RIO DE JANEIRO – 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.
A few of the swimmers then pushed on the door and broke it. A security guard appeared and confronted them, the official said.
The official says the guard was armed with a pistol, but he never took it out or pointed it at the swimmers.
On Wednesday, a Brazilian judge ordered the seizure of Lochte’s passport, but Lochte is already back in the United States.
Lochte, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen told officials that they were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday in a taxi bound for the Olympic Village by individuals posing as armed police officers. The robbery — during which one of the bandits was said to have put a gun to Lochte’s forehead — reportedly occurred after the athletes left a hospitality house hosted by France.
Police told the Associated Press that they have found little evidence so far to support their accounts, and say the swimmers were unable to provide key details in police interviews.
A police official with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that police cannot find their taxi driver or witnesses.
Lochte had given statements on the reported robbery to the Rio tourist police, the FBI, the State Department and the USOC security team.
“We stand by what he provided in that interview and signed off on,” Jeff Ostrow, his attorney, told CNN.