UPDATE: Lochte and USOC confirmed he and three other swimmers were robbed in Rio.
Here was a very “sports coverage in 2016” moment. Ben Way of Fox Sports Australia reported that U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte was robbed at gunpoint at party in Rio, with a quote purporting to be from Lochte’s mother.
An IOC spokesman then denied the initial report as “absolutely not true.”
Normally, standard operating procedure is to wait for the established outlets with tougher editorial standards to weigh in with robust, credible information. But, even that is a sticky wicket in 2016.
USA Today Sports reported that Lochte was among a few people held up who had their wallets stolen, according to Lochte’s mother.
“I think they’re all shaken up. There were a few of them,” Ileana Lochte said. “No, they were just, they just took their wallets and basically that was it.”
But, that report contains a denial that he “was held up” by Lochte’s coach.
We’ll find out what happened eventually, when all sources are consulted and the facts are ascertained. Readers, for now, are left with imperfect information, twitter speculation, and their powers of deductive reasoning.
Were we really worse off when we would have received a fully-fleshed report a few hours afterward?