US Olympic Committee apologises to city of Rio for swimmers' actions on night of alleged robbery

Ryan Lochte has been accused of giving false testimony. Picture: Getty Images

While it’s still difficult to parse through what exactly happened the night Ryan Lochte claimed he and three US swimmers were robbed at gunpoint, it’s become clear that they were not blameless in the situation.

Reports and security footage were released Thursday disputing Lochte’s claims and showing the swimmers may have tried to urinate outside of the gas station where they stopped, committed an act of vandalism, and got into a dispute with station security over the vandalism.

In light of these revelations, the US Olympic Committee released a statement apologizing for the actions of Lochte, James Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger.

The USOC gave a breakdown of sorts of the events that night:

“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 USOC then issued an apology and suggested the athletes will be punished, saying:

“The behaviour 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 apologise 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.”

While there are still several details that remain a mystery and the USOC admits to not seeing Bentz and Conger’s statements, it’s an admission that a robbery, as Lochte described it, didn’t take place. However, it is worth noting that the USOC does emphasise that the security staff “displayed their weapons” and “demanded the athletes provide a monetary payment.” This seems to suggest that the USOC believes a robbery, in some form, did take place even if not as described by Lochte.

The committee also revealed in the statement that Conger and Bentz had their passports returned to them and left Brazil.

Here’s the entire statement below:

“Two U.S. Olympic swimmers (Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger) have given statements to local authorities today regarding the incident first reported on Sunday, August 14, 2016. Their passports have been released and they recently departed Rio.

“After providing a statement earlier in the week, a third (James Feigen) provided a revised statement this evening with the hope of securing the release of his passport as soon as possible.

“Working in collaboration with the U.S. Consulate in Rio, we have coordinated the athletes’ cooperation with local authorities and ensured their safety throughout the process, but we have not seen the full statements provided by Bentz and Conger.

“However, we understand that they describe the events that many have seen on surveillance video made publicly available today. 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 behaviour 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 apologise 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.

“With three days remaining in the Olympic Games, our primary focus will remain on supporting the athletes who are still competing and celebrating the achievements of those who have finished.”

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