Rio police: Ryan Lochte, U.S. swimmers lied about robbery
Brazilian police say Ryan Lochte and three other U.S. swimmers lied about being robbed early Sunday morning, and security footage shows the four Olympians vandalizing a gas station the night they originally claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint.
Two of the swimmers have since admitted the robbery story was a fabrication, according to the AP. Video released Thursday shows the four were stopped by gas station security, who later pointed a gun at the swimmers to make sure they would not leave before the police arrived.
Police said in a press conference Thursday the security guard who pulled the gun overreacted, but noted no one was physically harmed in the incident.
A Brazilian official told Reuters that the swimmers paid for the gas station damage in cash. The gas station owner told a local paper that Lochte and the other swimmers urinated over the station as opposed to using the bathroom and vandalized a sign in the store.
Initially, Lochte said he, Jimmy Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were returning to the Olympic village in a cab when they were pulled over and robbed by men dressed as cops, but Lochte later told NBC's Matt Lauer that story wasn't exactly true. Instead, he said all four swimmers were at a gas station when they were robbed.
"They had gone to the bathroom in a gas station," Lauer said during NBC's Olympic coverage on Wednesday night, describing what Lochte told him. "They got back to the taxi, and when they told the taxi driver to go, he didn't move. They said, 'let's go' again, 'we've got to get out of here,' and again the taxi driver didn't move. And that's when he says two men approached the car with guns and badges."
The video shows Lochte and simmers being asked to exit their cab by security, presumably after they had vandalized the gas station.
A Brazilian judge ordered two Conger and Bentz not to leave the country while they investigated the claims, even though Lochte left the country before that order was issued.
U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky confirmed that Conger and Bentz were removed from their flight on Wednesday night when they attempted to leave for the United States.
Sandusky also said on Thursday that Bentz, Conger, and Feigen were cooperating with authorities and are "represented by counsel and being appropriately supported by the USOC and the U.S. Consulate in Rio."
The IOC released a statement Thursday.
- Scooby Axson