David Marsh, who has served as Ryan Lochte’s personal coach for the past three years in Charlotte, said Thursday in his first public comments about the swimmer that he expects Lochte will soon apologize for his role in what has become an international incident.
“I haven’t talked directly with Ryan,” Marsh said in a text message Thursday from Charlotte, “but I’m sure he feels terrible about his USA teammates being detained and the attention that the incident has drawn to the whole matter – and away from the amazing Olympic athletes competing in Rio. I would expect he will apologize for any part he may have played in escalating the situation when his lawyer advises him to do so.”
Marsh is the head coach of SwimMAC Carolina’s Team Elite, which had six American swimmers on the U.S. team. Jimmy Feigen was another of those swimmers and was also involved in the incident. Lochte originally told NBC that he and three teammates, including Feigen, were robbed at gunpoint in Rio by individuals pretending to be police officers.
On Thursday, Brazilian police said in a press conference that no robbery had taken place and that the swimmers were not victims. Instead, the police said, the four swimmers had actually vandalized a Brazilian gas station and then had an altercation with a security guard, who had also possibly drawn his gun to control the situation.
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Lochte flew home to the U.S. earlier this week but the three other swimmers have been detained for questioning.
Lochte had announced about 36 hours before the incident that he was moving away from Charlotte to the West Coast and would eventually start training again, likely in California or Florida.
Marsh also said he personally had found Rio to be a beautiful city full of friendly people.