Colbert Mocks Ryan Lochte Over Scandal and Potential 2020 Olympics Ban

Stephen Colbert, host of "The Late Show," had some advice Monday night for the competitive U.S. swimmer whose name is now synonymous with havoc wreaked in the final days of the Rio Olympics. 

"What's it been like for you since this scandal about your alleged robbery in Rio broke?" Colbert asked Ryan Lochte in a mock "exclusive" interview Colbert pretended to give, compiling Lochte's various TV appearances after the controversy started.

"Well, since everything that's happened, I've kind of been laying low," Lochte told Colbert. 

"If you want to lay low, television is the best place to do that," Colbert told the swimmer.

He then got serious. 

"I want to give you a chance to clear up some things. You gave an interview with Billy Bush where you claimed that while you were at a gas station in Rio, a gun was put to your forehead and cocked, and you were robbed. Now you're saying that didn't happen?" Colbert asked.

"I overexaggerated that part," Lochte said.

Colbert was not having it.

"Here's the thing," he told Lochte. "That part is really the whole part. Without a gun cocked at your forehead, it's really just a story about some guys urinating on a gas station. How could you get that so wrong?" Colbert asked.

"I was intoxicated," Lochte admitted. Apparently, the Olympic swimmer was also intoxicated when he gave his story to Billy Bush hours later, and Matt Lauer three days later. 

"Ryan, are you intoxicated right now?" Colbert asked Lochte, proceeding to shine a flashlight in the swimmer's eyes and shake a feather cat toy in his face.

"Let me ask you this, Ryan, do you know what a gun is? Is this a gun to you?" Colbert asked, showing Lochte a banana. 

"I mean, I can't answer that," Lochte said, deadpan. 

Colbert then got serious.

"Now there is talk about banning you from swimming over this," Colbert said. "Let's say you're given a second chance. Describe for me, describe for the audience, the Ryan Lochte we can expect to see at the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020,"

"Intoxicated," Lochte repeated, thanks to some clever postproduction editing.

So much for Colbert's attempt to move the needle on this broken record.


Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.