Video footage from the night of Ryan Lochte’s alleged robbery shows Lochte and three other USA swimmers getting stopped by gas station security.
Brazilian authorities told ABC News on Thursday that video shows a U.S. swimmer breaking down a gas station restroom door while “fighting” with a security guard, and that they believe Ryan Lochte and three other American swimmers fabricated a story about being robbed. The Associated Press reports that teammates Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz told police that Lochte made the story up.
A Brazilian official told Reuters that the swimmers paid for the gas station damage in cash. The gas station owner told a local paper that Lochte and the other swimmers urinated over the station as opposed to using the bathroom and vandalized a sign in the store.
The four swimmers claimed they were robbed at gunpoint over the weekend, but authorities in Rio have not been able to find evidence the robbery actually occurred.
Initially, Lochte said he, Jimmy Feigen, Conger and Bentz were returning to the Olympic village in a cab when they were pulled over and robbed by men dressed as cops, but Lochte later told NBC’s Matt Lauer that story wasn’t exactly true. Instead, he said all four swimmers were at a gas station when they were robbed.
“They had gone to the bathroom in a gas station,” Lauer said during NBC’s Olympic coverage on Wednesday night, describing what Lochte told him. “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.”
A Brazilian judge ordered two U.S. swimmers not to leave the country while they investigated the claims, even though Lochte left the country before that order was issued.
U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky confirmed that Conger and Bentz were removed from their flight on Wednesday night when they attempted to leave for the United States.
Sandusky also said on Thursday that Bentz, Conger, and Feigen were cooperating with authorities and are “represented by counsel and being appropriately supported by the USOC and the U.S. Consulate in Rio.”
The IOC released a statement Thursday.