Ryan Lochte issued an apology on Friday for the way in which he handled his back-and-forth dispute with Brazilian authorities about a supposed robbery last weekend, but didn’t fully walk back his claim he was robbed at gunpoint.
"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," he said in a statement delivered to ABC News and other outlets
"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, but regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night, I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself and for that am sorry to my teammates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors, and the hosts of this great event," he said in the statement.
JUST IN: Ryan Lochte: "I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend." pic.twitter.com/PUX9yIHNKL— ABC News (@ABC) August 19, 2016
Lochte’s statement was issued after a week of Rio de Janeiro police refuting Lochte’s account that he and three other U.S. athletes were robbed. Some officials have even called for them to be charged with reporting a false crime. The three teammates who were with Lochte at the time of the incident have also left the country, but only after two were pulled off a U.S-bound plane for another conversation with authorities. Brazilian authorities said Thursday that no robbery took place.
Twitter has already weighed in on the statement and piled on the criticism with no shortage in snark.
It’s hard to take Lochte’s comments about not being "careful and candid" seriously when two Instagrams away is him confirming a robbery.— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) August 19, 2016
Point of context: Ryan Lochte's attorneys no doubt had to approve his apology. He needs to preserve legal defenses. https://t.co/qJNULoijeC— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) August 19, 2016
Would love to know how many people/entities vetted Ryan Lochte's statement before it went public. Six? Dozen?— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) August 19, 2016
Congrats to Ryan Lochte for winning the gold in the 100 meter backpedal— Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria) August 19, 2016
It wasn’t immediately clear when the page was taken down. Facebook declined comment, and an attempt to contact the U.S. Swimming Team went unanswered.
Lochte broke his social media silence on Friday by disseminating his apology through his Twitter and Instagram accounts. He also used social channels to defend his story.
Do you think Lochte’s apology went far enough? Take our poll below.