Ryan Lochte is in talks to join Dancing With The Stars.
The 32-year-old is a front-runner to join the cast of upcoming 23rd season of the ABC show, according to People magazine.
Lochte, having won his 12th Olympic medal at the Rio Games, made news for the wrong reasons in Brazil after fabricating claims that he was the victim of an armed robbery at a petrol station, along with team-mates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen.
Can he dance too? Ryan Lochte, pictured here at the Rio Olympics, is in talks to join Dancing With The Stars
He joins a host of other names in the mix to appear in the dancing competition including Amber Rose, The Bachelorette’s JoJo Fletcher and Jake T. Austin, 21, from Wizards of Waverly Place.
Simone Biles, the 19-year-old gymnastics gold medalist, told E! that while she had the chance to participate – following in the footsteps of past Olympians such as Lolo Jones, Meryl Davis and Aly Raisman, her schedule is too packed right now.
The official line-up will be announced live on Good Morning America on August 30, before the show kicks off on September 12 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Would he be a draw? The gold medal-winning swimmer is rumored to be on the wish list for the ABC show that pairs celebrities with dance professionals in an elimination competition
She passed: Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, 19, has revealed she was invited to participate in season 23 of DWTS but has too many other things on her plate
On Tuesday the network announced the eight professional dancers who will partner up with the celebrities for the grueling gauntlet of tangos, sambas and foxtrots. They are: Lindsay Arnold, Sharna Burgess, Artem Chigvintsev, Val Chmerkovskiy, Witney Carson, Allison Holker, Sasha Farber and Gleb Savchenko.
The rumoured job offer follows news that many of Lochte’s high-profile sponsors have cut ties with United States swimmer following his Olympic controversy.
Swimsuit company Speedo withdrew their sponsorship of Lochte, and then clothing chain Ralph Lauren, skin-care firm Syneron-Candela and Japanese mattress maker Airweave followed suit.
‘Ralph Lauren continues to proudly sponsor the US Olympic and Paralympic Team and the values that its athletes embody,’ a statement from the company read. ‘Ralph Lauren’s endorsement agreement with Ryan Lochte was specifically in support of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the company will not be renewing his contract.’
Mea culpa: The rumoured DWTS offer follows news that many of Lochte’s high-profile sponsors have cut ties with him following his Rio controversy. He’s pictured on NBC’s Today
A Syneron-Candela statement said: ‘ Syneron-Candela will be ending its partnership with Ryan Lochte. We hold our employees to high standards, and we expect the same of our business partners. We wish Ryan well on his future endeavours and thank him for the time he spent supporting our brand.’
Airweave tweeted: ‘After careful consideration, we have made the decision to end our partnership with Ryan Lochte. We remain committed to supporting Team USA and the athletes preparing for the Paralympic Games.’
Speedo were the first company to end a relationship with Lochte, announcing the decision in a statement on Monday.
It read: ‘Speedo USA today announces the decision to end its sponsorship of Ryan Lochte.
‘As part of this decision, Speedo USA will donate a 50,000 US dollars (£37,900) portion of Lochte’s fee to Save The Children, a global charity partner of Speedo USA’s parent company, for children in Brazil.
‘While we have enjoyed a winning relationship with Ryan for over a decade and he has been an important member of the Speedo team, we cannot condone behaviour that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for.
‘We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience.’
Needs a new gig: The athlete, 32, has lost a string of endorsements and may be looking for a way to rehabilitate himself in the public’s eyes
Lochte responded by issuing a statement through his public relations firm, saying: ”I respect Speedo’s decision and am grateful for the opportunities that our partnership has afforded me over the years.’
Lochte was part of the USA’s gold medal-winning 4×200 metres freestyle relay team for the fourth Olympics in succession, adding to further golds in the 400m individual medley at London 2012 and the 200m backstroke at Beijing 2008.
He also won 200m medley silver in Athens in 2004, 200m and 400m medley bronze medals in Beijing and two silvers and a bronze in London.
Popular: Dancing With The Stars pairs celebrities with dance professionals in an elimination competition. It’s now in its 23rd season on ABC