US apologises for US swimmers’ ‘unacceptable behaviour’ in Brazil
The United States Olympic Committee has apologised for the behaviour of four US swimmers involved in a bizarre incident at a petrol station in Rio.
Two of the four, Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen, claimed the group was robbed at gunpoint after their taxi was stopped.
But CCTV footage appears to prove the story was false, invented by the swimmers after they vandalised the petrol station and clashed with staff.
Mr Lochte had initially said the four were robbed at gunpoint by men disguised as police officers, while returning from a club by taxi.
But Rio’s civil police head Fernando Veloso said the four Olympic gold medallists had not been robbed.
“No robbery was committed against these athletes. They were not victims of the crimes they claimed,” he said.
He told reporters that one or more of the athletes had instead vandalised a toilet in a petrol station and then offered to pay for the damage.
The Americans paid and left after armed security guards intervened, he said.
One guard had justifiably drawn his gun after one of the swimmers began behaving erratically, Mr Veloso added.
He warned that the swimmers, who had repeatedly changed their accounts of what happened, could “in theory” face charges of giving false testimony and vandalism.
The USOC statement confirmed the version of events given by Mr Veloso, and added that “the behaviour of these athletes is not acceptable, nor does it represent the values of Team USA”.