Ryan Lochte has issued an apology [see full apology below] for “not being more careful and candid” in his recounting of a weekend incident in which he claims to have been robbed at gunpoint in Rio early Sunday morning. Lochte, James Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were caught on video at the gas station where the incident occurred; the video appears to show vandalism occurring.
The US Olympic Committee last night apologized for the behavior of Lochte and his colleagues after the video showed some of their behavior at the station, and confirmed the four swimmers had stopped at the station to use the bathroom, where one of them committed an act of vandalism. Rio de Janeiro ‘s mayor Eduardo Paes today expressed “pity and contempt” for Lochte and his colleagues involved in the incident according to news reports.
In a news conference yesterday, Rio police said U.S. swimmers Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, who had been pulled off an airplane by authorities as they attempted to return to the U.S., gave statements that they had not been victims of a robbery, as Lochte had reported and told NBC News in interviews. The two swimmers have returned to the United States; Lochte said in his statement he held off commenting until he was sure they were home safely.
In his apology, Lochte made no reference to the vandalism, saying “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.”
Lochte said he was sorry to his teammates, fans, fellow competitors, Games hosts, and “my sponsors” – his future, or lack thereof, with sponsors being the subject of much speculation on TV news circuit yesterday afternoon and evening after the video emerged and the Rio police news conference.
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