Four American swimming gold medallists, including Ryan Lochte, have been robbed at gunpoint by thieves posing as police officers following the end of Olympic competition in the pool.
The incident occurred after a party at France House as Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medallist, and countrymen Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen were travelling back to the athletes’ village.
“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,” Lochte said. “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 cell phone, he left my credentials.”:- described by Ryan Lochte
News of the incident first emerged from Lochte’s mother, Ileana, who told USA Today her son was unharmed but shaken by the theft.
“I think they’re all shaken up. There were a few of them,” she said.
Earlier, IOC spokesman Mark Adams said reports of the robbery were “absolutely not true”.
Lochte swam in two events at the Rio Games, winning gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
In the build-up to the games, three members of the Spanish Olympics sailing team and an Australian paralympian were robbed at gunpoint.
The Brazilian authorities have deployed more than 80,000 police and soldiers to patrol Rio during the games.
According to four members of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team (Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen and Ryan Lochte), they left France House early Sunday morning in a taxi headed for the Olympic Village. Their taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes’ money and other personal belongings. All four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities.”
Bentz, Conger, and Feigen were all in Rio as relay-only swimmers. Bentz and Conger both swam on the 800 free relay and Feigen on the 400 free relay.