Ryan Lochte, US Swimmers Investigation: Latest on Alleged Robbery at Gunpoint

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 12:  Ryan Lochte of the United States attends a press conference in the Main Press Center on Day 7 of the Rio Olympics on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

Authorities in Brazil are investigating United States swimmer Ryan Lochte and his teammates Gunnar Bentz, James Feigen and Jack Conger regarding claims that Lochte was held up at gunpoint in Brazil, which he alleged on Aug. 14.

Continue for updates.


Lochte Speaks on Incident on 'Good Morning America'

Tuesday, Aug. 30

"I think it's everyone blowing this way out of proportion. I think that's what happened," Lochte said on Good Morning America, per ABC News' Katie Kindelan.

Lochte also talked about his claim that a gun was held to his head and the impact the situation has had on his swimming teammates:

Like I said, I did lie about that one part. I take full responsibility. I'm human. I made a mistake. A very big mistake. ...

I reached out to Jimmy [Feigen], saying, 'I know you have to pay that fine. It is my fault.' I'm taking full responsibility for this and I will pay that back if he will let me.

I've reached out to everyone. I think that was the most important thing that I did because they mean so much to me. When I found out that they were pulled off the plane and everything that's happened to them in the media, that hurt me because I wasn't there. I wanted to be there and I wanted to help.

Kindelan also noted that "Lochte said he is letting his legal team handle the charge as he tries to move forward."


Lochte Charged by Brazilian Police

Thursday, Aug. 25

The Associated Press reported Lochte was charged with making a false robbery report. Earlier that day, MSNBC reported (via NBC News) Lochte had been summoned to Rio by police for a new hearing regarding his claims.

"A police statement said Lochte would be informed in the United States so he could decide whether to introduce a defense in Brazil," according to the AP's Mauricio Savarese. "The indictment will also be sent to the International Olympic Committee's ethics commission."


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Feigen Apologizes for Incident

Wednesday, Aug. 24

Feigen apologized for the incident via a statement posted on TheHullFirm.com:

First and foremost I would like to apologize for the serious distractions from the Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, and Team USA. It was never my intent to draw attention away from the tradition of athletic competition and the symbolic cooperation of countries participating in the Olympic games. I want to thank the IOC and the people of Rio de Janeiro for their hospitality in hosting these games. I have nothing but respect for the city in undertaking the massive responsibility of hosting the Olympics and I feel their performance was exemplary.

I also apologize for the delay in this statement as I just arrived back home late Saturday evening. That being said, I would like to take the time to explain my thoughts on the events that began on August 14th. ...

The support of my family, friends, and attorneys was paramount in my ability to return home. I am so sorry for the drama this has caused in everyone’s lives. I am very thankful to be home in the United States with my family and that this ordeal has come to an end.


USOC Says Punishment Will Be Assessed Against Lochte, Teammates

Sunday, Aug. 21

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said there will be further action against Lochte and his teammates for the false story of a robbery, according to the Associated Press, via NBCOlympics.com. Blackmun didn't offer specifics but said: "They let down our athletes. They let down Americans."

On Friday, CNN reported, via Reuters (h/t AOL.com), that Lochte would be suspended indefinitely by U.S. Swimming and the U.S. Olympic Committee. However, U.S. Olympic Committee spokesperson Patrick Sandusky denied the report, saying the committee won't address the situation until it returns from Rio.

The USOC initially issued a statement on Aug. 18 regarding the situation surrounding Lochte:


Lochte Reportedly Paid for Damages

Friday, Aug. 19

TMZ reported Lochte paid the gas station $400 for the damage done to its sign after he initially offered $50.


Lochte Comments on Incident

Friday, Aug. 19


Feigen Avoids Charges

Friday, Aug. 19

Darren Rovell of ESPN reported Feigen has made a $10,800 donation to a Brazilian charity to avoid prosecution.


Conflicting Reports Surrounding State of Rio's Investigation into US Swimmers

Thursday, Aug. 18

Brazilian authorities confirmed to Michael Del Moro of ABC News that both Lochte and Feigen have been indicted for the false reporting of a crime. However, Rio police told Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times that no swimmers have been indicted. But police did tell Fenno there is "very strong evidence that at least one of the swimmers, Ryan Lochte, made a false police report."

Rio de Janeiro civil police chief Fernando Veloso told ESPN the investigation is still in progress and that Feigen was interviewed at an undisclosed location on Aug. 18, while Bentz and Conger had already been interviewed.

The Associated Press reported Bentz and Conger checked in for a flight headed out of Brazil after testifying.

ABC's Matt Gutman noted Brazilian authorities said video shows a USA swimmer "breaking down" a gas station restroom door and "fighting" with a security guard. The Associated Press reported a Brazilian police official said two security guards "pointed guns" at the swimmers during the incident.

Gutman, citing Brazilian sources, reported that Lochte and three swimmers fabricated the robbery story. Lochte's teammates told police he fabricated the story, according to SportsCenter.

According to Mauricio Savarese, Peter Prengaman and Luis Andres Henao of the AP, a Brazilian police official said one of the swimmers involved in the incident tried to open the outside door of a locked bathroom at the gas station. After multiple swimmers broke the door open, an armed security guard confronted them, and the swimmers paid for the damage.

A Brazil police chief said Lochte was "probably drunk," per Matt Norlander of CBS Sports.

The swimmers' story has been in question since Matt Roper, Ruth Styles, Ben Ashford and Chris Spargo of the Daily Mail reported that X-ray scans in the athletes village after the incident allegedly showed the men still had the possessions they claimed were stolen in the robbery.


Video of Lochte Incident Emerges

Thursday, Aug. 18

TMZ provided footage from the security camera at the gas station where the incident took place:


Lochte's Attorney Releases Statement

Thursday, Aug. 18

Lochte's attorney, Jeff Ostrow, said since Lochte gave his statement to police on Aug. 13, he has not heard from authorities requesting to speak with Lochte, per Wayne Drehs of ESPN. "The authorities know how to get in touch with me. And we would cooperate," Ostrow said, according to Drehs. "But I haven't heard from anyone."


Lochte Discusses Alleged Robbery

Thursday, Aug. 18

According to A.J. Perez and Michael Singer of USA Today, Lochte told Lauer that he and his teammates were at a gas station when they were approached and had not been pulled over, as originally reported.

"They had gone to the bathroom in a gas station," Lauer said. "They got back to the taxi, and when they told the taxi driver to go, he didn't move. They said, 'Let's go' again, 'we've got to get out of here,' and again the taxi driver didn't move. And that's when he says two men approached the car with guns and badges."

Lochte told Billy Bush of NBC that he was one of four swimmers who were robbed on Aug. 14, via Nadine Comerford of NBC News.

Bradd Jaffy of NBC News provided more details from Lochte at the time:


IOC Spokesman Mario Andrada Releases Statement

Thursday, Aug. 18


Judge Orders Swimmers Remain in Brazil

Wednesday, Aug. 17

AP European sports editor Steve Wilson tweeted on Wednesday that a "Brazilian judge has ordered U.S. swimmers Lochte, Feigen to stay in country as police investigate robbery claim." However, Lochte's father told the Press Association that the swimmer has left Brazil and is back in the United States.


US Olympic Committee Spokesman Speaks Out

Wednesday, Aug. 17

Nicole Auerbach of USA Today provided a statement on the incident from Sandusky on Aug. 14:

USA Today's Christine Brennan provided an additional statement from Sandusky on Wednesday: "There was no effort to detain anyone, but police did have further questions this a.m. It is a matter for our consulate and U.S. citizen services, and we will continue to cooperate with all involved."


Brazilian Spokesmen Release Statements

Sunday, Aug. 14

Flavio Perez, the spokesman of Brazilian swimmer Thiago Pereira, later described the situation in which Lochte was robbed to Cindy Boren and Dom Phillips of the Washington Post:

Thiago Pereira and his wife Gabriela Pauletti were in Club France, the French house in Brazil, and they were celebrating the birthday of a friend in common. Lochte was also in the same place, commemorating the same birthday. Ryan and Thiago are friends. Thiago and his wife left earlier, they left alone, the two of them. Thiago and his wife went back to their hotel. Then Thiago, on finding out what happened, called Ryan. Ryan is well, and Thiago said that the robbery, according to Ryan, was in the taxi. The taxi was robbed.

"We had a report that there was an issue with him, and we're just waiting for more information," Rio spokesman Mario Andrada said prior to Perez's statement, per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press and Ben Rumsby of the Telegraph.


Initial Details Surface

Sunday, Aug. 14

Ben Way of Fox Sports originally reported the news of the robbery, giving details on the situation:

Initially, International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams originally said the story wasn't true, according to Matt Slater of the Press Association, citing Lochte and the USOC as sources. However, the IOC later clarified that the USOC's denial was "not correct," per Rumsby.


Lochte's Mother Comments on Incident

Sunday, Aug. 14

Prior to Lochte's allegation, his mother spoke about it with Rachel Axon of USA Today.

"I think they're all shaken up. There were a few of them," Ileana Lochte said. "No, they were just—they just took their wallets, and basically that was it."


Lochte Among Most Decorated US Swimmers Ever

The Rio Olympics have been a mixed bag for Lochte, who earned one medal—gold in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay. It was the sixth gold medal of his career to go along with three silvers and three bronzes. His 12 swimming medals are second only to fellow American Michael Phelps, who has 28.

While Phelps has maintained he won't compete in the 2020 Games, Lochte left the door open about his own future, telling Team USA:

Lochte will turn 36 during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

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