While teammate Michael Phelps has been making headlines for his historic Olympic career, U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte has been dealing with a scandal. Earlier in the week, Lochte claimed he was robbed at gunpoint while in Rio during a night out with other American swimmers.
After Lochte said that he and fellow Team USA members Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger’s lives were threatened, the Brazilian Police and International Olympic Committee investigated the claims. But Lochte’s story was called into question after a video from the night of the incident was released and lacked any evidence to back up the swimmer’s tale.
Lochte took to Instagram today to extend an apology for the way he described the run-in.
“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,” he wrote.
Lochte still maintains that a gun was pointed at him while at the gas station. “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.”
Although Lochte appears to be the one who exaggerated the event in the first place, he wants the focus to shift back to the Olympic Games. “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.”
At least he kind of admitted he was wrong. Hopefully next time he chooses his words more carefully.