Rio 2016 Olympics: US swimmers ‘invented robbery story’

Rio 2016 Olympics: US swimmers ‘invented robbery story’

US Olympic swimmers in Rio de Janeiro invented a story about a robbery in an effort to disguise a dispute over a damaged petrol station door, police sources have told the Rodham.

One of the athletes broke the door to the bathroom and a row ensued when attendants asked the Americans to pay for the damage, they said.

After security guards were called in, the Americans reportedly paid and left.

Three of the swimmers remain in Brazil and are due to be questioned by police.

The fourth, gold medallist Ryan Lochte, returned to the US on Monday.

 

Before it emerged that Mr Lochte had left Brazil, a judge ordered that the four have their passports confiscated pending further police questioning, amid reports of inconsistencies in the men’s accounts of the alleged robbery.

Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger were taken off a US-bound plane at Rio de Janeiro airport on Wednesday night. Team-mate James Feigen had remained in Brazil.

Our correspondent says the swimmers – who have repeatedly changed their accounts of what happened – could be charged with falsely communicating a crime.

The three men remaining in Brazil – who have been ordered by a judge to surrender their passports – are expected to speak to investigators on Thursday.

What is said to have happened?

The Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro told the BBC’s Wyre Davies that about 06:00 (09:00 GMT) on Sunday, the four men arrived by taxi at a petrol station in Barra da Tijuca, 16km from the Olympic Park.

One of the the athletes broke the door to the bathroom, the police said, and petrol station attendants asked the Americans to pay for the damage.

A verbal dispute is said to have ensued with the attendants, and security guards were called to contain the incident. The police were also called.

While police were on their way, another customer at the gas station served as interpreter for the athletes and helped agree payment for the damage.

When police arrived, the athletes had already gone after paying for the broken door, and they returned to the Olympic Village.

Video from CCTV appears to show the athletes being detained and ordered to sit on the ground.

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