Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ryan Lochte 'robbery' becomes international incident after three U.S. swimmers are detained in Rio

Two of the USA Olympic swimmers who were with Ryan Lochte when he was reportedly ‘robbed’ in Rio Sunday night were escorted off a plane and prevented from leaving the country by Brazilian authorities.

Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were in their seats aboard United Airlines flight 128 to Houston at Rio's Galeao International Airport when police came for them — turning a dubious incident into a full blown international one.

The dramatic turn of events came amid mounting questions over whether the gold medal-winning swimmer really was held up at gunpoint by men with police badges as Lochte claims — and why he changed his original version of the story over the weekend for a second time.

Describing the experience as "frightening" the 21-year-old Conger and 20-year-old Bentz had their passports seized and cannot leave Brazil until they provide official sworn testimony about their alleged mugging at gunpoint along with Lochte and fourth teammate, Jimmy Feigen — who has been ordered to remain in Brazil.

Lochte won't have the same problems since he has been spotted in in Charlotte, North Carolina with his Playmate girlfriend Kayla Reid.

Brazilian authorities have turned up the heat on the swimmers after questions about the athletes' timetables and circumstances surrounding their stories didn't add up.

The diplomatic gloves really came off when surveillance video of the athletes returning to the Olympic Village the night in question showed little details like the men still wearing their watches and Lochte holding what looks like his wallet:

Upon leaving police custody early on Thursday morning, Conger and Bentz refused to answer questions about what happened.

On Sunday, Lochte told Billy Bush on NBC's Today Show that "We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge; and they pulled us over. 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. And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, 'Get down.' And I put my hands up. I was like 'Whatever.' He took our money, he took my wallet; he left my cellphone, he left my credentials."

Things escalated after Lochte called his mom and told her he had been robbed. Then she, of course, went to the press. The 32-year-old swimmer claims he didn't go to the USOC with his story at first because "We were afraid we'd get in trouble."

And mommy knows best.
Attorney Sergio Viegas says Conger and Bentz did not testify and left police custody Thursday morning for an unspecified location in Brazil. Both men refused to answer questions about what could possibly be the most convoluted night out since the "The Hangover."

But, according to the USOC, Feigen "intends to make further statements regarding the incident on Thursday."

"There was a confusion, they are very scared by this," said Viegas. "They didn't understand what was happening or why they couldn't embark."

So while Conger and Bentz try and dog-paddle their way out of Rio, Lochte is freestyling it back home with his girl.

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