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Ryan Lochte apologizes for behavior in Rio

LOS ANGELES--Ryan Lochte has finally broken his silence, apologizing for his "behavior" in Rio following police claims that he and fellow U.S. swimmers James Feigen, Jack Conger, and Gunnar Bentz fabricated a story about being robbed at gunpoint.

U.S. swimming great Ryan Lochte reacts after finishing fifth in the mens' 200 meter individual medley in what might be his last race against longtime rival Michael Phelps. REUTERS/David Gray
2016 Rio Olympics - Swimming - Final - Men's 200m Individual Medley Final - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Ryan Lochte (USA) of USA reacts. REUTERS/David Gray

LOS ANGELES-Ryan Lochte has finally broken his silence, apologizing for his "behavior" in Rio following police claims that he and fellow U.S. swimmers James Feigen, Jack Conger, and Gunnar Bentz fabricated a story about being robbed at gunpoint.

In a statement posted on Twitter and Instagram, the Olympic medalist says he's sorry "for not being more careful and candid" when explaining what happened during the alleged robbery last weekend.

Brazilian police said Thursday, Aug. 18, that Lochte and his teammates were not robbed at gunpoint, as they had initially claimed, but instead vandalized a gas station bathroom and got into a confrontation with an armed security guard.

Lochte claimed on Sunday, Aug. 14, that he and three teammates were robbed in a taxi by two men with guns and badges while heading to the Olympic Village.

Lochte said in the statement released today that he was traumatized by the incident

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"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," he said.

Rio Civil Police Chief Fernando Veloso said Thursday that one of the security guards at the gas station had pointed a firearm at the American swimmers in order to control one of them, but didn't use excessive force. The swimmers were asked pay for the property damages.

Ryan Lochte's full apology:

"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. 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 I am sorry to my teammates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors, 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 accept 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 of 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."

https://twitter.com/RyanLochte/status/766638785140498432

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