Ryan Lochte sparked international outrage when he claimed that he and three other US Olympic Swimmers were robbed at gunpoint in Rio. Turns out that not only was he lying, but was also covering up for his drunken brawl where the team vandalized a gas station’s bathroom and then had to pay for the damage.
The 12-time Olympic medalist’s harrowing story, which was largely made up included “a time where Lochte was held up with a gun on his forehead,” unraveled when the security footage revealed the truth.
Ryan had claimed early Sunday that he, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen were “shaken up” after having their wallets taken. Soon after the spokesperson for International Olympic Committee spokesman first said the robbery reports were “absolutely not true.” But Lochte confirmed the encounter later Sunday during a beach interview with NBC’s Billy Bush.
“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,” Lochte said. “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,” he added.
When the truth surfaced, a Brazilian judge issued an order to seize the passports of Lochte and Feigen to prevent them from leaving the country because of inconsistencies in accounts of their robbery and wanted to question them further, but Lochte had already left the country and officials on Wednesday removed Conger and Bentz from a plane at Rio International Airport.
Video footage captured on the night of the “so called robbery” shows the athletes interacting with gas station employees and security guards. They can be seen in the edited tape entering a bright yellow taxi and exiting it apparently after a man confronts them. At least one passenger appears to open his wallet as he leaves the vehicle as another passenger exits with his hands up.
A top Brazilian police official said the four men were drunk after a night of partying and damaged the door of a bathroom, a soap dispenser and a mirror. “Their claim that they were the victims of assault or some kind of violence is not true,” State of Rio de Janeiro Police Chief Fernando Veloso said in a televised press conference, according to a CNN translation.
Veloso called on the four athletes to apologize because their claims “sullied” the name of their city. The group of swimmers paid $20 in U.S. dollars and 100 Brazilian Real on the spot for the damage. Late Thursday, Feigen agreed to make a donation to charity of 35,000 reales ($10,800) before leaving the country. This practice is common in Brazil to avoid minor charges.