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Brazil Police: Ryan Lochte Wasn’t Robbed, U.S. Swimmers Vandalized a Gas Station

Olympian Ryan Lochte and his U.S. swimming teammates were not the victims of a robbery in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, over the weekend, Brazilian police officials say.

Per CNN, in a press conference on Thursday, Civil Police Chief Fernando Veloso said that “there was no robbery” on Sunday, August 14. In fact, local authorities claim that Lochte, 32, and the other men — Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen — vandalized a gas station.

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As previously reported, Lochte told the Today show that the athletes were robbed by a group of people by gunpoint in Rio on Sunday. Brazilian officials announced on Wednesday that they couldn’t find any evidence that the incident happened.

Ryan Lochte

Lochte and Feigen, 26, have maintained that the robbery occurred. According to Brazilian officials, however, Bentz, 20, and Conger, 21, admitted that their account was fabricated.

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The headline-making story got even more controversial on Thursday. Brazilian officials and Veloso said they believe that the men lied to cover up their bathroom vandalism and altercation with a security guard. The gold medalists allegedly broke down the gas station door, damaged a soap dish and tore down a sign. According to Veloso, one of the swimmers allegedly confirmed that they did vandalize the property.

U.S Olympic swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger leave the police headquarters at International departures of Rio de Janiero’s Galeo International airport on August 18, 2016, in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Veloso spoke about the incident after CCTV released footage of the men at the gas station Sunday night. In the video, the men are seen walking to their taxi and being approached by a security guard. They get out of the vehicle and appear to hand over money, apparently to fix the alleged damage in the bathroom.

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There have been contradicting reports about the situation. Earlier on Thursday, the Associated Press reported that Brazilian police officials do think that two security guards pointed guns at the U.S. athletes.

Workers gather at the Shell gas station where four U.S. Olympic swimmers were captured on security video on August 18, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Lochte, who is now back in the States, has yet to speak out about the situation since the latest developments. During the press conference, Veloso said that Feigen has yet to be interviewed by police and that Bentz and Conger were currently being questioned in Rio. 

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