UPDATE 1:15 p.m. ET: USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky 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 Ryan 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.”
Original story below:
Ryan Lochte’s mom says the athlete was robbed and held at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro Sunday, August 14. The International Olympic Committee, however, says reports of a holdup are untrue.
Ileana Lochte told USA Today that her son and at least one of his U.S. teammates were confronted by a group of people with guns and knives early Sunday morning while their cab was stopped at a gas station. The athletes were reportedly on their way to meet up with Brazilian swimmer Thiago Pereira, according to Ileana.
“I think they’re all shaken up. There were a few of them,” the Olympic star’s mom told the news outlet, adding that her son, who allegedly texted her after the incident occurred, was unharmed. “They just took their wallets, and basically that was it.”
Ryan’s coach, David Marsh, however, disputed Ileana’s claims and told USA Today that the athlete “was not held up.” The United States Olympic Committee also denied the claims.
An IOC spokesperson later told the Associated Press that the reports were “absolutely not true.”
The 32-year-old swimmer is a 12-time Olympic medalist. At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, he earned his most recent gold medal in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, making him the second most decorated male Olympic swimmer of all time, behind teammate Michael Phelps.