Ryan Lochte and Team USA Olympic swimmers James Feigen, Jack Conger, and Gunnar Bentz were not victims of a robbery but vandals at a gas station in Rio de Janeiro according to Brazilian police.
At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Civil Police Chief Fernando Veloso said the story Lochte pushed on national US television about being robbed at gunpoint was fabricated and untrue. Federal police detained Conger and Bentz from an aircraft taxying for the United States last night, and Veloso says at least one of those two admitted Lochte’s story was false.
“All are represented by counsel and being appropriately supported by the USOC and the US Consulate in Rio,” United States Olympic Committee spokesperson Patrick Sandusky said.
Veloso claims the more likely events included one or more of the swimmers having some sort of relations with women at a party. The intoxicated men then vandalized a gas station during their trip back to the Olympic Village.
Lochte was most impaired according to Veloso. He says the 12-time medalist’s tale of having a gun pressed against his face and his money stolen was completely made up.
“We don’t have anyone here with a clown nose,” Veloso said in Portuguese of Lochte’s lawyer denying any wrongdoing. “The FBI has accompanied our actions. The FBI has offered their services but I can’t confirm whether that will happen. That is still premature.”
Lochte, Conger, and Bentz all won a gold medal from the 4x200m freestyle relay. Feigen won gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
Sportsbooks in Nevada are betting on the Summer Games for the first time since 2000. Lochte’s failure to medal in the 200m individual medley was one of the bigger upsets in swimming this Olympics.
Three Against One
Veloso said he sees no reason for the three still in Rio to remain in the city following their testimonies. Lochte is already back in the US.
It appears the police are targeting Lochte for going on NBC’s Today Show the day after the alleged incident and declaring that thieves posed as police officers.
“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,” Lochte said. “I refused. I was like ‘We didn’t do anything wrong so I’m not getting down on the ground.’ He took our money, he took my wallet.”
Veloso admitted that a gas station security guard did indeed point a gun at one of the swimmers during the vandalism, and the swimmers paid the guard about $50 for the damages.
This is of course the summary reached by Brazilian police. NBC’s Matt Lauer said last night Lochte defended his story in a telephone call.
Golfer Robert Allenby knows a thing or two about what Lochte and the swimmers are going through.
In early 2015, the PGA Tour veteran said he was kidnapped in Hawaii, robbed, and beaten before being dumped in a park miles away from his hotel. It was later revealed that the 45-year-old had been drinking at a wine bar and then blacked out while at a strip club where he spent $3,400.
Allenby made more headlines again this month after he was arrested outside the Jumer’s Casino in Illinois. The golfer had just missed the cut at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois.