American swimmer Ryan Lochte broke his silence in an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer on Saturday after a messy ordeal in which he fabricated a story about him and fellow swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen being robbed:
"I overexaggerated that story. ... And if I had never done that, we wouldn't be in this mess. ... None of this would have happened. And it was my immature behavior," Lochte told Lauer (via NBC News' Elizabeth Chuck) after originally telling Brazilian authorities that he and his fellow swimmers were robbed at gunpoint at a gas station.
But after the testimonies of the four swimmers showed some inconsistencies, a quick investigation into video surveillance showed his story wasn't true.
Per Chuck, the video showed they "had vandalized the gas station restroom, then had been confronted by security guards, who took out their weapons and told them to pay for the damage before leaving the gas station."
Lochte commented on that when speaking with Lauer:
It's how you want to make it look like. Whether you call it a robbery, whether you call it extortion, or us paying just for the damages, like, we don't know. All we know is that there was a gun pointed in our direction, and we were demanded to give money.
We just wanted to get out of there. We were all frightened. And we wanted to get out of there as quick as possible. And the only way we knew is — this guy saying, 'You have to give him money.' So we gave him money, and we got out.
While Lochte was able to get out of the situation, get on a plane and head back to the United States, Bentz and Conger were pulled off their flights and detained by police for questioning Wednesday, per Pat Forde and Eric Adelson of Yahoo Sports.
At 32 years old, Lochte has won 12 medals during his Olympic career. But after this ordeal, his medals could become an afterthought.