Ryan Lochte is now acknowledging that he has a "serious" alcohol problem after a booze-fueled incident at a Southern California hotel and he'll be seeking treatment, TMZ Sports has learned.
We've confirmed ... Lochte was involved in an incident at a hotel in Newport Beach on Thursday morning in which he drunkenly tried to kick in his own hotel room door around 3 AM.
Hotel security responded to the scene and cops were called. No arrests were made and Lochte smoothed things over with the hotel in regards to the damaged door.
But, now we've learned ... Lochte is realizing he's been battling an "alcohol addiction" and needs to address it before the problem gets worse.
"Ryan has been battling alcohol addiction for many years and unfortunately it has become a destructive pattern for him," Lochte's lawyer, Jeff Ostrow tells us.
"He has acknowledged that he needs professional assistance to overcome his problem and will be getting help immediately. "
"Ryan knows that conquering this disease now is a must for him to avoid making future poor decisions, to be the best husband and father he can be, and if he wants to achieve his goal to return to dominance in the pool in his 5th Olympics in Tokyo in 2020."
This incident is not the first time Lochte has gotten into trouble after a night of boozing -- he was arrested in Brazil back 2016 after a drunken incident at a local gas station.