Olympics

Brazilian police say Ryan Lochte made up robbery story after incident at gas station

United States swimmer Ryan Lochte.
United States swimmer Ryan Lochte. The Associated Press

Unfortunately, U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte may end up being the biggest story to come out of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janerio.

On Sunday, Lochte said that after leaving a club earlier that morning with swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, they were robbed. Lochte said the group was held at gunpoint by fake police officers who pulled over the taxi they were riding in.

At that time, Lochte said a thief put a gun to Lochte’s forehead and demanded money. Lochte said, “Whatever,” and gave up his wallet.

That story, police in Rio say, is untrue.

“We knew it wasn’t robbery on Sunday after talking to two of them. The stories did not match,” Officer Marcelo Carregosa, told the Washington Post. “Ryan was very evasive and he did not give details.”

According to the Associated Press, a Brazilian police official said two of the swimmers claimed Lochte made up the robbery story.

The official said that after leaving the party, the swimmers had a taxi cab stop at gas station. The swimmers tried to open a bathroom door at the station but it was jammed. They broke the door, and a security guard investigated.

Then, the official told the AP, the station manager demanded money to pay for the door. The swimmers gave the manager money and left.

Hours later, the official changed the version of the story he told the AP, and said two security guards pointed guns at the swimmers. The change came after police interviewed one of the security guards on Thursday.

Here is video from the gas station and it appears the group was approached by a security guard:

Brazilian authorities allege that Ryan Lochte and three other Team USA swimmers got into a fight with a gas station employee the night that they say they were robbed at gunpoint. Brazilian authorities say they tried to cover up the fight with the

On Wednesday night, Lochte talked with NBC’s Matt Lauer and tweaked part of his original story.

Lochte, who is back in the United States now, didn’t appear on camera. However, Lauer recounted that Lochte said the group had stopped to use a bathroom at a gas station, and after returning to the vehicle, the taxi driver wouldn’t drive the car. At that point, two men approached. Lochte said that one of the men “pointed the gun in my direction and cocked it,” Lauer said.

Lochte told Lauer the changes in the details were “a traumatic mischaracterization.”

Additionally, Lauer said that Lochte and other swimmers initially didn’t want to tell the story of the robbery for fear that they had broken a USOC rule for being out so late.

Video obtained by the Daily Mail appears to show the swimmers returning to the Olympic Village, and it doesn’t seem that anything traumatic has happened to the group. This is one reason that Judge Keyla Blanc De Cnop called for the passports of Lochte and Feigen to be held.

Conger and Bentz were taken off their flight from Brazil on Wednesday and detained for several hours by local authorities.

The New York Times, quoting the newspaper Extra, reported that the swimmers left the club at 5:50 a.m. and returned to the Olympic Village at 6:56 a.m. Lochte initially said the group left a party at 4 a.m. and was robbed after that.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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