American swimmer Gunnar Bentz arrived home in Georgia on Friday and said he never lied about being robbed at a gas station while out in Rio de Janeiro with teammates on the final night of Olympic swimming.
In a statement released late Friday that included an apology, Bentz said he never saw anyone break down a bathroom door, and that he, Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen and Ryan Lochte relieved themselves on nearby bushes after a night out.
Lochte tore a sign down from the building, Bentz said, and then the four returned to their taxi. Bentz said they were ordered out of the cab by security guards and ultimately forced, with guns drawn, to sit on a nearby sidewalk. He said Lochte then got up and yelled at the guards.
"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," Bentz said. "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 okay to leave and they said yes. We walked about a block down the street and hailed another taxi to return to the Village."
The version provided by the translator, 38-year-old Fernando Deluz, said a gun wasn't pointed at them during the encounter
Bentz also said there were additional video angles that support his account that may not have been released.
"I also believe some scenes have been skipped over," he said. "Additionally, I would like to stress that our original taxi was not pulled over; the only occupants of the taxi were the four of us and the driver; and to my knowledge, there was no damage done to the door or the inside of the restroom."
Bentz apologized to the United States Olympic Committee, USA Swimming, Team USA athletes, and the University of Georgia, which he attends.
"Being a member of the Olympic swimming team was an honor and a dream come true," he said. "The accomplishments of my teammates were awe-inspiring and I'm so pleased I got to see them up close. I regret this situation has drawn attention away from the Olympics, which have been hosted so incredibly well by Brazil and its citizens."
Feigen was on a flight that left Rio on Friday night. Before he was allowed to leave, Feigen agreed to pay $10,800 to a Brazilian charity.
Lochte apologized on Friday for his behavior related to the incident, saying he should have been more "careful and candid" about how he described what happened.
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.