Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte and three of his teammates were robbed at gunpoint Sunday morning, the United States Olympic Committee announced in a statement.
According to the statement, Lochte, along with Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen, had their taxi stopped by individuals posing as armed guards as it traveled to the Olympic Village.
Lochte confirmed the incident to Billy Bush of NBC, giving details on the robbery.
“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over,” Lochte told Bush. “They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground.
“And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’ He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cell phone, he left my credentials.”
Earlier in the day, Lochte’s mother told multiple media outlets that her son had been held at gunpoint at a party in Rio de Janeiro.
“I think they’re all shaken up. There were a few of them,” Ileana Lochte said toUSA Today. “No, they were just, they just took their wallets and basically that was it.”
According to Ben Way of Fox Sports, Lochte had been invited to a party by Brazilian swimmer Thiago Pereira. There, he was held at gunpoint, before eventually being released unharmed. He immediately called his mother, who then recounted the incident.
Pereira’s representative later told the Washington Post that Lochte was leaving the party, and the taxi he was in was robbed.
The International Olympic Committee immediately denied the report; IOC spokesman Mark Adams released a statement saying that rumors about Lochte being robbed at gunpoint were “absolutely not true.” The group has since referred questions about the incident to the USOC.
Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press initially reported that the United States Olympic Committee asked Lochte about the incident, and he denied that it occurred. The USOC then relayed this information to the IOC.
Reached by USA Today, David Marsh, Lochte’s personal coach and head of the U.S. Olympic women’s swim team, also denied that the swimmer was robbed.
Lochte recently earned his sixth gold medal, swimming a leg on the 4x200 meter freestyle relay that won on Tuesday.