Lochte Submits Apology; Says “There Has Been Too Much Said”
The Rio Police calls him a “liar”, a Rio Games spokesperson calls him a “kid” and 32-year-old Ryan Lochte calls himself a “victim”.
Now Lochte says “…there has been too much said.”
The U.S. Olympic gold medalist has issued an apology for the media whirlpool surrounding an early morning altercation at a Rio gas station where Lochte says he had a gun put to his forehead and was ordered to hand over his valuables.
Days later, Lochte says he said those words about the gun because he was suffering from “traumatic stress”.
His apology was posted on Instagram, with Lochte quickly trying to put water on the flames as Brazilian authorities stopped short of singing a childhood chorus (seemingly fitting, it appears, for the Rio Games spokesperson towards the four men…or “kids”) of ‘liar, liar pants on fire’.
Except, that’s exactly what the police did.
Brazilian authorities say Lochte and his three U.S. Olympic teammates, 21-year-old Jack Conger, 20-year-old Gunnar Bentz and 26-year-old Jimmy Feigen lied about the robbery after they vandalized the Shell gas station bathroom and fought with security.
The authorities say they have surveillance footage that backs up their version of events.
The four Olympians say they can’t quite remember everything from that night because they told authorities they were too drunk.
While Lochte does not admit to any of the alleged bathroom bustle, he does say in his Instagram post “regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night, I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself. 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.”
Lochte’s lessons may have been learned while he was in the United States with his lawyer but it didn’t go that way for his companions.
Bentz and Conger tried to leave the country earlier this week but were denied permission until they gave their testimony to police.
According to statements released by Rio Police, authorities say the two men told them Lochte lied about the situation in media interviews.
When Bentz and Conger were finally able to leave the country Thursday evening, people shouted at them, calling them “liars” and “shameful” as they walked out of the police station.
The lawyer for the pair say their testimony to police was not “untruthful” and they “did not lie in their statements”.
They also stress they had nothing to do with Lochte’s initial statements about the early morning altercation.
As for Feigen, his lawyer says he has made an agreement with the court and is donating $10,800 to an “institution”.
He said under Brazilian law, donations can be made to avoid criminal prosecution for minor offenses, however, Feigen has not yet been charged with a crime.
He is expected to come home on Friday.
Authorities say they are considering charges of falsely reporting a crime and destruction of property which can carry a sentence of six months in jail or a fine.
Lochte says he wanted to wait to submit his Instagram apology until his teammates were allowed to come home, although after Conger and Bentz’s alleged statements, loyalties seem to be circling the drain.
Lochte goes on to say too much time has been dedicated to his robbery story and he wants everyone to get back to “celebrating the great stories” of the Olympic games.
USA Swimming and the USOC say they are looking into the situation.
Lochte, who is a 12 time gold medalist in swimming, and the other three Olympians could face fines or suspensions.
If you would like to read Ryan Lochte’s Instagram apology post, you can click here.
You do not have to be a member of Instagram in order to see it.
One last thing.
Mario Andrada, the spokesman for the local organizers of the Rio Games and the man who called the four swimmers “kids who were training under stress”, says “We accept and appreciate his (Lochte) apology.”