NEW YORK -- Sure, Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte made up an incident in Rio de Janeiro and is facing charges from Brazilian police that he filed a false robbery report and is losing sponsors who think his image has been tarnished. But now, he aims to dance away the heartache.
Despite his current woes, Lochte was named Tuesday as a contestant on the upcoming edition of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
Lochte initially said that he and fellow swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen were robbed at gunpoint in a taxi by men with a police badge as they returned to the Olympic Village from a party. However, security video suggested the four actually faced security guards after vandalizing a gas station restroom.
Lochte has since acknowledged he was highly intoxicated and his behavior led to the confrontation.
He lost many key sponsors in the aftermath, including Speedo, Ralph Lauren and Airweave mattresses.
Lochte and the other swimmers could face sanctions from USA Swimming, including fines or suspension. The group, as well as Olympic officials, publicly expressed disappointment.
Lochte, 32, has said he planned to take an extended break after the Rio Games and relocate to Los Angeles. Swimming’s biggest meet next year is the world championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Local organizers and the mayor of Rio de Janeiro previously said they accepted Lochte’s apology.
“My feeling is one of pity,” Mayor Eduardo Paes said. “They did not represent the American athletes that are here.”
Lochte joins other celebrities in the “DWTS” ballroom including, “Brady Bunch” star Maureen McCormick, recording artists Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds,” Jana Kramer and Vanilla Ice, Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, NFL wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Jr., actress Marilu Henner, race car driver James Hinchcliffe, and “Little Women: LA” star Terra Jole.
The new season for “Dancing” begins Sept. 12.