Ryan Lochte is recovering from a frightening ordeal.
The Olympic swimmer was robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday night, he told Access Hollywood and the “Today” show’s Billy Bush. Lochte claimed that the cab he was riding in got sideswiped, and he was held up by men with badges. The gold medalist could not say if they were law enforcement.
Lochte told Bush that the alleged assailant ordered him and three of his Olympic teammates to get on the ground. While his fellow swimmers obliged, Lochte said he balked at first.
“We got pulled
over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no
lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over,” Lochte
said. “They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to
get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we
didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground.”
According to Lochte,
things changed quickly.
“And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever,'” he continued. “He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cell phone, he left my credentials.”
Lochte’s mother, Ileana, told USA Today that the robbery occurred while he was on his way to a party with friends.
they’re all shaken up. There were a few of them,” she said. “No, they
were just, they just took their wallets and basically that was it.”
The AP reported on Sunday morning that IOC rep Mark Adams said the U.S. Olympic Committee initially denied the story, but that it now appears that denial “is not correct.”
Shortly afterward, USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky issued an update and told NBC News that the perpetrators were “posing as armed police officers” who stopped the athletes’ taxi and “demanded” their “money and other personal belongings.”
Access can confirm Lochte was not harmed in the incident.
— Erin Biglow
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