UPDATED 8/19/16 10:25 a.m. ET:
Ryan Lochte released a statement about the gas station incident on Friday morning. He didn't get into specifics, but he did apologize for his behavior on the night in question. Read his statement here:
UPDATED 8/18/16 5:58 p.m. ET: Globonews is reporting Rio police have indicted U.S. swimmers Ryan Lochte and James Feigen for false reporting of crime. No U.S. outlets have yet confirmed.
Additionally, Rafael Soares of Jornal Extra spoke with a security guard who was involved in the confrontation. The guard, who asked to remain anonymous, claims the guards did not use any violence against the athletes. He said he only pulled his gun from its holster when he thought Lochte was going to attack his fellow security guard.
The guard said he had no idea they were athletes, and he was the one who went to police to refute their story. You can read the full interview here.
See below for original story.
If you somehow haven’t been keeping up with it, Lochte and three of his U.S. swim teammates made headlines on Sunday after they claimed they were held up at gunpoint and robbed in Rio de Janeiro. Olympic officials initially shot down the reports about the alleged incident, but Lochte, Gunnar Bentz, Jimmy Feigen, and Jack Conger maintained they were robbed by a man who put a gun to Lochte’s head before taking their wallets. Lochte even went as far as to thank everyone for their support in light of what he said took place:
But it sounds like Brazilian authorities still aren’t buying the armed robbery story. On Wednesday morning, a Brazilian judge attempted to seize Lochte’s passport as an investigation into the alleged incident continued.
Lochte had already left the country by the time the judge made her ruling, but on Wednesday night, Lochte’s teammates were detained in Brazil with two of them, Bentz and Conger, getting pulled off a plane and brought back to Rio for further questioning. According to USA Today reporter Christine Brennan, Bentz, Feigen, and Conger will speak with Brazilian police on Thursday:
U.S. Olympic Committee spokesperson Patrick Sandusky released a statement about the interrogations on Thursday morning. "The three U.S. Olympic swimmers (Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, and James Feigen) are cooperating with authorities and in the process of scheduling a time and place today to provide further statements to the Brazilian authorities," the statement said. "All are represented by counsel and being appropriately supported by the USOC and the U.S. Consulate in Rio."
Lochte obviously won’t be at that meeting since he’s no longer in Brazil, but during an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer on Wednesday, he changed portions of his original story. He initially told police that the men who robbed the swimmers posed as police and pulled over a taxi they were traveling in early Sunday morning. But when speaking with Lauer, he said the robbery actually took place at a gas station the swimmers stopped at to use the bathroom. And that could end up being an important piece of information in the investigation.
According to ABC News reporter Matt Gutman, police believe Lochte made up the story he told them and have obtained video of the swimmers at a gas station. The video doesn’t appear to show the swimmers being robbed at gunpoint. Rather, it seems to show the men being confronted by security guards at the gas station.
The video can be seen here:
The Associated Press spoke with a police source Thursday morning who talked about what happened at the gas station. According to the source, one of the swimmers in the group attempted to open the bathroom door and, when it wouldn’t open, several of the swimmers started pushing on it and eventually broke it. They were then confronted by an armed security guard who spoke with the men about the damage they had done, but the source said the guard did not take his gun out during the conversation. The manager of the gas station arrived a short time later, and after speaking with the swimmers, they agreed to pay for the damage to the bathroom door and left. There is also a report from Brazilian media outlet Globo that indicates the swimmers may have caused damage at the gas station by urinating on the floors and walls inside of it.
Lochte hasn't responded to any of this in an official capacity, but according to TMZ Sports, he believes there's more to the story than is being reported. A source close to Lochte spoke with TMZ Sports and said that the video above has been edited by the gas station. As of Thursday afternoon, the AP is also reporting that a source—it's unclear at this time if it's the same source the AP spoke with early Thursday—told them there may be some truth to Lochte's original claim that the swimmers had a gun pulled on them:
The source told the AP that a security guard confronted the swimmers inside of the gas station’s bathroom and pointed a gun at them. A second guard entered the bathroom a short time later and pointed a gun at them as well.
Rio police held a press conference on Thursday afternoon in an attempt to set the record straight and, according to ABC News reporter T.J. Holmes, they were adamant about the fact that no robbery took place, though they did admit that a gun was used to subdue one of the swimmers:
Can this story get any stranger?