US swimmers leave Rio after robbery debacle

American swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger left Brazil on Thursday night after police questioned them about their inconsistent account of an alleged robbery.

Their teammate Ryan Lochte, who left the country on Monday, was the one who originally claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint in the Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, but police have discredited his account.

They say Lochte, Bentz, Conger and teammate Jimmy Feigen had a gun pointed at them by a security officer after they vandalised a gas station bathroom, but no robbery ever took place.

The group of swimmers, including Bentz and Conger, damaged a door in the bathroom of the gas station when they were dropped off there after partying in the Olympic city.

The security officer then drew his gun after he became concerned over the size of the athletes and their level of intoxication.

The swimmers’ allegations caused much embarrassment to the organisers of an Olympic Games already on edge after numerous high-profile muggings and mishaps in the volatile South American city, but one of the swimmers has since admitted to police that Lochte’s version of events were made up.

They told police that the gas station’s employees’ version is correct and they left the Delegacia de Turismo do Leblon, a police unit dealing with crime related to tourists, on Thursday before getting on a plane home.

They might still face a hefty fine for giving false statements to police in Rio de Janeiro.


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