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Ryan Lochte apologizes for drunken Rio stupor, failed cover-up | One Herald
Home / Top Story / Ryan Lochte apologizes for drunken Rio stupor, failed cover-up

Ryan Lochte apologizes for drunken Rio stupor, failed cover-up

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, August 19, 2016, 10:46 AM

Ryan Lochte, without addressing any of the specifics of his drunken behavior in Rio, issued a Friday apology for turning the Summer Olympics into a five-ring circus.

“This was a situation that could have and should have been avoided,” the four-time U.S. Olympian wrote in a three-paragraph Instagram posting.

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

AUG. 9, 2016 FILE PHOTO

Ryan Lochte is swimming in seething global resentment.

(Martin Meissner/AP)

The 32-year-old Lochte, winner of a dozen Olympic medals during his career, said he didn’t want to speak publicly about last Sunday’s incident until learning his three teammates would be returning to the U.S.

Lochte flew home from Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday as his story about an armed robbery where a bandit put a gun to his head began to crumble.

“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,” Lochte wrote in the first line of his mea culpa.

He and his three teammates said their wallets were stolen as they drove home around 6 a.m. in a taxi cab.

Lochte's Olympic swimmer pals Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were held in Brazil after Lochte ran for the hills following the debacle.

Lochte’s Olympic swimmer pals Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were held in Brazil after Lochte ran for the hills following the debacle.

(© Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters/REUTERS)

Brazilian investigators and a security videotape told a different story: The four drunken athletes vandalized a gas station men’s room, publicly urinated and gave station workers $ 50 cash before their cabbie took the quartet back to the athletes’ village.

Two security guards with their guns pulled approached the Americans at the gas station, Brazilian officials confirmed. Lochte addressed that aspect of the early morning encounter.

Daily News front page for August 19.

Daily News front page for August 19.

(New York Daily News)

“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,” Lochte wrote.

“But regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night, I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself.”

Lochte hinted this might be the last time he addressed the controversy.

“There has already been too much said and too many valuable resources dedicated to what happened last weekend,” he concluded. “So I hope we spend our time celebrating the great stories and performances of these Games and look ahead to celebrating future successes.”

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