Published: Thursday, August 18, 2016 @ 11:29 AM
Updated: Thursday, August 18, 2016 @ 3:46 PM
By: Suzanne Halliburton - Austin American-Statesman Staff
The Associated Press is reporting that swimmer Jack Conger has told police that fellow Olympian Ryan Lochte made up the robbery story.
Gunnar Bentz also told the Rio police the same account.
AP quoted an unnamed source saying that Lochte, Conger, Bentz and Jimmy Feigen took a taxi to leave a party and go back to the athletes village early Sunday. They stopped at a gas station in Barra da Tijuca, a Rio suburb where many of the Olympic venues are located, at about 6 a.m.. One of the swimmers was trying to open a bathroom door, but it was locked.
The swimmers pushed on the door, which broke it. They were then confronted by a security guard, who was armed, but never drew his gun. The gas station manager arrived and asked for the swimmers to pay for the damages. Another customer translated. The swimmers paid and left.
They checked into the athletes village at 6:56 a.m.
But there are conflicting reports as to what happened after the bathroom door was broken.
The news site G1 also reported:
“According to the security, the swimmers were aggressive, altered and clearly drunk.”
The site said that a security officer showed his badge. Two of the swimmers ran into the street and the guard, likely a policeman moonlighting as security, pointed a gun at the other two. The site said the swimmers offered $20 and 100 Brazilian real to fix the damage.
Lochte has been the only one of the four to speak publicly about the alleged robbery. He left Rio, Tuesday.
Conger and Bentz tried to leave Wednesday night, but were detained at the airport. Feigen checked in for the flight, online, but did not go to the airport.
IOC spokesman Mario Andrada, in his daily briefing with the media, said: “Let’s give these kids a break. They had fun. They made a mistake. Life goes on.”
On Sunday, Lochte told NBC that the four had been robbed at gun point by an individual posing as a policeman.
"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," he said on the "Today" show. "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 cellphone. He left my credentials."
U.S. Swimming issued a statement later on Sunday confirming that the athletes were involved in a robbery.
Conger and Bentz were not allowed to leave the country Wednesday night. Police pulled them from their flight back in the United States.
Conger is a senior at the University of Texas. Feigen swam for UT in 2009-12.
Up until late Wednesday, only Lochte and Feigen had talked to the police about the incident that was alleged to have happened four days before.
On Wednesday, a Rio judge ordered that police confiscate the passports of Lochte and Feigen. The office of Judge Keylan Blank confirmed to the AP that Lochte and Feigen were to have their passports seized, but Lochte’s father told the wire service his son had returned to the United States before the order was issued.
Lochte, one of the most recognizable swimmers in the world, left Rio Tuesday. He was the first to speak to police.
Feigen did not show up for his flight Wednesday night but told USA Today he was cooperating with authorities.
Conger and Bentz, who will be a junior at the University of Georgia, were questioned late Wednesday. It was the first time they’d spoken to police.
UGA swimming coach Jack Bauerle said he has been "in constant contact" with Bentz.
"I will know much more today," Bauerle said, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
This story is developing.