After Rio police confirmed yesterday that a gun-point robbery involving Ryan Lochte and three other USA Swimming team members didn’t happen in Rio, Lochte issued an apology over social media.
Posting to his Instagram page, Lochte wrote the following:
“I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend — for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics. I waited to share these thoughts until it was confirmed that the legal situation was addressed and it was clear that my teammates would be arriving home safely.
It’s traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country – with a language barrier – and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave, but regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night, I should be have been much more responsible in how I handled myself and for that I am sorry to my teammates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors, and the hosts of this great event. I am very proud to represent my country in Olympic competition and this was a situation that could and should have been avoided. I accept responsibility for my role in this happening and have learned some valuable lessons.
I am grateful for my USA Swimming teammates and the USOC, and appreciate all of the efforts of the IOC, the RIO ’16 Host Committee, and the people of Brazil who welcomed us to Rio and worked so hard to make sure that these Olympic Games provided a lifetime of great new memories. There has already been too much said and too many valuable resources dedicated to what happened last weekend, so I hope we spend our time celebrating the great stories and performances of these Games and look ahead to celebrating future successes.”
Lochte’s apology comes after both he and teammate Jimmy Feigen were indicted in Brazil for “false reporting of a crime.” Teammates Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger were also involved, although named as witnesses with no legal action taken against them.
While both Lochte and Feigen claimed that they were robbed at gunpoint, the Rio police confirmed this was untrue and that the swimmers were instead involved in vandalizing a gas station and paying off the security guards.
While Lochte had already returned home to the United States, Feigen was not allowed to return until the issue was resolved. Feigen’s attorney stated this morning that he had reached an agreement with a Brazilian judge and would donate the equivalent of $10,800 USD to an “institution” in Brazil.
Both Bentz and Conger returned home early this morning. Feigen is reportedly heading home later today.