Not the best news for Ryan Lochte and the US Olympic team
It’s being reported that US Olympic Swimmer Ryan Lochte was less than honest when he and some fellow Olympians claimed they were robbed in Rio.
Lochte has since ‘amended’ his account, after initially saying people dressed as police robbed him at gunpoint. Instead, it seems the story is a bit different.
The Olympians had apparently been partying at a club when they got in a cab and stopped at a gas station. As reported by the New York Times, it was then that the Olympians apparently damaged the bathroom and were confronted by a security guard and the gas station manager.
According to the Times, “Someone at the gas station called the police, but by the time a police car arrived at the scene, the swimmers were gone. Witnesses, including a person who offered to translate for the swimmers, said that they paid money to the manager before leaving.”
Two US Olympic Swimmers removed from flight in Rio
Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger – both from the US Olympic Swimming team, were taken off of a flight and detained at the Rio Airport for questioning into the alleged robbery. Lochte has already left Brazil, and likely won’t be going back.
Police say Lochte lied about robbery
Rio Police say Lochte lied, and his fellow swimmers could be charged with making a false statement. But even if that happens, it doesn’t seem like the swimmers are in much trouble.
“The truth is that this crime in Brazil is not that serious. It results in very little punishment. If they are found guilty, they would just have to make a payment to an NGO that does humanitarian work. It’s not a serious crime. It’s not a crime that is going to send them to prison. It’s not a crime that’s going to prevent them from returning home.”
Brazil will be looking for a solution that lets them keep some pride – throwing some charges at the Olympians – without ruffling too many feathers – no jail time or any serious consequences.
While this won’t be the defining story of the Olympics, it’s another tough moment in an Olympics games that has been full of them.
Read more about the Rio Olympics and Ryan Lochte
Police Say Security Guard, Not Robber, Pointed Gun at Ryan Lochte – New York Times
Ryan Lochte’s Story Has Changed – Deadspin