Four American swimmers, including six-time gold medallist Ryan Lochte, were held up at gunpoint early Sunday morning, according to the US Olympic Committee.
Lochte had initially denied reports of the robbery through the Olympic Committee. Also robbed, according to a subsequent statement from the US committee, were Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen.
“Their taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes’ money and other personal belongings,” a spokesman for the US Olympic Committee said. “All four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities.”
The swimmers were leaving a party at Club France, the French hospitality house established during the Rio Games in the upscale Lagoa neighborhood, the spokesman said.
“I think they’re all shaken up,” Ileana Lochte, Lochte’s mother, told USA Today. “They just took their wallets and basically that was it.”
Conflicting accounts had swirled on Sunday morning, after a spokesman for the International Olympic Committee said reports of the incident were “absolutely not true,” citing information that had been provided by the US committee.
After Ileana Lochte’s statements that her son had indeed been robbed, the Olympic committee spokesman said he had simply passed along information from the US Olympic Committee. “They said they spoke to Lochte, and he said it wasn’t true,” the spokesman said. “I guess that may change.”
Ryan Lochte’s Twitter feed was silent on the matter; his last post was on Saturday, a picture of him with the snowboarder Shaun White. He did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
Ryan Lochte was part of the gold medal winning American 4x200 team here, and he has faced an array of challenges at past Summer Games. In 2008 in Beijing, he was expected to challenge Michael Phelps in the 400 IM race, but came down with a stomach virus. During the 2012 Olympics in London, a report broke that his parents were facing foreclosure on their house in Florida.