Rio 2016: US swimmer Ryan Lochte robbed at gunpoint

Gold medalist Lochte was robbed on the way back to Athletes' Village by armed robbers posing as police officers.

    Rio 2016: US swimmer Ryan Lochte robbed at gunpoint
    Lochte (2nd right) was part of the medal-winning US 4x200m relay team [EPA]

    Armed robbers posing as police officers held a gun to the forehead of US gold medallist swimmer Ryan Lochte in a taxi hold-up in Rio de Janeiro, feeding concern about the safety at the first Olympic Games in South America.

    Lochte was returning to the Athletes' Village from a party hosted by the French Games delegation on Sunday, with swimming teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen, when armed men carrying police badges pulled them over.

    Lochte, however, apologised after Brazilian police said the four swimmers fabricated the story as CCTV footage showed an altercation at a petrol station.

    Follow our Rio 2016 coverage

    He had earlier said the men carrying police badges told the swimmers to drop to the ground and demanded their money and belongings.

    When he refused, one of the men placed the pistol against the swimmer's head, and he then handed over his wallet.

    "While it is true that my team mates and I were the victims of a robbery early Sunday morning, what is most important is that we are safe and unharmed," Lochte said in a statement.

    He said he was looking forward to returning to the United States and starting training with an eye to competing at the Tokyo Games in 2020.

    The incident stoked worries about the safety of competitors and visitors to Rio, which has a long history of violent crime, though Brazil's sports minister insisted that athletes who remained on the Olympic site had experienced no problems.

    "The security operation for these Games has been totally effective," Leonardo Picciani told reporters.

    "No athlete has had problems in their place of residence, in training or in the Athletes' Village."

    Police are investigating the incident and trying to locate the taxi driver involved, police sources said.

    In addition to the swimmers, Swedish tourists were briefly abducted when they visited a slum, Portugal's visiting education minister was robbed at knife point, bullets flew into the equestrian centre and a Games bus was attacked with stones.

    Rio 2016: Judo providing favela dwellers a way out of poverty

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.