Ryan Lochte, the 12-time Olympic medal winner who claimed to be robbed by men identifying themselves as police officers in Rio de Janeiro last weekend, issued an apology on Friday "for my behaviour" in an episode that has cast a pall over the Games.
In his original account, Lochte said that he and three other American swimmers had been pulled over by armed men calling themselves police officers, one of whom put a gun against his head before taking the cash from his wallet. But police investigators said Thursday that Lochte had fabricated central elements of the encounter, saying that the swimmers had vandalised a gas station bathroom after leaving a lavish party and were confronted over the damages by security guards. At least one of the guards brandished his gun in their direction, said police.
“I want to apologise for my behaviour last weekend; for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning,” said Lochte.
Lochte did not give a full account of what happened during the episode, or explain the ways in which his earlier depictions of events were inaccurate. But he insisted that a gun was pointed at him and that he was forced to hand over money. “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,” he said.
In sworn statements to Brazilian investigators, Lochte’s teammates said that he was drunk, unruly, had damaged property and was in need of calming down as they discussed the situation with an armed security guard.
– (New York Times)