Earlier this week, news broke that Ryan Lochte and fellow Team USA swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz, and Jimmy Feigen had been robbed in Rio. According to initial reports (their story later changed), the four men had been held up while in a taxi on their way back to the Olympic village early Sunday morning. Shortly after the incident, Lochte left Brazil. However, many are wondering will Lochte return for the closing ceremony? Well, given the nature of the ongoing robbery case, it doesn't look like he will be in attendance.
You see, after Lochte’s departure this seemingly clear-cut case became a bit more convoluted when an unknown source came forward and gave a statement that contradicted the one given by the swimmers. According to Lochte, he, Conger, Bentz, and Feigen had been traveling home from a party when their taxi pulled over, several "police officers" approached the car, and robbed them, according to The Washington Post.
They pulled out their guns. They told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused. I was like, we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground.
But after being threatened with a gun, Lochte and his teammates complied:
He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cellphone, he left my credentials.
However, according to an official directly involved in the case, there never was a robbery; instead, it was the athletes who allegedly caused the disturbance at a gas station in Rio.
Speaking anonymously, this official told the Associated Press what really occurred: one of the swimmers attempted to use the bathroom at a gas station but found the door was locked. The other swimmers then pushed on the door until it broke open, at which point an armed security guard intervened. But, according to the source, the guard’s gun was never drawn.
Romper reach out to Lochte's rep for comment regarding the discrepancy in his story and has not received a reply.
According to Judge Keyla Blank, there were several holes in the swimmers’ police report. In fact, there were so many red flags that Blank issued an order on Wednesday for Brazilian officials to seize Lochte’s and Feigen’s passports and, according to USA Today, the swimmers were not to leave the country until they had been questioned. Unfortunately, by the time Blank issued the order, Lochte had already returned to the United States, but Bentz and Conger were detained; they were pulled off their flight home Wednesday night shortly before takeoff, and all three remaining swimmers were expected to discuss the matter with Brazilian officials Thursday, according USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky:
All are represented by counsel and being appropriately supported by the USOC and the U.S. Consulate in Rio.
However, Brazilian officials have already stated that the Team USA swimmers fabricated the robbery story, and that Lochte and his teammates lied.
It remains unclear whether the swimmers will face any changes for falsifying a police report or will be punished by the organization, as the USA Swimming code of conduct prohibits dishonesty and fraud. Regardless, one thing is fairly certain: Lochte will probably not return for the closing ceremony.