Rio de Janeiro police say they haven’t been able to confirm that Ryan Lochte and three of his fellow U.S. Olympic swimmers were robbed at gunpoint on Sunday, August 14, despite the athlete’s claims.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday, August 16, that police officials “have found no evidence” to support the athletes’ accounts during their investigation so far, and haven’t found any witnesses either. They also said the Olympians “were unable to provide key details in police interviews.”
As previously reported, Lochte, 32, said during an interview with the Today show’s Billy Bush on Sunday that he and fellow swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen had been robbed by armed men posing as police officers earlier that morning.
“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 12-time Olympic medalist said at the time. “They pulled out their guns. … 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. … He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cellphone, he left my credentials.”
Prior to Lochte’s confirmation, there was a great deal of confusion online amid conflicting reports. After Lochte’s mother, Ileana Lochte, told USA Today that her son was robbed, an International Olympic Committee spokesman said the claims were “absolutely not true.” Later that day, the spokesman apologized and reversed his earlier statement.
Lochte’s attorney, Jeff Ostrow, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that there was “no question” the robbery happened. He also claimed the swimmer hired 24-hour security following the incident, and hasn’t left his hotel room since.
“This happened the way he described it,” Ostrow said. “Ryan was a hundred percent cooperative and fully available when [police] reached out to us for an interview. It doesn’t behoove Ryan and anyone else to make up a story.”
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