US Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte apologises for making up Rio robbery story

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By Euronews
US Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte apologises for making up Rio robbery story

Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte has said sorry for fabricating a story about being robbed during the Rio Games by gunmen posing as police officers.

The gold medallist said: “I want to apologise for my behaviour last weekend.”

In an Instagram message and Twitter tweet he says: “I should have been more responsible in how I handled myself, and for that I am sorry to my team mates.”

Explaining the fact that he wasn’t the subject of an armed robbery but was being pressed for compensation for an act of vandalism, Lochte says: “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 your leave.”

He goes on: “I accept responsibility for my role in this happening and have learned some valuable lessons.”

Earlier it was announced that another of the group, swimmer Jimmy Feigen, had agreed to make a donation to charity over the robbery scandal.

Feigen’s lawyer Breno Melaragno said under Brazilian law, a donation can be made to avoid criminal prosecution for minor offences, but he did not say which charge was being contemplated against his client.

Jeered and called “liars” and “fakes” by a crowd at the airport, the other two swimmers, Gunnar Benz and Jack Conger, flew home on Thursday night after Brazilian police announced they had admitted making up a story about being robbed at gunpoint on Sunday by men posing as police officers.

The group’s story unravelled as security footage showed them arguing with the petrol station’s armed security guards.

One of the Americans vandalised the toilet after the men asked to use it.

The US Olympic Committee issued a public apology for the men’s conduct.