Two U.S. swimmers pulled off flight, not allowed to leave Brazil without testifying
Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, the other two U.S. swimmers who claimed to be with Ryan Lochte and James Feigen when they were allegedly robbed in Rio last weekend, were pulled off their plane and held for several hours at Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport, the United States Olympic Committee confirmed on Wednesday night.
The two Americans were released by Rio authorities after agreeing to stay in the country and “continue their discussions about the incident on Thursday,” according to a statement from USOC chief external affairs officer Patrick Sandusky.
On Wednesday morning, a Brazilian judge ordered Lochte and Feigen to stay in Rio as police investigate an alleged robbery from early Sunday morning. Authorities went to seize their passports, but Lochte had already returned to the United States and Feigen’s whereabouts were unknown.
NBC reported on-air Wednesday night that Feigen was supposed to be on the plane with Bentz and Conger, and he checked in for his flight online but didn’t show as authorities waited for him with “the equivalent of a warrant.” His whereabouts remain unknown to the public.
Sandusky said that Feigen is cooperating with authorities and intends to make further statements on the incident.
NBC also reported discrepancies in Lochte’s account of events to police.
Lochte, Feigen and two other swimmers said they were robbed at gunpoint by “fake police officers” who pulled over their cab while trying to return to the Olympic village early Sunday morning. The story was widely picked up, but Rio police have cast doubt on Lochte’s claims, with an official telling the Associated Press that they have found no evidence to support the swimmers’ allegations.
NBC’s Matt Lauer spoke with Lochte earlier this week about the events, and noted to Bob Costas on-air that were indeed discrepancies in the two versions of the story. Lochte did not affirm that a gun had been pointed at his head, and also said that the incident occurred at a gas station.
More inconsistencies have been found in Lochte’s robbery story since Sunday, including the time he and his teammates returned to the village, as well which belongings Lochte had taken from him in the alleged hold-up. Surveillance video shows the swimmers returning at 6:56 a.m., appearing to be in good spirits.
Lochte participated in two events at the Rio games, winning gold in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay.