UPDATED: 5:21 p.m. EDT — Ryan Lochte and his fellow U.S. swim team member James Feigen have been indicted by Brazilian authorities for their alleged role in what the athletes said was an armed robbery against them early Sunday morning, according to a new report. The Brazilian news outlet Globo tweeted in Portuguese that both Olympic swimmers were charged Thursday with "false reporting of a crime."
Earlier in the day the Rio chief of police announced during a press conference that there is surveillance video from the gas station where the alleged incident took place that proves both Lochte and Feigen were not completely forthcoming with their accounts of being robbed at gunpoint by individuals masquerading as police officers.
Local officials contend that Lochte and three of his other teammates, including Feigen, were drunk on their way back to the Olympic village from a nightclub when the taxi they were rising in stopped at a gas station, perhaps for the athletes to use the restroom. When they discovered the restroom was locked, they allegedly broke into the facility before being approached by armed security guards. A reported fight ensued, although the video footage made available does not show any physical altercations.
The next day it was announced that Lochte was robbed at gunpoint and an investigation was launched, culminating in Thursday's charges against the swimmers.
Lochte is back in the U.S. while Feigen — who was removed Wednesday night from his plane headed back to the U.S. — remains in Brazilian custody. It was not immediately clear if the other two swimmers would be charged.
One of America's most infamous tabloids weighed in Thursday afternoon by announcing what its cover would look like Friday morning.
UPDATED: 1:01 p.m. EDT — Brazilian news outlet Globo on Thursday published the closed circuit TV footage that shows four U.S. Olympic swimmers, including Ryan Lochte, apparently being confronted by security guards at a Rio gas station. The incident sparked an investigation into Lochte's claims that he and his swimming teammates were robbed at gunpoint.
Media began setting up shop Thursday outside of the gas station in question.
Two of the three swimmers who are still in Brazil — Lochte left earlier in the week to return to the U.S. — were expected to be formally interviewed Thursday by local police. Brazilian officials announced earlier in the day that they don't believe there was a crime committed at all, effectively calling Lochte and his teammates liars.
UPDATED: 11:52 a.m. EDT — A Brazilian police official has told the Associated Press that U.S. Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Ryan Lochte fabricated his story about being robbed by gunmen in Rio. The unidentified official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of the news.
According to the new report, Lochte and his swimming teammates Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen were traveling in a taxi when they stopped at a gas station, presumably to use the restroom. When it was discovered that the door was locked, several of the swimmers broke in to the facility before an armed guard approached them.
When the swimmers were told they needed to pay for the damage to the bathroom door, they offered some cash and left unharmed. The security guard apparently never brandished a firearm and there was no robbery, the official said of the entire episode that was reportedly caught on surveillance camera footage.
The version of events surrounding a purported robbery of four U.S. swimmers in the Rio Olympics has been rapidly evolving since news of it broke Sunday, and Thursday was no different as the latest twist to the ongoing saga was announced. According to an ABC News reporter, officials in Brazil have announced they have seen a video that shows a "US swimmer" who was "breaking down" a gas station restroom door and "fighting" with a security guard.
"One of the swimmers was seen on CCTV footage breaking down the door to the bathroom at the gas station and fighting with a security guard," a member of local law enforcement told ABC News.
While the report does not identify the swimmer, gold medalist Ryan Lochte was named in the initial report once the news broke last weekend. Lochte first said he was robbed at gunpoint before tweaking his story ever so slightly Wednesday night. Now, his accounts will likely be put under further scrutiny following yet another apparent inconsistency with his story.
Lochte has since left Brazil, but three of his swimming teammates were detained — including two who were pulled off their flight home from Rio — by Brazilian law enforcement investigating the robbery claims, for which they say there is no corroboration from witnesses or the driver of the taxi Lochte says he and his teammates were in when they were robbed.
In addition, the Daily mail published exclusive surveillance footage of Lochte and his teammates returning to the Olympic Village on the night of the alleged robbery. The athletes appear to be in possession of some of the very items they claimed had been stolen from them.
The multiple changes to what first appeared to be a plausible story likely has inserted doubt into the minds of many who are keeping up with this drawn out Olympic episode. One person who seems dubious about Lochte's claims is a Brazilian judge, who the New York Post reported said the Daily Mail video showed the purported robbery victims appearing quite calm considering the violent ordeal they say they had just gone through.
“They arrived with their psychological and physical integrity unshaken,” Judge Keyla Blank wrote in her opinion.
The news of the video comes one day after it was announced that a British Olympic athlete was recently robbed in Rio, NBC News reported. In addition, a group of Australian Olympic swimmers have been banned from participating in the Olympics closing ceremony because of their actions during a night out on the town, according to a tweet from a journalist covering the international sporting event.
Perhaps that is the type of reprisal Lochte and his teammates feared when they provided authorities with the first incarnation of their story of being robbed.
A statement from the United States Olympic Committee released Thursday confirmed the three swimmers still in Brazil were "cooperating with authorities and in the process of scheduling a time and place today to provide further statements to the Brazilian authorities." The three swimmers have been identified as Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen.
This is a developing story.
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