'They Let Down Americans': U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Says Ryan Lochte Will Face Further Punishment
U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said Sunday Ryan Lochte will face further disciplinary action
U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said Ryan Lochte and the three swimmers involved in the Rio robbery scandal will face further disciplinary action.
Blackmun didn’t specify what action was coming when he spoke to NBCon Sunday, but said that the group “let down our athletes.”
“They let down Americans. People are going to remember the incident, but that doesn’t define these Games,” Blackmun added.
Lochte initially said that he and three other Team U.S.A. swimmers – Jack Conger, James Feigen and Gunnar Bentz – were robbed at gunpoint during a night out in Rio on Aug. 14. However, Brazilian authorities later claimed that the four men had not been robbed as Lochte had described and instead handed over money as payment for reported damages they caused at a local gas station. All sides agree that the security guard at the gas station drew his gun at some point while demanding the athletes pay for their alleged damages.
On Saturday, Lochte gave his first in-depth interview after the scandal unraveled, explaining to NBC’s Matt Lauer that he was “intoxicated” when he reportedly caused damage to a poster at the gas station and got into an argument with the security guard.
“Whether you call it a robbery or extortion or us paying just for the damages,” he said. “All we know was there was a gun pointed in our direction and we were demanded to give money.”
However, Lochte was also apologetic during his interview, at one point tearing up when asked about the legal repercussions he caused for his teammates who were held in Rio after Lochte had already left the country.
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“I let my team down and, you know,” he said, as he started to tear up. “I wanted to be there. I don’t want them to think I left them and left them out to dry. They’re my teammates and I wanted to be there. I just wanted to make sure they were home safe before I came out to talk.”
Lochte admitted that he “over-exaggerated” his story because he was “still intoxicated” when he talked to the press after the incident.
He also said he hoped he would be able to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and continue swimming, but admitted that it wasn’t his call.
“That’s something that I’m going to have to live with,” he said. “I know what I did was wrong and I know I learned my lesson.”