13:21 GMT +316 October 2019
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    US Olympic Swimmer Ryan Lochte

    US Olympic Swimmer Lochte Apologizes for Making False Robbery Claims in Rio

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    US Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte apologized Friday for his behavior after previously alleging he had been robbed at gun point in Rio de Janeiro, the host city of this year’s summer Olympic Games.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Lochte alleged that he and three other Olympic swimmers were robbed at gunpoint by people claiming to be police officers. On Thursday, Brazilian Chief of Civil Police Fernando Veloso said that the US Olympic swimmers’ claims about being robbed in Rio had proven to be false.

    "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… It is traumatic to be out 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 said in a statement on Twitter, stressing he should have been more responsible.

    The swimmer said he had accepted responsibility for his role in the incident, adding he had learnt some valuable lessons.

    On Thursday, Brazilian police said the swimmers were not robbed by law enforcement offers but instead were detained after vandalizing a bathroom at a gas station while drunk. Security camera footage reportedly showed a police officer drawing his weapon after the four US swimmers tried to leave the scene.

    While Lochte reportedly left Brazil before a judge issued an order to seize the passports of the four swimmers, two other swimmers — Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz — were pulled off a flight from Rio de Janeiro to the United States on Wednesday amid an investigation into the alleged robbery.

    In a statement issued later on Thursday, the US Olympic Committee (USOC) apologized for the actions of the US Olympic swimmers, acknowledging that they had not in fact been robbed.


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