Ryan Lochte Apologizes for Rio Robbery Story - Read Statement
Ryan Lochte has released an official apology for his involvement in the reported gas station bathroom vandalism in Rio.
The 32-year-old Olympic gold medalist originally claimed that he and three teammates were robbed at gunpoint, but the story later fell apart and it was revealed that he allegedly vandalized the bathroom. The USOC has since released an apology and the swimmers involved have been making their way back to the United States.
“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,” Ryan said in a statement released on Instagram on Friday (August 19). “I waited to share these thoughts until it was confirmed that the legal situation was addressed and it was clear that my teammates would be arriving home safely.”
“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, 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 teammates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors, and the hosts of this great event,” Ryan continued. “I am very proud to represent my country in Olympic competition and this was a situation that could and should have been avoided. I accept responsibility for my role in this happening and have learned some valuable lessons.”
“I am grateful for my USA Swimming teammates and the USOC, and appreciate all of the efforts of the IOC, the Rio ’16 Host Committee, and the people of Brazil who welcomed us to Rio and worked so hard to make sure that these Olympic Games provided a lifetime of great new memories,” Ryan concluded. “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.”