Ryan Lochte Apologizes for His Behavior as Teammates Return to the U.S.
Ryan Lochte has broken his silence after Brazilian authorities say he and three of his Olympic teammates lied about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio Sunday morning.
The gold medal swimmer took to Twitter to issue a lengthy apology saying he was sorry for “his behavior” and “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 many of the athletes” participating in the games.
The 32-year-old added: “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.”
Lochte also admitted that “I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself.”
The apology comes as fellow swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger returned to the U.S. Friday after they were pulled from an plane two days earlier in Rio.
The duo landed in Miami as the Olympic committee issued their own statement that said: "We apologize to our hosts in Rio and the people of Brazil for this distracting ordeal in the midst of what should rightly be a celebration of excellence."
Earlier in the week, a judge ordered that their passports be seized and Bentz and Conger were detained from leaving the country until they gave their side of the story to police.
After the duo spoke with authorities, the order was lifted and they flew out of Brazil Thursday night. Their attorney, Sergio Riera, said they had done nothing wrong.
"They did not lie in their statements," he said. "They never lied to journalists. They only stayed quiet. They did not know what was going on."
Lochte and fellow swimmer Jimmy Feigen claimed they had been held up at gunpoint and robbed while returning to the Olympic village early Sunday.
Their story began to unravel when surveillance footage emerged showing them at a gas station before they were seen returning to the Olympic village in good spirits.
On Thursday afternoon, authorities called a press conference to dispute the team's version of events.
Authorities said the swimmers vandalized a gas station bathroom and were quested by armed guards outside the service area where the Americans eventually paid for the damages they caused.
Following the incident, Feigen agreed to make a $10,800 donation to a Brazilian charity.
After sitting down with a judge and Brazilian officials for four hours, Feigen's lawyer emerged Friday morning and revealed the Olympian would be paying 5,000 Reals, which is just under $11,000.
Under Brazilian law, donations can be made to avoid charges for minor offenses. The money will go to a charity called Reaction Institute.
After the payment is made, Feigen will have his passport returned and he can leave the country, his lawyer said.