Ryan Lochte became emotional during a candid interview where he discussed the controversy surrounding his story that he and three fellow US swimmers had been robbed at gunpoint in Rio. Brazilian authorities accused the athlete of lying about the robbery after CCTV footage emerged of the group vandalising a petrol station.
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The champion swimmer spoke to US network NBC after it transpired that the group were actually held at gunpoint by a security guard after they refused to pay damages after vandalising a petrol station.
Ryan grew emotional during the interview
The Olympian admitted that he "left details out" of his story and that he was still drunk at the time of questioning, saying: "It's how you wanna make it look like. Whether you call it a robbery or extortion or us paying just for the damages. All we know was there was a gun pointed in our direction and we were demanded to give money."
Speaking about making exaggerations in his story, the 32-year-old said: "It was hours after the incident happened, I was still intoxicated. I'm not making that an excuse. I shouldn't have said that. I over-exaggerated that part. The gun was drawn but it wasn't at my forehead."
The CCTV footage showed the altercation between the swimmers and the security guard
He then grew visibly upset when the interviewer mentioned how two of his team mates, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, were pulled off their flight and detained in Rio. He said: "I let my team down and, you know, I wanted to be there. I don't want them to think I left them and left them out to dry…I just wanted to make sure they were home safe before I came out to talk."
Ryan's fellow team mates have also spoken out since returning to the US from Rio, with Gunnar releasing a statement apologising for his part in the event, while Jimmy Feigen has paid £8,200 to a Brazilian charity by way of compensation.
First look at @MLauer's exclusive interview w/@RyanLochte. More on @NBCOlympics tonight and @todayshow Monday. https://t.co/yb65xIhBPu
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 20, 2016