U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, who finished first in the 400-meter individual medley on Saturday, has been making headlines for non-athletic reasons as well. As he flashed his gold medal after the race, his smile revealed a custom red, white and blue studded grill, fashioned in the design of the American flag. Unfortunately, the grill rubbed some the wrong way, namely an IOC official who barred Lochte from wearing it on the podium. “Lochte told me he tried to wear his grill on the podium only to have an Olympics official tell him if he did so he wouldn’t get his gold,” ESPN’s Wayne Drehs tweeted on Saturday.

This is hardly the first time that Lochte has sported a grill to a competition. He has been spotted wearing several others at three World Championships in the past five years, as well as at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. "For those who don't know what a grill is, it's basically a retainer filled with diamonds," Lochte said in a Speedo Pace Club interview last year. “I wear it when I go on the podium. It's just a unique way of showing personality out to everyone.”

Lochte’s fashion statement confirms an interview he gave last year in which he shared his dream of becoming a fashion designer. “I want to be different, and fashion gives me that outlet to do that,” Lochte told The New York Times. “I think I have about a total of 130 pairs of shoes. So you can say I like shoes.” The budding sex symbol and celebrity graced the cover of Vogue in June, becoming the fourth man to do so, and has already been signed by Ford Models.

For more on London 2012:

Is Michael Phelps' Rival, Ryan Lochte, Finding Love On The Water?

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Diver David Boudia On London And Thomas Finchum

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Gymnast Jordyn Wieber On Training For London Games

PROFILE: The Audacity Of Hope Solo

Alex Morgan, Women's Soccer Star, Looks Forward To London

Who Got Kicked Off 'Dancing With The Stars'?

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Swimmer Brendan Hansen Lost His Olympic Gold Medal

The Phelps Family Reflects On Michael Phelps' Olympic Career

EXCLUSIVE: Olympic Gymnast Jonathan Horton Talks His Competition Day Routine

Daniel Craig To Open Olympics At Buckingham Palace

Uinterview | News: Lolo Jones Qualifies For London Olympic Games

Uinterview | News: LISTEN: Muse Song 'Survival' Chosen As Official Song For London Games

Michael Phelps To Retire After London Games

SLIDESHOW: Michael Phelps

SLIDESHOW: Nastia Liukin

Double Amputee 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius Blazing A Trail For South Africa

Ryan Lochte Beats Michael Phelps At World Championships

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