Ryan Lochte and James Feigen have been indicted in Rio for filing a false police report.
A few days back, Ryan Lochte, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen were allegedly stopped by people posing as armed police in Rio.
Following their allegations, the police have released the CCTV footage of the four swimmers returning to the Olympic village in the early hours of August 14 after celebrating their final competitions.
This clip is now at the centre of a police investigation because the swimmers claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint at a petrol station.
According to BBC, the athletes’ accounts have now been contradicted by Rio police who say they have evidence that the men were involved in a fight at the petrol station after one of them kicked a toilet door in, and that they invented the robbery to cover it up.
Since the incident, two of the four have made public statements about the robbery.
Posting on Instagram, Lochte said, “While it is true that my teammates and I were the victims of a robbery early Sunday morning, what is most important is that we are safe and unharmed.”
A police official told Associated Press that Lochte and Feigen were unable to give basic details and were contradicting each other’s stories.
Lochte and Feigen told the police they left Club France at about 04:00 and took a taxi from a nearby petrol station. According to their account, they went straight from the club to the village – a journey of 30 to 40 minutes – with the robbery happening along the way.
But the CCTV footage clocks the swimmers returning to the village at 06:56, nearly three hours after they left the club.
It was after this that Ryan Lochte then slightly altered his account, telling NBC on Wednesday that the taxi was not pulled over but they were robbed while making a stop at a petrol station. He added that the gun was not pointed directly at his forehead. After this, the Police tried to find the taxi driver, or any other witnesses, but have been unable to do so.
According to CNN, Conger and Bentz were taken off an airliner on Wednesday night as they were preparing to go home after Brazilian judge to issue warrants for the seizure of the Americans’ passports so they couldn’t leave the country before they were questioned.
Officials said Conger and Bentz spoke with police Thursday at the tourist police office.
The two gave a statement to police in which they denied having been victims of a robbery and clarified that the version of events presented by Ryan Lochte was not true.
Following the development, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has released a statement. It read in parts:
As we understand it, the four athletes (Bentz, Conger, Feigen and Ryan Lochte) left France House early in the morning of August 14 in a taxi headed to the Olympic Village.
They stopped at a gas station to use the restroom, where one of the athletes committed an act of vandalism. An argument ensued between the athletes and two armed gas station security staff, who displayed their weapons, ordered the athletes from their vehicle and demanded the athletes provide a monetary payment. Once the security officials received money from the athletes, the athletes were allowed to leave.
The behavior of these athletes is not acceptable, nor does it represent the values of Team USA or the conduct of the vast majority of its members. We will further review the matter, and any potential consequences for the athletes, when we return to the United States.
On behalf of the United States Olympic Committee, we apologize to our hosts in Rio and the people of Brazil for this distracting ordeal in the midst of what should rightly be a celebration of excellence.
Police also said they have identified the recording of the phone call from the gas station and the security guard at the station has given a statement to police.