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Fourth-Place Medal

Ryan Lochte used the Olympic pool for purposes other than swimming

Fourth-Place Medal

(Getty Images)

Ryan Lochte is like every other competitive swimmer who's donned a Speedo and goggles: He sometimes uses the pool as a restroom. Unlike every other competitive swimmer who's donned a Speedo and goggle, Lochte has done it on the sport's biggest stage: At the Olympics.

The 11-time Olympic medalist admitted to "Access Hollywood" that he went No. 1 in the pool in which he was later crowned No. 1 in the 400 IM.

"I did in warm-up," he told Ryan Seacrest. "I think there's just something about getting into chlorine water that you just automatically go."

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He stressed that he doesn't do it in competition because -- why would you go during competition? If you can't hold it for 1 minute, 52 seconds, then you have bigger problems with which to contend. So the warm-up pool is likely not where you were thinking.

Is Lochte gross for doing this? No, not at all. Using the pool in that way is as much a part of swimming as dryland, early morning practices, throwing kickboards and complaining about how cold the pool is.

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Lochte isn't ashamed. Nor am I. For I, Chris Chase, am a pool goer. If we go, do we not bleed? Surely not. Hundreds of thousands of competitive swimmers have done the same. I haven't been a competitive swimmer in over a decade, but I coached for a long time after and I can safely report nothing's changed. Everyone does it. There's a name for swimmers who say they've never gone in the pool: Liars.

Why do swimmers go? Four reasons:

1. Pool bathrooms are gross. They're soaking wet all the time and you can't be entirely sure all the water has come from bodies dripping.

2. It's usually a long way from the pool to the bathroom. The air can be cold, the pool always feels colder upon getting back in and there's rarely a good time to leave the water. Your coach will get mad and it's not worth the agita.

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3. Totally liberating.

4. Have you ever seen what pure chlorine does to skin or a fabric? Once you have, you'll never question its powers in killing liquid again. This is a victimless crime. Is it gross to think about? Sure. But it's like eating steak. If you sit and think about what you're doing, it can be off-putting. That's why you put your head down, throw on your blinders and move on with your life.

Plus, it's not like anyone will ever find out unless you announce it to the host of "American Idol" or post it on the most visited Olympic blog in the world. You know how I know? Because no one ever caught me and I never caught anyone.

If you're nodding your head right now: Solidarity, brothers (and sisters). If you're getting ready to write me an angry email about health standards, please include the location of your neighborhood pool. I'll come by, we can take a dip together and discuss the issue.
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