Ryan Lochte hasn't won many fans

United States' Ryan Lochte checks his time in a men's 4x200-meter freestyle heat during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Photo / AP.
United States' Ryan Lochte checks his time in a men's 4x200-meter freestyle heat during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Photo / AP.

It's the story that keeps on giving.

Keeping up with whatever Ryan Lochte was saying about that time he allegedly may or may not have been potentially robbed at gunpoint by people who were definitely maybe impersonating police officers was more difficult than trying to justify dressage being an Olympic sport.

The American swimming star had our sympathy, then our doubt, then our anger.

In a recent interview with NBC's Matt Lauer he said he "over-exaggerated" parts of his initial story - the one claiming he and several teammates were forced out of their taxi and onto the ground, then robbed of their wallets by thieves pretending to be police.

Rio's actual police had earlier put it more bluntly, saying the crime as Lochte, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen had reported it never occurred.

You get the feeling the only way to get Lochte to tell the truth would be to tie him to a chair and make him listen to Pauline Hanson asking him to "please explain" on repeat.

It's worth a try.

But while he's back in America now, Lochte is still being mocked in Rio.

A board has been set up at the city's main airport for travellers to leave messages - most of which are unsurprisingly about the Olympics. The most popular have been about Lochte.

Sorry indeed.

Rio had enough question marks about security and crime hanging over its head during the Games, and it looked like Lochte was using that reputation to avoid telling the truth. Either that or he was too blotto to remember, which is entirely plausible given he said "I was still intoxicated" when he gave his first interview after the incident.

Suspicion was first raised about the 32-year-old's version of events when footage appeared to show him, along with his teammates, returning to the Athletes' Village the night of the alleged robbery with what looked like their wallets in tow - the very wallets that were supposed to have been stolen.

CCTV footage later emerged of the swimmers at a petrol station. It was then alleged they were drunk and vandalising a bathroom, which led to them being apprehended by security and made to pay for damages.

Following the incident, Lochte flew back to the United States, while the other three stayed in Brazil.

Last week a Rio judge ordered their passports be confiscated so that they could not leave the country, with all three questioned by police. Bentz and Conger were reportedly on a plane ready to fly back home, only for federal police to come on board and escort them off.

"I let my team down," Lochte said when asked how he felt being home while his teammates were detained in Brazil.

"I wanted to be there, like, I don't want them to think that I left, and left them dry because they were my teammates.

"I just wanted to make sure that they were at home safe before I came out and talked," he added.

Lochte had similar words of contrition when interviewed by Brazil's Globo TV. "I am sorry, it won't happen again," he said.

"It was my fault ... I was immature."

US Olympic Committee chief executive Scott Blackmun said the swimmers' ordeal wasn't over, confirming "we are going to have further action over this".

"(They) really let down our hosts in Rio, who did such a wonderful job, and we feel very badly about that."


- news.com.au

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