Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps have been teammates for years, but Lochte claims that Phelps’ on-air promise that he’d be there for him in the wake of his lying scandal in Rio was a whole lot of nothing.
“Ryan and I have been teammates forever and it’s always hard to see a friend and a competitor going through a hard time like this — I know what it feels like. I’ve been through it before,” said Phelps (who has endured scandal himself after two DUI arrests) during an interview with “Today”, adding: “Hopefully he can come out of this a better person. I’ve reached out to him a couple times and I think he understands a lot. He will be able to grow from this.”
Lochte, who is currently under suspension while appearing on “Dancing With the Stars”, claims that despite Phelps’ claim that he “reached out to him,” his support has been pretty much non-existent.
“I think he texted me back saying, ‘Yeah, sure. I’m here to help,’ or something like that,” Lochte told USA Today, admitting that he reached out to Phelps. “But he didn’t call me. I was like, ‘Hey, can you please call me? Let me know, I need help.’ That never really happened.”
However, Lochte doesn’t take the snub personally. “I figured it could have been like his people saying, ‘Don’t associate with [Lochte] right now. Lay low.’ It could be anything,” says Lochte. “He’s busy. He has his own life. He has a kid. So it’s gotta be hard, you know?”
As for their relationship, Lochte explains: “We’re close, but not like close-close. I could go hang out with him if I wanted to and have like a conversation easily, or we could go get a bite to eat or something like that. But we don’t.”