A Brazilian police official is telling The Associated Press that American swimmer Ryan Lochte fabricated a story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro.
The official, who has direct knowledge of the investigation, spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about an ongoing probe.
He said that around 6 a.m. on Sunday, Lochte, along with fellow swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, stopped at a gas station in Barra da Tijuca, a suburb of Rio where many Olympic venues are located. One of the swimmers tried to open the door of an outside bathroom. It was locked.
The official says a few of the swimmers then pushed on the door and broke it. A security guard appeared and confronted them.
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The official says the guard was armed with a pistol, but he never took it out or pointed it at the swimmers.
According to the official, the gas station manager then arrived. Using a customer to translate, the manager asked the swimmers to pay for the broken door. The official says after a discussion, they did pay him an unknown amount of money and left.
Police plan an afternoon news briefing on the incident. A message seeking comment was left with Lochte’s attorney.
While the precise whereabouts of three Olympic swimmers detained in Rio remains unknown, a source familiar with the matter says they are being detained at hotels under representation of U.S. Olympic Committee attorneys.
Conger and Bentz were removed from a flight to the United States Wednesday night by federal police, hours after a judge had sought to seize the passports of another two swimmers in a blossoming scandal over an alleged armed robbery.
After days of official silence, Judge Keyla Blanc De Cnop issued a surprise order around midday Wednesday to search for and seize Lochte and Feigen’s passports in order to prevent them from leaving Brazil. She publicly questioned their allegations that they were robbed after a party, too drunk to remember much about their cab or cabbie.
Multiple news reports said that 12-time medalist Lochte arrived back in the United States on Tuesday, some citing confirmation from Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based lawyer Jeffrey Ostrow.
Feigen is still in Brazil.
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