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PopWrapped | Sports

Ryan Lochte Apologizes For Rio Incident, Fellow Swimmer Gunnar Bentz Speaks Out

Rain Varela | PopWrapped Author

Rain Varela

Updated 08/23/2016 7:53am
Ryan Lochte Apologizes For Rio Incident, Fellow Swimmer Gunnar Bentz Speaks Out | lochte
Media Courtesy of Playbuzz

Ryan Lochte apologized on Friday for misrepresenting an incident in a gas station in Rio, where he claimed that he and a group of other swimmers were robbed at gunpoint.

Brazilian police have disputed the claim and have released CCTV footage showing what happened in the gas station. However, they have not denied that a gun may have been pulled on the swimmers.

In a statement released on his Instagram account, the Olympic medalist says, "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".

Lochte also cites being held at gunpoint as being 'traumatizing' but does admit that he should have been more responsible.

A photo posted by Ryanlochte (@ryanlochte) on

Meanwhile, fellow Olympic swimmer Gunnar Bentz has also released his own statement, posted on the University of Georgia website where he is a student.

The statement starts off with an apology, then the swimmer stresses two points: "1. I was never a suspect in the case from the beginning (Brazilian law enforcement officials saw me only as a witness). 

2. I never made a false statement to anyone at any time." it reads.

He gives a lengthy detail of his version of the events, saying how they got into the gas station after a night of partying:

“After attending an event with several swimmers from different nations, I left in a taxicab along with US swimmers Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen and Ryan Lochte around 6am. On the way back to the Olympic Village, we pulled into a convenience store to use the restroom. There was no restroom inside, so we foolishly relieved ourselves on the backside of the building behind some bushes. There was a locked door out back and I did not witness anyone breaking it open. I am unsure why, but while we were in that area, Ryan pulled to the ground a framed metal advertisement that was loosely anchored to the brick wall. I then suggested to everyone that we needed to leave the area and we returned to the taxi.

“Two men, whom I believe to have been security guards, then instructed us to exit the vehicle. No guns were drawn during this exchange, but we did see a gun tucked into one of the guards’ waistband. As Jimmy and Jack were walking away from the vehicle, the first security guard held up a badge to me and drew his handgun. I yelled to them to come back toward us and they complied. Then the second guard drew his weapon and both guards pointed their guns at us and yelled at us to sit on a nearby sidewalk.

“Again, I cannot speak to his actions, but Ryan stood up and began to yell at the guards. After Jack and I both tugged at him in an attempt to get him to sit back down, Ryan and the security guards had a heated verbal exchange, but no physical contact was made.

“A man that I believe to be a customer approached us and offered to help as he spoke both English and Portuguese. Understandably, we were frightened and confused during this time. Through the interpreter, one of the guards said that we needed to pay them in order to leave. I gave them what I had in my wallet, which was a $20 bill, and Jimmy gave them 100 reals, which is about $50 in total. They lowered the guns and I used hand gestures to ask if it was OK to leave and they said yes. We walked about a block down the street and hailed another taxi to return to the Village."

The story continues to change and unfold. What do you think really happened, and what punishment do you think is appropriate? Let us know in the comments!

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