RIO DE JANIERO, Brazil– The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio have come to a close, one week after U.S. gold medalist Ryan Lochte falsely claimed he and three of his teammates were the victims of an armed robbery. On Saturday night, Lochte went on the record to take responsibility for his actions.
“I over exaggerated that story,” Lochte said in an exclusive interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer.
The four-time Olympian and gold medalist took full responsibility for embellishing the incident in Rio that brought international outrage.
“If I never did that we wouldn’t be in this mess… none of this would’ve happened and it was my immature behavior,” he said.
Last Sunday, surveillance video showed Lochte and three of his teammates, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen at a gas station after a party. Lochte told Brazilian authorities as they attempted to leave the gas station in a cab, one of the security guards forced them out of the taxi at gun point and on the ground.
Rio officials later questioned the swimmers and refuted Lochte’s account of that night and said the Olympians were confronted by the security guard only after they vandalized the gas station bathroom and were asked to pay for the damages.
In the interview, Matt Lauer said, “You said at some point after you refused to sit down the security guard put the gun to your forehead and cocked it. That didn’t happen?
“That didn’t happen,” Lochte replied.
“Why’d you do that?” Lauer asked.
Lochte responded, “I don’t know why… I was still intoxicated. I was still under that influence.”
The International Olympic Committee and USA Swimming are investigating the incident and will determine whether the swimmers will face fines or suspension. Last week, Bentz, Conger and Feigen returned to the U.S. after providing statements to Brazilian authorities.
Brazilian police also allowed Jimmy Feigen to leave Brazil after he agreed to donate nearly $11,000 to a charity in Rio De Janiero.