Early Sunday morning, reports came out that U.S. swimmer and 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte had been robbed at gun point while in Rio.
#BREAKING US Olympic swimming champion Ryan Lochte has reportedly been held up at gun point in Rio De Janeiro.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) August 14, 2016
The International Olympic Committee quickly responded that those reports were not true.
BREAKING: IOC spokesman: Report of swimmer Lochte robbed at gunpoint ‘absolutely not true,’ according to Lochte and USOC #rio2016
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) August 14, 2016
However, NBC was able to reach out to Lochte and he confirmed to them the initial report that he was indeed robbed at gunpoint in Rio:
Patrick Sandusky, the spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee, released a statement Sunday morning providing details of the event. In the statement, Sandusky says that Lochte and three other U.S. swimmers left the France hospitality house early Sunday morning in a taxi headed back to the Olympic Village. During their trip, according to the report, the taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers. They demanded that the four athletes surrender all their money and personal belongings. According to reports all four swimmers are safe.
The IOC still has not confirmed the incident, but has hedged on their initial denial by saying that they don’t have enough information to issue a statement. The IOC has received a fair amount of criticism for the condition of the facilities in Rio, including, but not limited to, green water in the diving pool and a pre-competition fire in the athletes’ dormitories.
Lochte won a gold medal in Rio as a member of the United States 4x200m relay team. The swimming portion of the Olympic competition reached its completion Saturday night.