[UPDATE] The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has released a statement confirming that Ryan Lochte and three others were robbed in a taxi by “individuals posing as armed police officers.”
USOC spokesperson Patrick Sandusky wrote:
“According to four members of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team (Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen and Ryan Lochte), they left France House early Sunday morning in a taxi headed to the Olympic Village. Their taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes’ money and other personal belongings. All four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities.”
“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over. They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground.
And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’ He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cell phone, he left my credentials.”
[EARLIER] Multiple reports emerged on Sunday morning that Ryan Lochte was held at gunpoint in Rio after a party he was invited to on Saturday night.
According to Ben Way of Fox Sports, Lochte’s mother spoke with Fox Sports. That report says she spoke with her son after the incident. She described the ordeal as “terrifying,” but says he is fine now and being looked after by teammates.
That report was later confirmed by Rachel Axon of USA Today Sports. Axon also spoke with Lochte’s mother who confirmed that her son had been robbed.
However, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesperson said the Lochte story is not true and that they got the info straight from Lochte.
In addition, Lochte’s personal coach, David Marsh, told USA Today that Lochte was “not held up” but that he was trying to figure out what happened.
During a daily media briefing, a Rio official told the media that they have heard about the incident but that they “don’t have more information.”
Later, Nadine Comerford of NBC reported that Lochte himself confirmed the report to NBC’s Billy Bush.
“Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte confirms to NBC’s Billy Bush that he and three other swimmers were robbed at gunpoint last night in Rio,” Comerford wrote on Twitter.
According to the original reports, Lochte was invited to the party by Brazilian swimmer Thiago Pereira.
BREAKING: @USASwimming Gold medallist Ryan Lochte has been held up at gunpoint at a party in Brazil.
According to the Washington Post, the robbery happened in a taxi after the party, citing Lochte’s mother, a friend of Lochte, and a representative of Pereira.
“Thiago Pereira and his wife Gabriela Pauletti were in Club France, the French house in Brazil, and they were celebrating the birthday of a friend in common,” said [Flávio] Perez, Pereira’s spokesman. “Lochte was also in the same place, commemorating the same birthday. Ryan and Thiago are friends. Thiago and his wife left earlier, they left alone, the two of them. Thiago and his wife went back to their hotel. Then Thiago, on finding out what happened, called Ryan. Ryan is well, and Thiago said that the robbery, according to Ryan, was in the taxi. The taxi was robbed.”
Lochte, 32, is one of the most decorated Olympians ever. He won gold in Rio as a member of the 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay and now has won 12 Olympic medals in his career, including six gold medals.
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