Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

A Swimmer's Tale: Ryan Lochte Floats Robbery Fantasy, Story Sinks

Ryan Lochte had a truly incredible story about being robbed at gunpoint. The preternaturally adolescent U.S. Olympic swimmer told his mom -- and the FBI, the U.S. State Department, USOC security, and Rio de Janeiro tourist police -- that cop impersonators put a gun to his head in Brazil, taking wallets and cash from he and three other swimmers while they were taking a cab home from a party.

Only that's not what happened. Fellow swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger have admitted to police that Lochte made the whole thing up, and surveillance video shows the group damaging a gas station bathroom door on their way back to the Olympic Village.

Stay in Your Lane

It didn't take long for Lochte's version of events to unravel. The news first broke early Sunday morning, when Lochte's mom told Fox Sports News about the incident. An hour later, the International Olympic Committee was denying it ever happened. Since then, Lochte reported the alleged crime to Brazilian law enforcement, left the country, and then changed his story, dropping the part where a gun was pointed at his head, adding a gas station into the mix. Oh and Bentz and Conger were pulled off their plane on the way back to the U.S., per a judge's order.

See, here's the thing: lying about a crime, here and in Brazil, is a crime. And the swimmers could be facing up to three years in jail for filing a false police report.

The Truth Shall Set You Free

So what actually happened? From the available surveillance footage and an Associated Press report, the four swimmers arrived at the gas station early Sunday morning to use the bathroom. They allegedly broke the door trying to get in, may or may not have peed on the outside of the gas station instead, and then were detained by security when they tried to leave. It appears as though the robbery story was a cover for the cash they paid for damage to the bathroom door.

The fourth swimmer involved, Jimmy Feigen, remains in Brazil and said he will cooperate with authorities. Whether Lochte returns to Rio to face the music ...

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