#LochMess: Ryan Lochte Memes Sprout Up on Social Media as Robbery Claim Unravels | NBC Chicago
2016 Rio Olympic Games

2016 Rio Olympic Games

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#LochMess: Ryan Lochte Memes Sprout Up on Social Media as Robbery Claim Unravels

"They were not victims of the crimes they alleged occurred," Rio's police chief said Thursday



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    Ryan Lochte

    American swimmer Ryan Lochte took to social media to apologize for his behavior at the Rio Olympics, but he did not admit to lying about the armed robbery he described in Rio earlier this week.

    "It's traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country - with a language barrier - and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave, but regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night, I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself..." he posted to Instagram.  

    Lochte's tale of the robbery in Rio unraveled after his teammates were detained by Brazilian authorities and interviewed Thursday afternoon.

    The story was a lie, according to Fernando Veloso, Rio's civil police chief. Authorities interviewed witnesses, including off-duty police officers, and determined that there was no robbery.

    "We can confirm at this time that they were not victims of the crimes they alleged occurred," Veloso said.

    A photo posted by Ryanlochte (@ryanlochte) on

    Lochte told authorities that he had been robbed at gunpoint after he and his swimming teammates Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and James Feigen left a party early Sunday morning en route to the Olympic Village.

    Earlier in the week, during an interview with NBC’s Billy Bush, Lochte said he and his friends were pulled over by police with just a badge, and that they told the group to get on the ground, but Lochte refused. Then he said an officer pulled out a gun, cocked it, put it to his forehead, and took his money and wallet.

    The lies may have been told to cover up the alleged property damage that he and his squad left after a confrontation with security guards at a gas station en route to the Olympic Village. 

    Lochte, who donned platinum blonde hair through the Olympics, returned to the United States before Brazilian authorities could stop him from leaving the country — a judge ordered his passport and Feigen's to be seized. Conger and Bentz were unable to leave Brazil, detained by authorities after boarding their plane so they could be questioned.

    The United States Olympic Committee apologized for the distraction from Olympic competition caused by Lochte's tale. 

    Social media users reacted to Lochte's apology and posted memes, such as Lochte as Pinocchio and featured on a movie poster for "Liar Liar 2." See more of the memes here: 

    O Mentiroso 2. #lochtegate

    A photo posted by Emerson Silva (@emersilva88) on