A few days ago, it was reported that the US Olympic gold medal swimmer, Ryan Lochte and a few of his teammates were held at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro. However, the report made by the swimmer has been proved to be false as confirmed in surveillance footage.
Lochte, Jack Cogner, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen stopped at a gas station in Barra da Tijuca when one of the swimmers knocked down a locked bathroom door. The disturbance came to a security guard’s attention, which made him run towards the bathroom where the swimmers were, only to find out that the items in the bathroom had been damaged. As the swimmers tried to vacate the scene in a taxi, the security guard ordered the taxi driver to remain while he investigated the situation. Apparently the swimmers got a little aggressive, attracting a second security guard to the scene. The swimmers then bribed the security guards and left the scene before the police had arrived.
Swimmers Bentz and Cogner confessed that the whole story was false after they had been removed from a return flight to America. Unfortunately, or fortunately for Lochte, he had already returned to the US before a judge had ordered for their passports to be seized.
Filing a false report in Brazil, could land you six months in detention, unless a fine is paid.
“You can see the supposed victims arriving without signs of being physically or psychologically shaken, even joking amongst themselves,” Judge Blanc de Cnop said in a statement.
This entire incident began last Sunday when Lochte told a fib.
“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,” the 32-year-old swimmer told NBC. “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 up, 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.’
Last Sunday, the IOC was adamant that the reported robbery was untrue. However, the incident was confirmed by a US Olympic Committee spokesperson.
“According to four members of the US Olympic swimming team [Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen and Lochte], they left [a party] early Sunday morning in a taxi headed for the Olympic Village,’ the spokesperson said. “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.”
The IOC is probably trying to hold itself back from saying, ‘we told you so,’ while the US Olympic Committee spokesperson has his tail between his legs.
Not only did the swimmers waste the valuable time of everybody concerned, they also made Rio De Janeiro look very bad. Will they be welcomed back next time?