Ryan Lochte Stiff Sentence But He Screwed Up Bad ... Says Rowdy Gaines

9/8/2016 1:57 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Ryan Lochte got what he deserved when the USOC suspended him and banned him from U.S Swimming's National Championships, but there's still an upside ... according to swimming great Rowdy Gaines.

Rowdy -- a 3-time gold medalist who knows Lochte -- came on "TMZ Live" and pulled no punches, telling us Ryan's lie in Rio was a huge mistake that forced the USOC to drop the stiff 10 month suspension.

He also thinks Ryan will have plenty of time to stage a comeback, and Michael Phelps is a perfect example of that -- since he was also banned from the National swim meet after his DUIs. 

And check out Rowdy's take on the 10 month sentence. Bottom line ... NBD.