Following conflicting reports, Ryan Lochte confirmed in a new interview that he was among four U.S. Olympic swimmers who were robbed by armed men posing as police officers in Rio de Janeiro Sunday, August 14.
“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 athlete confirmed to the Today show’s Billy Bush Sunday morning. “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 on the ground.’”
He continued, “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 cellphone, he left my credentials.”
United States Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky also confirmed the news in a statement to Us Weekly, writing, “According to four members of the U.S. Olympic swimming team (Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen and Lochte), they left France House early Sunday morning in a taxi headed for 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.”
Earlier on Sunday, Lochte’s mom, Ileana Lochte, told USA Today that her son was robbed. An International Olympic Committee spokesman initially denied the claim to the Associated Press, causing confusion online about the validity of Ileana’s story.
Ryan won gold in the 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay at the 2016 Rio Olympics earlier this month. His full interview with Bush will air on Today Monday, August 15.
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