In their apology to Brazil on Thursday night, the US Olympic Committee said: “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. We will further review the matter, and any potential consequences for the athletes when we return to the United States.”
If the USOC finds against the athletes involved it could affect any future endorsements and, all in all, it is probably going to prove an expensive night out for these young men!
Common sense, despite a statement from a lawyer representing one of the athletes, would lead one to believe that there was no “hold-up.” According to statements given by a Brazilian passerby who stopped to translate for the athletes, they were not molested in any way by the security guards and handed over money after asking how much they should pay to cover the damages they caused. It is true that a security guard held a gun on them but it appears now that this was done in order to stop the athletes from leaving without making reparations. Lochte’s story of an armed hold-up could have been an early attempt to cover up the whole, embarrassing incident.
The unfortunate thing about all of the media attention on this incident is that it has overshadowed the incredible performances of the other athletes, becoming almost larger than the Games themselves, at least for the time being, with incident updates constantly interrupting Olympic coverage.
While this may be a temporary, annoying distraction from the Olympic Games, globally, it is also a temporary distraction from the good reputation of the United States.
A lesson for all of us – the cover-up never fits the crime!