Brazilian police: U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte fabricated Rio robbery story

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AUGUST 12: Ryan Lochte of the United States attends a press conference in the Main Press Center on Day 7 of the Rio Olympics on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — 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.

According to the official, the gas station manager then arrived. Using a customer to translate, the manager asked the swimmers to pay for the broken door. After a discussion, they did pay him an unknown amount of money and then left.

The official says that swimmers Conger and Bentz, who were pulled off a plane going back to the United States late Wednesday, told police that the robbery story had been fabricated.

ABC News reported on Thursday that one of the swimmers was seen on surveillance video fighting with a security guard and breaking down a door in a gas station bathroom on the night the robbery allegedly occurred.

Lochte told NBC’s Matt Lauer the group stopped at a gas station on their way home from a French hospitality party. When they got back into the taxi, the driver wouldn’t move. Lochte said that’s when two men with guns and badges ordered them onto the ground.

A U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman said Conger, Bentz and Feigen will meet with Brazilian authorities on Thursday.

The robbery report was originally denied by the International Olympic Committee, then a USOC spokesman said the four swimmers were stopped by men pretending to be police in Rio.

Read more here. 

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