Home Sports Rio 2016: US Olympic Committee Apologizes for Swimmers Behavior In Robbery Case

Rio 2016: US Olympic Committee Apologizes for Swimmers Behavior In Robbery Case

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The US Olympic Committee (USOC) has issued an apology for what it called the unacceptable behavior of four swimmers who falsely said they had been robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilian police questioned three of the gold medal winners and say “they were not victims of the crimes they claimed”.

Two of the four – Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger – were allowed to fly out of Rio on August 18.

Ryan Lochte had already left, and James Feigen remains in Brazil.

Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger had been taken off a plane at Rio airport on August 17 and taken for questioning.

Ryan Lochte had initially said the four were robbed at gunpoint when they were returning by cab from a club.

However, Rio’s civil police head Fernando Veloso said the four Olympic gold medalists had not been robbed.

“No robbery was committed against these athletes. They were not victims of the crimes they claimed,” he said.

Photo Wikipedia

Photo Wikipedia

Fernando Velosi told reporters that one or more of the swimmers had instead vandalized a toilet in a petrol station and then offered to pay for the damage.

The athletes paid and left after armed security guards intervened, he said.

One guard had justifiably drawn his gun after one of the Americans began behaving erratically, Fernando Veloso added.

He warned that the medalists, who had repeatedly changed their accounts of what happened, could “in theory” face charges of giving false testimony and vandalism.

However, on August 18, the swimmers’ lawyer Sergio Riera said Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger had been allowed to leave Brazil by a special Olympic court.

“They are on their way to the airport,” Sergio Riera said.

However, James Feigen remains in Brazil.

James Feigen “provided a revised statement this evening [August 18] with the hope of securing the release of his passport as soon as possible,” said the USOC.

The USOC statement confirmed the version of events given by Fernando Veloso, and added that “the behavior of these athletes is not acceptable, nor does it represent the values of Team USA”.

Earlier, Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada had tried to make light of the case saying: “These kids tried to have fun, they tried to represent their country to the best of their abilities.


“They competed under gigantic pressure. Let’s give these kids a break. Sometime you take actions that you later regret.

“They had fun, they made a mistake, life goes on.”