Lochte, 32, initially claimed that he and three teammates were robbed at gunpoint on Aug. 14 after a night of partying. Brazilian police later said Lochte lied about the robbery after vandalizing a gas station bathroom, and Brazilian authorities charged Lochte last week with filing a false robbery report.
In an interview with Good Morning America on Tuesday, Lochte admitted that he had lied, explaining that he “over-exaggerated” the part of his story in which he said an officer pointed a gun at his forehead. He still maintains that a gun was drawn.
“I did lie about that one part, and I take full responsibility,” Lochte said. “I’m human. I made a mistake, a very big mistake, and it’s something that I learned from. And I know that that will never happen again.”
Lochte also defended himself, accusing people of “blowing this way out of proportion.” He also said he never damaged the gas station bathroom.
“The story about me vandalizing the bathroom is absurd,” he said. “It never happened.”
Lochte—who recently lost endorsements from Speedo USA, Polo Ralph Lauren and Syneron-Candela—said he hopes to be able to put this controversy behind him.
“The past two weeks have been like the lowest point of my life,” he said.
“I just want to put this behind me and move on,” he added.