*Team USA swimmers Ryan Lochte, Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger all claim to have been robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning in Rio, but local authorities are reportedly questioning that the robbery ever took place.
Lochte told NBC’s “Today” that they were in a taxi when men passing themselves as police officers pulled them over:
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. 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.
Rio authorities, however, are said to be suspicious about their account. An Associated Press report, citing an anonymous police source, said that police have found “scant evidence” that the robbery took place. They added that the swimmers “were unable to provide key details.” And Brazilian newspaper O Globo adds that Lochte and Feigen contradicted each other on portions of their stories.
Also, the Daily Mail obtained video from the entrance of the Olympic Village just a few hours after the swimmers say they were robbed, which shows Lochte joking around a bit with teammate Feigen, hitting him over the head with his Olympic credential. The swimmers are also seen removing watches, and other objects (which appear to be wallets and cell phones) prior to going through metal detectors.
The Daily Mail suggests Lochte’s casual manner and the fact that the aforementioned personal items were not taken by the thieves adds to the overall suspicion of their story.
According to USA Today, Brazilian judge Keyla Blank ordered Lochte and Feigen to stay in the country for further questioning. Lochte has already left Rio and is back in the US, but his attorney Jeff Ostrow said Lochte cooperated fully with authorities and gave a statement to representatives from the State Department, FBI, Tourist Police and the USOC’s security team at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday night.
Lochte told USA Today on Tuesday that he initially did not tell the USOC that he and three other swimmers were victims of a robbery early Sunday morning “because we were afraid we’d get in trouble.”
Below, Lochte gives his account of the robbery to “Today”: