The sister of American swimmer Ryan Lochte, Megan, has apologised for appearing in a controversial post-Beijing Olympics television sketch.
In the interview for the talk show Closing Time with Mickey Cuechiella conducted following the 2008 Games, Lochte repeatedly referred to people from China as "C***ks" and said that they drive "like ninjas".
"I would like to apologise for the video that is circulating on the internet from 2008," said Lochte in a statement. "During that time, I played a character on a television comedy show called Closing Time TV, which was a show with different comedy skits, fake news skits, staged interviews, etc.
"The video in question reflects a skit from the show in which I acted as an ignorant guest on a talk show that made ignorant comments. This was not a real interview, and it in no way reflects my true feelings or persona whatsoever.
"The intent was to make fun of the ignorance of people who actually do not have an understanding of other cultures and speak in racist ways. The skit and my character were SUPPOSED to be making fun of ignorance. It was never the intent to make fun of any culture or class of people."
Lochte further defended herself by insisting that it was "not a real talk show".
"Comedy in general can be offensive, yet spread awareness," she added. "I do see how it was highly offensive to the viewer, but as seen by today's widespread outrage, it clearly did increase awareness of the ignorance of those who are racist.
"I want to reiterate that this was NOT a real talk show, and I was not expressing my personal views. While the intent of the script was to shed light on cultural ignorance, I realise that in application it did offend people, and for that I apologise."
Lochte won two gold, two silver and one bronze medal at this summer's London Olympics.