Belfast Telegraph

Games swimmer 'made up story about armed robbery'

By Mauricio Savarese

Ryan Lochte fabricated a story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro along with three team-mates, officials said - but they later acknowledged security guards had pointed guns at the swimmers.

The alleged robbery has become the biggest spectacle outside of the Olympic venues at the Olympic Games.

"No robbery was committed against these athletes," Civil Police chief Fernando Veloso said during an afternoon news conference yesterday. "They were not victims of the crimes they claimed."

Lochte and fellow US swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, stopped at a petrol station in Barra da Tijuca, a suburb of Rio where many Olympic venues are located.

They had been at the French hospitality house celebrating the final night of swimming events at the Rio Games.

A Brazilian police official told The Associated Press that two of the swimmers said Lochte had made the story up.

The official said the swimmers had tried to open a door at the petrol station - but it was jammed.

They broke the door, and a security guard came to investigate.

Then, the official said, the station manager demanded money to pay for the door.

The swimmers handed over money and left.

Hours later, the official changed the story and said two security guards pointed guns at the swimmers.

The change in the version of events came after police interviewed one of the security guards yesterday.

The official said the swimmers broke the bathroom door and a soap dispenser inside.

Workers at the petrol station went to see what the commotion was about, the official said.

At that point, a security guard also came along and confronted the swimmers and also pointed a gun.

A second guard came behind him and pointed another gun.

Lochte's lawyer, Jeff Ostrow, maintained there was no question the robbery occurred.

Belfast Telegraph

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