Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, two of Ryan Lochte’s swimming teammates at the Rio Olympics, were removed from their U.S.-bound flight by Brazilian authorities on Wednesday, August 17.
U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky confirmed in a statement that the two athletes who, along with Lochte and Jimmy Feigen, claim to have been robbed at gunpoint in Rio, were detained.
“Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were detained Wednesday night shortly before their flight was scheduled to depart from Rio,” Sandusky said in a statement shared with Us Weekly. “They were released by local authorities with the understanding that they would continue their discussions about the incident on Thursday.”
Reuters reports that police also stopped Feigen from boarding his flight home Wednesday. Sandusky’s statement noted that Feigen “is also communicating with local authorities and intends to make further statements regarding the incident on Thursday as well.”
“I’m just trying to give Brazil what they need or what they want and get out of here,” Feigen, 26, told USA Today Sports Wednesday night. “It’s a hassle, but I’m safe. Everything’s fine.”
The news came hours after Judge Keyla Blank ordered that Lochte’s and Feigen’s passports be seized, and for the swimmers to remain in the country as authorities investigate their claims about the alleged robbery.
The four initially told authorities that as they were returning to the Olympic Village in a taxi after a party early Sunday morning, individuals who posed as armed officers pulled their vehicle over and robbed the swimmers.
According to the AP, law enforcement has not found evidence to support the athletes’ claims and that authorities say the men have not been able to provide key details.
NBC’s Matt Lauer reported on Wednesday night that Lochte, 32, has since softened some of his earlier claims, and is now saying the alleged robbery occurred when the taxi pulled into a gas station so the men could use the bathroom.
Lochte’s dad, Steve, told the AP that his son, who is a 12-time medalist, is already back in the United States.
“I’m just happy he’s safe,” the elder Lochte said. “It was an unfortunate experience for him and the other three. I don’t know what all the controversy is. They were basically taken out of the taxi and robbed. The main thing is he’s very lucky that he’s safe and that all they got was his cash and wallet.”
Ryan’s lawyer, Jeff Ostrow, however, told TMZ that they’re unaware of the warrant for Lotche’s passport.
“I have no information from Brazilian authorities that they want his passport,” Ostrow told the site on Wednesday. “I’m shocked to hear that they would go to such measures in an effort to further investigate the incident as he has been nothing but cooperative with authorities, including sitting for a full interview with the Tourist Police, U.S. State Department, USOC Security, FBI, and anyone else that requested to be present.”
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