U.S. gold medal swimmer Ryan Lochte issued an apology Friday for not being “more careful and candid” in how he described an incident, which led to Brazilian authorities to investigate what they later said was a concocted story of a robbery.
Lochte originally claimed that he and his fellow swimming teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, and Jimmy Feigen, were held at gunpoint
after a party they attended last Sunday in Rio. Lochte said that he and the other swimmers were in a taxi when armed men carrying police badges pulled them over and demanded the swimmers drop to the ground and give them their money and belongings. After he initially refused to go to the ground, Lochte said one of the armed men held a gun to his head.
But police said the story was fabricated, saying the men were drunk and vandalized a gas station when they were confronted by security guards. The security police pulled a gun on the swimmers to ensure they wouldn’t leave the scene, authorities said.
Lochte left the country earlier in the week, but his teammate were ordered to remain in the country to answer police questions. They left the country Thursday night.
“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,” Lochte wrote. But he didn’t fully address the allegations made by the authorities.
The swimmers still may face sanctions from USA Swimming or even face fines or suspension.