( 4UMF NEWS ) Ryan Lochte Lied About Armed Robbery:
The four American swimmers who have claimed they were victims of an armed robbery in Rio were the ones causing trouble that night and fabricated their account of the incident, according to reports.
The swimmers, including 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte, damaged a bathroom door at a gas station in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood before they returned to the athletes’ village early Sunday, The New York Times reported.
“Unfortunately, the swimmers told one lie after another,” a Brazilian police official who reviewed video images from the scene told The Times. “We’ve been able to determine that there was no armed assault.”
Two of the swimmers, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were pulled off a plane late Wednesday to be questioned by police over Sunday’s incident at the Shell gas station, where the men said they were robbed.
Their teammate, Jimmy Feigen, has remained in Brazil and is cooperating with authorities, along with Bentz and Conger, said U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky.
Sandusky said in a statement Thursday that Bentz, Conger and Feigen were “cooperating with authorities” and determining a time and place to speak further with police.
“All are represented by counsel and being appropriately supported by the USOC and the U.S. Consulate in Rio,” Sandusky said.
Lochte spoke with authorities before leaving Brazil this week. His lawyer earlier said he gave police a statement as representatives from the U.S. State Department, U.S. Olympic Committee and the FBI observed. Lochte signed the statement to attest to its truthfulness, his attorney added.
Brazilian judge Keyla Blanc de Cnop said Lochte and Feigen gave contradictory accounts of the robbery, according to the court’s statement. The men also said the robbery took place on the way home from a club, which they left at 4 a.m. But security video showed them leaving at a different time, the judge said.
De Cnop added that Lochte told police there was one robber, while Feigen said there were more, one of whom had a gun.
Lochte told TODAY’s Matt Lauer in a telephone interview Wednesday night that he returned from Rio earlier that day, and no one told him he should stay in Brazil. Lochte said he told authorities he would cooperate.
Lochte said they were at a gas station and got back in the taxi. The taxi driver did not move, and it was then that two robbers with guns and badges approached the car and ordered the swimmers out of the vehicle and onto the ground, he told Lauer.
Lauer said he asked Lochte about skepticism that his story may have been made up.
“He strongly denied that, said it’s absolutely not the case,” Lauer said.
The American swimmers are subject to questioning and potential charges if police believe they gave false or misleading statements to authorities, which can carry up to six months in jail.
But under Brazil’s constitution ratified in 1988, they have the right to remain silent.