US swimmer Lochte apologizes for behavior in Rio

Reuters , Friday 19 Aug 2016

Ryan Lochte
Ryan Lochte (AFP)

U.S. gold medalist swimmer Ryan Lochte on Friday apologized for his behavior at the Olympics after being accused by Brazilian police of inventing a story about an armed robbery to cover for some bad behavior at a gas station.

"I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself, and for that am sorry to my team mates," he said on Instagram.

Lochte, together with fellow U.S. swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen, are accused of having fabricated a story about being robbed by gunmen posing as policemen.

Surveillance footage and an investigation by Brazilian authorities showed that they had vandalized a gas station bathroom and had handed over money to armed security guards who had prevented them from leaving.

In his apology, Lochte, 32, described the night as "traumatic".

"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," he said.

"But regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night, I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself and for that am sorry to my team mates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors, and the hosts of this great event."

Lochte, Bentz and Conger have returned to the United States, while Feigen was still in Brazil on Friday morning. Feigen had agreed to pay $11,000 to a Brazilian charity, police said. His passport would be released upon providing a receipt.

It was unclear what, if any, agreement Lochte had made with Brazilian authorities. After arriving in North Carolina on Tuesday, the swimmer has not been seen, apart from giving an interview with Matt Lauer on the "Today Show", which is yet to be aired.

He ended his apology posted Thursday by saying: "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."

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