Brazilian Police Say Ryan Lochte & Teammates Were Vandals, Not Victims

Photo: Matt Hazlett/Getty Images.
Update: "There was no robbery," Fernando Veloso, chief of civil police in Rio de Janeiro, said in a press conference. Instead, he said, one or more of the four U.S. swimmers are responsible for vandalising a gas station. According to the authorities, Ryan Lochte and his teammates were caught in surveillance videos vandalising the station and then being confronted by security guards. Veloso also said that a guard pulled out his firearm because one of the swimmers was being volatile, Reuters reported. However, none of the swimmers were harmed. The police chief confirmed that swimmer James Feign has yet to be interviewed, while Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger have given their statements to the police, CNN reported. Lochte is already in the U.S. Veloso added that the authorities have not yet decided if they will be charged for vandalism and giving false testimony, according to Reuters.

Update: 12:20 p.m.:
Brazilian police officials are saying they believe that U.S. swimmers’ accounts of being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics were fabricated, according to multiple sources.
An anonymous police official told The New York Times that footage and testimony from witnesses show no evidence of an armed robbery. Police believe that the swimmers instead stopped at a gas station on their way back from a party and had an altercation with a security guard and a manager after breaking a bathroom door. The Associated Press reported that, though the security guard had a pistol, he did not take it out or point it at the swimmers. At some point in the incident, the athletes are believed to have paid money for the broken door before leaving, according to witnesses. “Unfortunately, the swimmers told one lie after another,” the anonymous official told The New York Times.
Update: 11:30 a.m.: U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte defended his account of being mugged in Rio on The Today Show Wednesday, saying, “We wouldn’t make this up.” He reportedly reasserted the basic elements of his account. “We’re victims in this, and we’re happy that we’re safe,” he said. Brazilian authorities have detained several of Lochte’s teammates in Brazil over inconsistencies in the athletes’ accounts of being robbed. Lochte’s account also changed between two interviews with The Today Show, differing in whether the car the Olympians were in was pulled over or stopped, and whether Lochte had a gun pointed directly at him or if he was only threatened with it. Brazilian police told ABC News that CCTV footage of the night appeared to show one of the swimmers breaking down the door at a gas station and getting in a fight with a security guard. The Associated Press also reported on Thursday morning that an anonymous Brazilian police official said that investigators believed the report of the robbery had been fabricated.
Update: August 17, 11:10 p.m.: Further investigation seems to call Lochte's account of the events into serious doubt. Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, who were in the car with Lochte and Feigen, were pulled from their flight out of Brazil and detained by police, according to multiple reports. “We can confirm that Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities,” a spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee told The New York Times. “We are gathering further information.”
Update: August 17, 3:45 p.m.: A Brazilian judge has ordered U.S. Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte and James Feigen to remain in Brazil over inconsistencies in their accounts of being robbed, according to the BBC. Brazilian police investigating the alleged mugging say they have found no evidence of the robbery, and that CCTV footage doesn’t square with the athletes’ accounts. Lochte and Feigen arrived back at the Olympic Village about three hours later than they told police, and video recordings reportedly show them calm upon their return. Authorities say the pair also gave differing accounts of the robberies. Lochte has reportedly already returned to the United States, but Feigen is believed to remain in Brazil.
This article was originally published on August 14, 2016.

Ryan Lochte and three of his teammates were robbed after a party in Rio on Sunday morning, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) told Reuters. The swimmers were on their way to the Olympic Village when several men posing as police officers stopped their taxi and ordered them to hand over their money and possessions. Lochte told NBC that someone put a gun up to his head. “They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground," he said. "I refused, I was like we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground," he continued. "And then, the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, 'Get down.' 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.” "I think they’re all shaken up…they just took their wallets and basically that was it," Lochte's mother, Ileana Lochte, told USA Today. The USOC initially called the reports false, later confirming with the swimmers and issuing a new statement.

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