Ryan Lochte (Getty Images)
Janeiro - Reports emerged Thursday that Ryan Lochte and
three other US Olympic swimmers claiming to have been mugged in Rio in fact got
into a fight with an armed gas station security guard.
unconfirmed reports on ABC News and Brazilian news sites said an altercation
occurred when the swimming stars had been out partying and that the incident
was caught on security camera footage.
G1 site quoted Rio police saying that the athletes had stopped at the gas
station in a taxi to use the bathroom. Globo website quoted the station manager
saying the Americans urinated on the station wall.
broke the bathroom door and tried to leave without paying for the damage, but a
security guard pulled out his weapon and made them stay until police arrived,
prompting a confrontation, G1 reported.
quoted an unidentified Brazilian police source saying CCTV footage shows a
swimmer "breaking down the door to the bathroom at the gas station and
fighting with a security guard."
originally said that he and Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and James Feigen were
robbed by someone claiming to be a policeman early on Sunday.
report caused the Olympic authorities huge embarrassment, highlighting security
worries at an Olympics where Brazil has deployed 85,000 police and soldiers --
double the number used in the 2012 London Games.
police soon raised doubts over the veracity of the allegation and the swimmers
could face charges of filing a false claim.
is in the United States. Conger and Bentz were detained by Brazilian police
late Wednesday just as they were about to take off from the international
airport for home.
whereabouts of Feigen remained unclear.
scandal overshadowed sporting action in the second week of South America's
first Olympics, coming simultaneously with the arrest in Rio of IOC member
Patrick Hickey on allegations of taking part in a black market ticket ring.
who fell ill during his arrest Wednesday, was expected to face interrogation
once he is released from hospital.
and Bentz were detained on the order of a Brazilian judge who cited
inconsistencies in their stories.
swimmers removed from the airplane were later released "with the understanding
that they would continue their discussions about the incident on
Thursday," said Patrick Sandusky, spokesman for the US Olympic Committee.
police said that agents were now "analyzing content of the testimony
already gathered in the investigation and putting it together with results of
other ongoing actions."
one of the best known faces of the US Olympic squad, says the four were held up
by muggers posing as police as they left a late night party in central Rio.
harrowing story got worldwide attention.
he had a gun put to his forehead after the swimmers' taxi was pulled over by
criminals who forced them to lie on the ground and stole money and other items.
guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, 'Get
down,'" Lochte said afterwards. "He took our money, he took my wallet
-- he left my cell phone, he left my credentials."
apparently high-profile crime touched a nerve in Rio. In addition to multiple
incidents of thefts from Olympic athletes and media, a Portuguese government
minister was mugged in the swish Leblon district.
Thursday, British Olympic officials said that an athlete had been robbed while
returning to the Olympic Village, but was "safe and well."
Guardian newspaper reported that British athletes had now been warned not to
leave the Village premises for their safety.