Lochte apologizes as disgraced US swimmers head home

By  | 

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte (LAHK'-tee) has apologized for his behavior surrounding a late-night incident at a Rio de Janeiro gas station. He says he should have been more "careful and candid" about how he described what happened.

In a lengthy post on Instagram, Lochte apologized for taking the focus away from other Olympic athletes. But the 12-time gold medalist reiterated his view that a stranger pointed a gun at him and demanded money to let him leave. Lochte had called it a robbery, but Brazilian police disagree. They say Lochte and three other swimmers vandalized a gas station bathroom and were confronted by armed security guards.

Lochte returned to the United States earlier this week. Two of the other swimmers, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, are on their way back after being held in Brazil to give statements to police. The fourth swimmer, Jimmy Feigen (FEE'-gen), made a deal with a judge to make a payment of nearly $11,000, then leave the country, according to his lawyer.

A spokesman for the local organizers of the Rio Games said they "accept and appreciate" Lochte's apology.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Previous Story

The lawyer for U.S. Olympic swimmer James Feigen says he will pay more than $10,000 today and then leave Brazil following the robbery scandal involving he, Ryan Lochte and two other members of the U.S. swim team.

The attorney says an agreement was reached with a Brazilian judge that Feigen will donate the money to an "institution" and then leave the country.

The lawyer says under Brazilian law, a donation can be made to avoid criminal prosecution for minor offenses.

Feigen's teammates Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger left Brazil last night after giving testimony to police.

Police say the four swimmers had not been held at gunpoint, as Lochte initially claimed. Instead, Brazilian police say the athletes were drunk, vandalized a bathroom at a gas station, and then were questioned by armed guards before they paid for the damage and left.

Previous Story

A top Brazil police official has called on Ryan Lochte and three other American swimmers to apologize after some of the athletes claimed they were victims of an armed robbery.

Civil Police Chief Fernando Veloso says the four men became rowdy while at a gas station early Sunday after a night of partying. He says they were inebriated, and broke down the door of a bathroom, a soap dispenser and a mirror.

Veloso told a Thursday news conference that "no robbery was committed against these athletes. They were not victims of the crimes they claimed." He said there was confusion because people at the gas station didn't speak English and the athletes didn't speak Portuguese.

Lochte had said he was with the other swimmers when they were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday in a taxi by men with a police badge as they returned to the athletes village from a party.

Veloso says the four should apologize because "Rio residents saw the name of their city sullied."

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Previous Story

A Brazilian police official is telling The Associated Press that American swimmer Ryan Lochte fabricated a story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro.

The official, who has direct knowledge of the investigation, spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about an ongoing probe.

He said that around 6 a.m. on Sunday, Lochte, along with fellow swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, stopped at a gas station in Barra da Tijuca, a suburb of Rio where many Olympic venues are located. One of the swimmers tried to open the door of an outside bathroom. It was locked.

A few of the swimmers then pushed on the door and broke it. A security guard appeared and confronted them, the official said.

The official says the guard was armed with a pistol, but he never took it out or pointed it at the swimmers.

According to the official, the gas station manager then arrived. Using a customer to translate, the manager asked the swimmers to pay for the broken door. After a discussion, they did pay him an unknown amount of money and then left.

The official says that swimmers Conger and Bentz, who were pulled off a plane going back to the United States late Wednesday, told police that the robbery story had been fabricated.

Previous Story:
Three U.S. swimmers are expected to give statements to Brazilian police today about how they were reportedly robbed early Sunday morning in Rio de Janeiro.

Authorities in Leblon, south of Rio, are investigating the alleged robbery that targeted 12-time medalist Ryan Lochte and three teammates.

Two of the athletes were taken off a plane so they could be questioned. Lochte already is back in the U.S.

USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said Wednesday night that "Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities. We are gathering further information."

Lochte said he was with Conger, Bentz and another teammate when they were robbed at gunpoint in a taxi as they returned to the athletes village from a party, several hours after the last Olympic swimming events were held. Police have found little evidence so far to support their accounts.

Lochte's father told The Associated Press that his son had arrived back in the United States.