U.S. Olympic Swimmers’ Robbery Story Was Fabricated; Surveillance Video Emerges From Gas Station
American Olympians Ryan Lochte, Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, who had told the media that they had been held up at gunpoint the night of August 13 in Rio de Janeiro, may have fabricated their story, possibly in an attempt to cover up their behavior at a gas station. Recently released surveillance footage from the gas station shows no indications of a robbery, and all four men can be seen coming out of a bathroom and entering their waiting taxi.
The Americans had claimed that, upon returning to their taxi at the station, two men impersonating Rio police pointed guns at them and demanded their wallets. Lochte tweeted out part of the story on Monday:
NBC got further details from Lochte:
The first person Lochte told about the incident was his mother, who then passed it along to the media.
However, a Brazilian police official told the Associated Press that one of the four men had broken a bathroom door at the gas station. The station manager then insisted the men pay for the damage, which they apparently did, offering 100 reals and 20 dollars. A Brazilian paper, O Globo, reports that the swimmers urinated on the walls and that that was the source of the conflict.
A news conference is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, where the conflicting details of the incident will hopefully be cleared up. Lochte, a 12-time medal winner, is already back in the United States, while Conger and Bentz were pulled off of a plane Wednesday on their way back home. Feigen has reportedly been cooperating with authorities.