Brazil: U.S. Swimmers Make Elaborate Robbery Lie Over Bathroom Shenanigans?
If you ever wanted to party with the U.S. Men’s swim team, then this wild Olympic scandal story has many people reconsidering the phrase…’everybody into the pool’.
After an extensive investigation, Brazilian authorities say American swimmers Ryan Lochte, Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen lied about being robbed at gunpoint and allegedly made up the story after a drunken night in the bathroom at a gas station.
Brazilian authorities say the four swimmers were drunk when they stopped off at a Shell gas station around 6:00am after partying at a Olympic hospitality house on August 14th.
They say after reviewing security footage, it shows the four swimmers in the bathroom and somehow, they damaged the bathroom door.
After talking with the manager and a security guard, there was an exchange of money that took place, according to authorities but by that point, someone had already called police.
That’s because authorities say security footage also shows one of the athletes breaking down the door and fighting with a security guard.
The athletes left before the police arrived.
The four swimmers all have gold medals in Rio for various swim events but this scandal has one of them possibly breaking a golden rule when it comes to law enforcement…don’t lie.
Also, it’s probably not a good idea to allegedly blame it on the cops and lie about it.
It all started with Lochte allegedly doing a little freestyle by reporting the four swimmers’ taxi was pulled over by men posing as police officers and demanding their valuables.
Lochte says when he attempted to push back, one of the men put a gun to his forehead and took their wallets and cell phones.
Lochte’s mother confirmed the report with USA Today.
But you could say this is where the water gets a little murky.
Initial reports from the USOC say they spoke to Lochte after the story broke and they say Lochte told them the robbery story “simply wasn’t true”.
That was a little before 10:00am on August 14th.
But on that same day just three hours later, Lochte spoke to NBC, saying he was robbed at gunpoint with the other three swimmers and the robbers, posing as the police, took their wallets but left their cell phones and Olympic credentials.
Minutes later, the USOC seemed to catch up with Lochte’s story and released a statement confirming Lochte’s story saying the swimmers were indeed robbed by fake police but they are okay.
Here’s where this relay starts to fall apart.
Brazilian police say the gold medalists suddenly could not remember where they were, what color taxi they were in and in a sport that is all based on time, they simply could not remember when the robbery took place.
A Brazilian judge then ordered the swimmers not to leave the country…but the judge seemed to forget how fast these guys can move.
At least one of them, that is.
Lochte was already back in the U.S.
He released a statement of thanks to his family, friends and fans who have been giving him support during this time and that he is thankful him and the other three swimmers “are safe and unharmed”.
Conger and Bentz were pulled off their flight Wednesday night and detained by authorities.
As for Lochte, his statements now seem to be getting him further into the deep end.
Previously on August 14th, Lochte was interviewed on camera by NBC’s Billy Bush saying the alleged robber “pulled out his gun, he cocked it and put it to my forehead and said ‘get down’.”
But Wednesday evening, NBC’s Matt Lauer says he spoke to Lochte directly and Lochte told him the gun was actually just pointed in his general direction.
But he says he stands by his original statement and says none of the people involved would make up this story…except claiming the part of the gun being pressed against his forehead was due to traumatic stress.
The USOC says Conger, Bentz and Feigen are still in Brazil at this time and are cooperating with authorities.
The organization also says the three are being supported by the U.S. Consulate and have lawyers.
As for whether Lochte will join them, remains yet to be seen.
It’s important to point out the statement from Mario Andrada, the spokesperson of the 2016 Rio Games.
He says there aren’t any apologies needed from 32-year-old Lochte, 21-year-old Conger, 20-year-old Bentz and 26-year-old Feigen. Andrada goes on to say “…they were having fun–training under pressure. I understand they are under investigation. Cannot go much further. Give these kids a break, sometimes we make actions that we later regret. They had fun. They made a mistake. Life goes on.”