RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (WBRE/WYOU) -U.S. Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte Friday broke his silence about a story of being robbed during the Rio summer Olympics via Instagram.
Lochte said in a lengthy post to Instagram “I accept responsibility for my role in this happening and have learned some valuable lessons.”
The 12-time gold medalist repeated his view that a stranger pointed a gun at him and demanded money to let him leave, and previously called it a robbery. Brazilian police Thursday released video of the alleged incident at a gas station and convenience story, saying Lochte and three other swimmers vandalized the gas station’s bathroom and were confronted by armed security guards.
Lochte posted the following Friday morning:
“I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend -0- 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. 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 sponsor, and the hosts of this great event. I am very proud to represent my country in Olympic competition and this was a situation that could and should have been avoided. I accepte 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 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. 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. “
Two other swimmers in the group were allowed to return to the US after being held in the country to testify.
The fourth swimmer, Jimmy Feigen, cut a deal with a Brazilian judge to may a $10,800 payment to be allowed to leave the country. That money will go to an unnamed charity.
“We accept and appreciate his apology,” said Mario Andrada, a spokesman for the local organizers of the Rio Games.
Lochte, and others, still face an inquiry into the events by the U.S. Olympic Committee and face the potential of disciplinary action.