Lochte said he wouldn’t make up a story like this, NBC’s Matt Lauer reported Wednesday night.
Lochte, who was silent about the situation after he returned to the United States earlier this week, said he wanted to wait to share his thoughts until the legal situation was addressed and his teammates were allowed to come home.
The United States Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky told Us Weekly on Thursday, “The three U.S. Olympic swimmers (Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen) are cooperating with authorities and in the process of scheduling a time and place today to provide further statements to the Brazilian authorities”.
Police said Feigen, the last of the four swimmers still in Brazil, had agreed at a hearing with a judge on Friday to pay 35,000 reais ($11,000) to a sporting charity after giving false testimony.
But this much is clear: if Lochte’s mother had not talked about the alleged “robbery” Sunday morning, and if Lochte himself had not made a decision to tell NBC later that day that a gun was pointed at his forehead, none of us likely would have ever heard about it.
That outrage was evident Thursday, as onlookers shouted “liars” and “shameful” at Bentz and Conger as they left a police station where they gave statements.
The athletes, who appeared to be intoxicated, stopped in a taxi at a gas station to use the bathroom during the early hours of the morning.
While parts of Ryan’s first round of statements are consistent with the security footage: he said, “he left my cell phone, he left my credentials”, the rest is not.
The American swimmer, who almost got charged with falsifying a criminal report in Brazil after claiming he was robbed by men impersonating as police, posted the statement on social media Friday.
“It’s traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country – with a language barrier – and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave”, he said.
Brazilian authorities said they have questions about what happened that night and have concerns over inconsistencies in the accounts of the events.
Gunnar Bentz said on Friday that the swimmers had not vandalized the restroom, but admitted they had urinated on a wall nearby.
That said, athlete safety is nothing to dismiss, and it’s an important conversation to have; but why didn’t we hear more about Australian Paralympic sailor Liesl Tesch, who was indisputably mugged at gunpoint while riding her bicycle? Ryan Lochte’s accusations just heightened the concern about national security and it definitely promulgated the Brazilian police’s inability to manage important events such as the Olympics.
Ryan Lochte says he’s “taking full responsibility” for an incident in Brazil that has embroiled the American swimmer and three of his Olympics teammates.
A four-year ban would knock Lochte, 32, out of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Wherever the truth lies, it’s going to take a while before all of this is sorted out, if it ever truly is.
It turns out that Lochte allegedly was the one causing the trouble, not the other way around.
Lochte also said that he had lied in telling NBC interviewer Billy Bush the next day that a gun had been cocked and pointed at his forehead.
“Brazil doesn’t deserve that”, he said to Globo. Instead, they said Lochte had vandalised a local gas station early on Sunday and had an altercation with a security guard. Given that Lochte has already stated that he is going to take an extended break from competitive swimming, a punishment of two years or fewer would be no more than a slap on the wrist for the 12-time Olympic medalist.
The Australian team also said they had property stolen during a fire evacuation of the team’s building in the Olympic Village.