Olympic gold medallist robbed at gunpoint in Rio
Olympic gold medallist Ryan Lochte says a gun was put to his head during a robbery in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.
Lochte, who won gold in the men’s 4×200 metre freestyle relay on Tuesday, was one of four American swimmers stopped by armed men after attending a party they were invited to by Brazilian swimmer Thiago Pereira.
“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing, just a police badge and they pulled us over,” Lochte was quoted as saying by NBC.
“They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down the ground. I refused, I was like, ‘we didn’t do anything wrong, so I’m not getting down on the ground’.
“And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘get down’. And I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever’. He took our money, he took my wallet. He left my cell phone, he left my credentials.”
The International Olympic Committee initially denied the robbery took place, despite Lochte’s mother claiming she had been in contact with her son after the incident.
However, the United States Olympic Committee (OSOC) has since confirmed three other team members, along were Lochte, were involved in the incident.
“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,” the USOC said in a statement.
“Their taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police offers who demanded the athletes’ money and other personal belongings. All four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities.”