The Olympic swimmer appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show next Monday where he'll candidly discuss his 10-month suspension from swimming after lying to authorities and the media about being held at gunpoint in Rio. USA Swimming and the United States Olympic Committee also banned the 32-year-old athlete from the 2017 National Championship, which prevents him from qualifying for the FINA World Championships next July in Budapest.
"You know, I've been swimming my entire life and I've never taken a break, and for someone telling me that I can't do something I've been doing my entire life...it's heartbreaking and it stinks," he tells host Ellen DeGeneres.
"But there is so much more I want accomplish in the sport of swimming so I do know that I'm still going to be training and when I do come back I'm going to definitely be a better swimmer and a better person."
Lochte also opens up about turning to fellow teammate Michael Phelps for advice on how to come back from this "low point."
"I reached out to him because I knew he hit a low point in his life and he bounced back from it and I knew his answer was gonna be really honest because of our relationship over the years," Lochte says, alluding to Phelps' past legal troubles. "He said, 'It's not what you did it's what you do now that will shape who you are.'"
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
Lochte continues, "I took that to heart and you know that's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna better myself. Make sure I don't make those mistakes and become a better person."
The gold-medal winner also plans on swimming at the Tokyo Olympics in four years, even though he had said he wanted to take a break. "Yes, I definitely want to, but you know the past year I was mentally tired of the sport because I've been doing it so long," he explains. "Now that the suspension and everything has happened I can take that mental break, but I still have goals that I want to accomplish so I will definitely be back and hopefully I'll be ready to rock and roll."
When it was first announced that Lochte would be competing on Dancing With the Stars many wondered if he should lie low. It later came out that he had signed on about a month before the events in Rio took place, but now he tells DeGeneres that he still wants to do it so he can overcome his past.
"I realized I reached the lowest point of my entire life that I never thought I would go to," he says. "I was in a really dark place and I didn't know if I should come out, just hide my entire life, but I reached to my family and my friends and they kept me positive and said you know you have to do this you have to get out there. You can't always hide the rest of your life just embrace this opportunity so that's why I'm here."