An emotional Ryan Lochte has apologized for the less-than-truthful tale he told about a mugging in Rio.
In a sit-down with NBC's Matt Lauer, the champion swimmer said he "let the team down" when he told the world that an incident in which he and a teammate were involved was an armed robbery during this year's Olympics.
"I’m taking full responsibility for it,” Lochte said. “Because I over-exaggerated that story. And if I had never done that, we wouldn’t be in this mess... None of this would have happened. And it was my immature behavior.”
Lochte and fellow swimmer Jimmy Feigen claimed they had been held up at gunpoint and robbed while returning to the Olympic village early Sunday, Aug. 14.
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 approached by armed guards outside the service area where the Americans eventually paid for the damages they caused.
Despite his apparent regrets, Lochte did not completely backtrack on the spirit of his original story.
“It’s how you want to make it look like. Whether you call it a robbery, whether you call it extortion, or us paying just for the damages, like, we don’t know,” Lochte said. “All we know is that there was a gun pointed in our direction, and we were demanded to give money.”