Jump to content

U.S. Swimmers Yanked Off Flight Out Of Rio


Recommended Posts

I don't want to jump to any conclusions, but it sounds like a couple of our athletes just destroyed their careers.

RIO DE JANEIRO—Brazilian authorities removed two American Olympic swimmers from their flights to the U.S. late Wednesday, the U.S. Olympic Committee said, as an investigation into an armed robbery they and U.S. Olympic star Ryan Lochte were victims of escalated.

Authorities obtained a court order allowing them to detain the swimmers, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, a police official said. The men were taken to a police station inside the airport and officials were awaiting the arrival of a U.S. consular official before interviewing the men, the official said.

The two men, along with Lochte and swimmer Jimmy Feigen, were allegedly robbed at gunpoint early Sunday while in a taxi, according to U.S. Olympic officials and Lochte.

But the police in recent days have asked increasingly skeptical questions about the incident. Earlier Wednesday, a Brazil judge issued a ruling preventing Lochte and Feigen from leaving Brazil and ordering their passports confiscated, citing inconsistencies in their stories. Lochte has already returned to the U.S.

In a court order dated Wednesday and seen by The Wall Street Journal, Judge Keyla Blanc De Cnop said discrepancies in the testimony of Lochte and Feigen, combined with footage obtained by the police showing the four swimmers leisurely returning to the Athletes’ Village following the alleged incident, were sufficient grounds for prosecutors to look into whether the swimmers broke the law by misrepresenting a crime. Under the Brazilian penal code, a conviction could lead to a fine or one to six months in jail.

The judge said based on security-camera footage, “the victims arrived with their physical and psychological integrity unshaken, even joking with one another.” Further diligence is required to clarify the case, the judge said.

The removal of the two U.S. swimmers, along with the ruling, heightens tensions that have been simmering for several days.

The International Olympic Committee, citing the USOC, initially denied a report of the robbery. The USOC later on Sunday said in a statement that Lochte and three teammates left a party at France House in southern Rio de Janeiro and were headed to the Athletes’ Village in the western neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca, when their taxi was stopped “by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes’ money and other personal belongings.” Lochte repeated that account in an interview with NBC.

The swimmers didn’t report the crime to Brazilian police. Police officials say they launched a probe after hearing about the incident through media reports, and by Sunday night police had interviewed Lochte and Feigen.

“The swim team moved out of the village after their competition ended, so we were not able to make the athletes available,” Mr. Sandusky said. “Additionally, as part of our standard security protocol, we do not make athlete travel plans public and therefore cannot confirm the athletes’ current location. We will continue to cooperate with Brazilian authorities.”

A representative for USA Swimming said it is up to each individual athlete to decide when to leave the Olympics once his or her competition ends.

The police say that their continuing investigation is trying to clarify several points.

First, while Mr. Lochte told police there was more than one robber, Mr. Feigen reported the presence of only one, according to police officers.

The swimmers also told police they had kept their cellphones, something uncommon in Rio, where robbers which robbers usually grab so victims can’t notify police.

Wednesday’s court order also said that while the swimmers said they left the party at around 4 a.m., camera footage shows a different time. A police officer said the actual time was 5:45 a.m.

Security footage from the Athletes’ Village obtained by the police shows the swimmers arriving at 6:56 a.m. Sunday, according to a police officer, almost three hours after they said they had left the party.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Either that or the shrinking possibility that the story is basically true despite the discrepancies.

 

Maybe they had the taxi take them to get something illegal like weed or coke and the dealer robbed them. That might explain why they didn't report it to the police. But then they said police robbed them so who knows. Just very strange.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard a quick possible explanation. Even though they were done with their competition, they still have to abide by the team rules. The team rules don't let you come home at 5:00am after partying all night. Maybe they figured that with all the crime and some other athletes getting robbed, nobody would really pay attention.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your were robbed in a country where you do not speak the language by men who looked like police, why would you report it to the police? Also, I think Rio may be an hour ahead of the time set on their watches. Perhaps they were cruising for Bunda (Brazilian nookie).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard a quick possible explanation. Even though they were done with their competition, they still have to abide by the team rules. The team rules don't let you come home at 5:00am after partying all night. Maybe they figured that with all the crime and some other athletes getting robbed, nobody would really pay attention.

 

This makes sense. They probably didn't think it would be a big deal. But it is because it embarrasses the host country.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The International Olympic Committee, citing the USOC, initially denied a report of the robbery. The USOC later on Sunday said in a statement that Lochte and three teammates left a party at France House in southern Rio de Janeiro and were headed to the Athletes’ Village in the western neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca, when their taxi was stopped “by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes’ money and other personal belongings.” Lochte repeated that account in an interview with NBC.

The swimmers didn’t report the crime to Brazilian police

===========================================================================

If they did not report the crime, how can they be guilty of falsely reporting a crime? The USOC apparently reported this.

The whole thing is fishy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...