The USOC dropped the hammer on Ryan Lochte because his full punishment includes a ban from the next swimming National Championships meet ... which could put his swim career in jeopardy.
Lochte is also banned from visting the White House with the rest of Team USA Olympians. TMZ Sports broke the story ... Lochte will be banned from swim meets for 10 months, but the USOC just released the full list of punishments he's facing.
He has to return the money he was awarded for winning a gold medal at the games ... perform 20 hours of community service ... and he will have no access to training centers.
The National Championship ban -- which falls outside his 10 month suspension -- is a real shot, since it also means Lochte can't compete in the World Championships ... which could hamper the 32-year-old's hopes of competing in the 2020 Olympics. On the other hand, Michael Phelps got the same ban, and ended up kicking ass this year.
The other swimmers involved in the Rio incident -- Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen -- got 4 month suspensions ... and will also be banned from the White House visit.
Bentz will also do 10 hours of community service.