American Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte is apologizing to his teammates following the fallout over his comments of a gunpoint robbery which were disputed by Brazilian authorities.
“I feel like [sic] let down a lot of people,” Lochte told PEOPLE on Aug. 21. “I feel bad that I’ve let them down.”
He added, “I reached out to them and apologized. I told them, ‘My immature behavior was stupid, and I’m sorry that I got you guys in this mess.’ They were like, ‘Of course. We just hope that this blows over soon.”
Lochte’s teammates—Joseph “Gunnar” Bentz, James Feigen, and Jack Conger—were entangled in a web of lies after Lochte claimed the four were robbed at gunpoint following a night of partying at Club France in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 14.
He told the story in two interviews before he headed home to the United States.
However, after a police investigation was started into the incident and discrepancies were found in the swimmers’ accounts, a Rio judge ordered the passports of the swimmers seized while the investigation was ongoing. Bentz and Conger were removed from a Houston-bound plane for questioning. After they were questioned they were eventually allowed to leave the country. A Brazilian judge ordered Feigen to pay a $11,000 fine as part of a settlement. Rio’s Public Ministry had requested a fine of $50,000.
Lochte intends to cover the cost. “I’m going to pay that for him,” said Lochte. “He doesn’t deserve to have to pay that. It was my actions that got us all in trouble.”
Lochte’s “immature” actions could possibly lead to long-term sanctions by both USA Swimming and the IOC.
“The behavior of these athletes is not acceptable, nor does it represent the values of Team USA or the conduct of the vast majority of its members,” said Scott Blackmun, the US Olympic Committee’s CEO. “We will further review the matter, and any potential consequences for the athletes, when we return to the United States.”
For now all Lochte can do is apologize.
“I’m sorry if what I did caused any problems in [Brazil],” he said. “I hope that they’ll accept my apology because I am truly sorry. I wish I could change it.”