Michael Rozman / Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
Ryan Lochte said he was in a “really dark place” and wanted to hide following the controversy over the Rio incident, which ultimately led to a 10-month suspension from national and international swim competitions.
Lochte and three other US swimmers were suspended by USA Swimming and the US Olympic Committee for falsely claiming they were robbed at gunpoint during the Rio games.
According to Brazilian authorities, the swimmers got into an altercation with a security guard over allegedly damaging a bathroom and being told to pay to cover the cost of repairs.
Lochte initially said that a robber posing as a security guard had a gun pointed to his head. Brazilian police disputed the story and Lochte eventually said he“over-exaggerated” the circumstances and now faces charges in Brazil for falsely reporting a crime.
“I realized, I reached the lowest point of my entire that I never thought I would go to,” Lochte told Ellen DeGeneres. “I was in a really dark place and I didn't know if I should come out.”
Lochte, who will appear on the next season of Dancing With The Stars, told DeGeneres he signed up for the television competition before the Rio games but questioned whether he should go through with it.
“I reached out to my family and friends and they kept me positive and said, 'you know, you have to do this, you have to get out there,'” Lochte said, adding that he is embracing the opportunity.
The four US swimmers accepted the suspension, which went into effect Thursday.
“You know, I've been swimming my entire life and I've never taken a break and for someone telling me I can't do something I've been doing my entire life, it's heartbreaking,” Lochte said, adding that he will continue to train.
“When I do come back I'm going to definitely be a better swimmer and a better person.”
The full interview is scheduled to air on Monday, September 12.