U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte has apologized for his behavior surrounding a late-night incident at a Rio de Janeiro gas station, saying he should have been more careful and candid about how he described what happened.
Lochte said in a lengthy post on Instagram Friday that he was apologizing for his role in taking the focus away from other Olympic athletes.
The 12-time gold medalist reiterated his view that a stranger pointed a gun at him and demanded money to let him leave.
But Lochte says he should have handled himself more responsibly.
Brazil police have said Lochte lied by saying he and three other swimmers were robbed. They vandalized a gas station bathroom and were confronted by security guards.
Brazilian authorities say swimmers robbery story is fakeBrazilian police recently said the four U.S Olympic swimmers made up their story about being robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning by men posing as police officers. CCTV America’s Jessica Stone reports.
“Right now as we speak: there was no robberies the way it was claimed by the athletes. They were not victims of the criminal actions that they claimed they were,” Fernando Veloso, chief of civil police said.
Instead, authorities said, gold medalist Ryan Lochte and his teammates vandalized the bathroom at this gas station outside Rio after a night of drinking.
Police said the men offered $20 in cash and 100 Reals ($38) as compensation, trying to leave before police arrived.
But Wednesday night, two of the athletes were pulled off an airplane bound for the United States, detained by police for questioning after a series of conflicting accounts.
Police said they interviewed a taxi driver, a customer who translated for the men, and two girls who had been partying with the swimmers.
Lochte is already back in the United States and has been telling U.S. television networks his version of the story.
But Brazilian television aired this surveillance video taken at the gas station. Watch as Lochte and his team mates suddenly sit on the ground with their hands in the air. Brazilian police said the gas station security guards were simply trying to get control of the situation using a weapon.
“And they tried to contain what was happening right there. The images also show the athletes going back to the taxi and trying to get away from the gas station,” Veloso said.
It’s unclear whether the swimmers will face charges of vandalism and making false statements. Lochte’s attorney still maintains he was robbed at gunpoint.
Meantime, Brazilians are asking for an apology, about a series of lies that tainted their city’s name and threatens to suspend these Olympians.
Story updated with the information from the Associated Press.