Call it Triumph of White Male Privilege. Despite losing high-profile product endorsement deals with Ralph Lauren, Speedo and Airweave, People magazine is reporting that disgraced Olympian Ryan Lochte may have just been approached about competing on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars. According to a DWTS insider, “Ryan has wanted to be on the show for years.”
The news comes shortly after Lochte, 32, ignited controversy by fabricating a details about being robbed during his time at the Rio Olympics in August.
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot, because I have a big heart, and I feel like let down a lot of people,” Lochte told PEOPLE on Wednesday. “I feel bad that I have let people down.”
Lochte, who won his 12th medal at the Rio games, told NBC’s Billy Bush ahead of the second week of Olympic events that he and three other Team U.S.A. swimmers were robbed at gunpoint in Rio.
After prodding from Brazilian police, however, Lochte admitted to PEOPLE in an exclusive interview that he had “made up” details about the robbery. Instead, the group had been confronted by a security guard after being accused of vandalizing a gas station bathroom.
“The part I made up was saying that it was a robbery. I think the word ‘robbery’ shocked a lot of people, and the story went viral after that,” he told PEOPLE. “A gun was pulled, and we had to give them cash. If I didn’t say ‘robbery,’ none of this would have happened.”
Subsequently, Lochte told PEOPLE he apologized to his teammates, James Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, who had been held in Brazil for questioning in relation to the swimmer’s comments.
Dancing with the Stars wouldn’t be Lochte’s first foray into reality television: he starred on brief E! series What Would Ryan Lochte Do? in 2013.
(Vintage 2012 photos of Ryan Lochte via Pacific Coast News)