” Jones said. “I am so sorry for disappointing you all in so many ways, and I apologize for not being the role model for children who look up to me.” 

“I think athletes performing at the highest levels come under incredible scrutiny from fans and the media,” said Wingate University’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, Will Hayes. As a strength and conditioning coach, Hayes has to be aware of things such as this.  
“Regardless,  the athlete’s ability to come back from a ‘scandal’ seems to be placed more on his or her continued success in competition. For example, Tiger Woods with Michael Vick. Tiger Woods fell out-of-favor after his failed marriage and affairs. He was unable to return to the golf course and perform at a high level and remain on the fringe of favorability. Michael Vick, though imprisoned, was able to return to the NFL and perform very well for a few years. Vick’s attempts to redeem himself after his mistakes played a key role in his return to popularity, but these acts would not have gotten him as far without the help of his continued success,” says Hayes. 

Check out more information about the Ryan Lochte scandal: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/09/sports/olympics/ryan-lochte-suspended-10-months-for-rio-scandal.html?_r=0

Edited by: Sara Gunter

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