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[personal profile] sg_wonderland
A big one. A huge one, to steal a phrase from he-who-must-not-be-President.

He lied. Repeatedly. To the media, to the cops and (gasp) to his own mother! Here's the thing: maybe those guys didn't vandalize that bathroom, maybe they did run afoul of an unscrupulous gas station owner who was trying to shake them down for cash. Maybe it happened just that way. Then that's the story they should have told. Gone back to the Olympic Village and said, 'man, this guy just shook us down for fifty bucks!' But Lochte lied to his mother, who told somebody, who told somebody and rather than admitting he lied, he lied. Yeah, that made a lot of sense.

I firmly believe he scampered out of Rio, leaving his younger teammates holding the bag. After enduring the humiliation of being removed from the plane home, two young men (who the police have said did not lie) were dragged through the media version of a perp-walk. They finally arrived back in the US last night, at best a couple of careless lads, at worst lying examples of the perceived American arrogance.

And as for the IOC official who chuckled over the 'boys' behaving badly. First, Lochte is 32 years old, a mite old for this frat-boy image he tries to project. It's shrug-worthy when you actually are a frat boy, when you're not it's pathetic. And second, why does Gabby Douglas have to put up with online bullying for her 'attitude' while these lads get to frolic away unscathed.

Lochte stands to lose millions in potential endorsements. Realistically, what company (except maybe a brewery) is going to want to put his face on a cereal box, behind the wheel of their car, spooning up their yogurt or timing himself with their watch?

And here, for me, is the difference in Lochte and Michael Phelps. When Phelps got caught DUI, he didn't lie, he didn't try to justify. He admitted he screwed up, paid the fine, did the time.

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