Conflicting reports left a muddled picture. Subsequent reports have provided clarity.
NBC Sports reported that Ryan Lochte confirmed he and three other swimmers were robbed at gunpoint. That coincides with Lochte’s mother’s account given to USA Today and a Brazilian swimmer’s account given to the Washington Post.
“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.”
The USOC confirmed this account as well in a statement.
The IOC had initially claimed the report was “absolutely not true.” Though, the IOC has been figuratively under fire for failure to properly acknowledge Olympic venues and vehicles were literally under fire.
This incident provides more bad optics for an athletic competition that probably should have been held elsewhere.