Which 'DWTS' Alum Worries It's 'a Little Too Soon' for Ryan Lochte to Step into the Ballroom?

"It'll be tough for him to spin it this quickly," the former contestant told PEOPLE of Lochte's Rio Olympics robbery scandal

Photo: Matt Hazlett/Getty

Ralph Macchio thinks “it seems a little too soon” for Ryan Lochte to join Dancing with the Stars.

Just a few weeks after the professional swimmer made global headlines after he falsely alleged that he was robbed at gunpoint during the Rio Olympics, Lochte signed on to join season 23 of the ABC dancing reality show.

“It seems a little too soon, but man, you just don’t know. It’ll be tough for him to spin it this quickly,” Macchio, who competed on season 12 of DWTS, told PEOPLE at the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe. “Not that I have every piece of detail about it, but it is a platform, it is the only platform on primetime that really wants you to succeed. It does not aim, it likes those Bindi Irwin stories that are just magical.”

The 54-year-old actor, who is widely recognized for his role as Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid, recognizes that the show has a platform and the ability to draw in recognizable names.

“They know how to get them. They are very good at bringing in the headliners,” he told PEOPLE. “It was a great experience for me. I will do it once. I did it once, and I’ve done it once.”

Though Macchio didn’t get his hands on the Mirrorball Trophy – he placed fourth in the overall competition with professional dancer Karina Smirnoff – he remembers his time on the show as being a positive experience.

“Even in the case of my story, it was very much a big fat warm embrace by the country. Especially the onset,” he says. “It aims to be positive.”

Dancing with the Stars returns Sept. 12 on ABC.

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