U.S. Olympic Swimmers Removed From Flight by Brazilian Police

Two of the U.S. swimmers who were with Ryan Lochte during his alleged robbery in Rio were removed from their plane by Brazilian authorities on Wednesday night, the U.S. Olympic Committee confirmed.

Authorities are investigating whether Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, who were both escorted off the plane, were actually robbed at gunpoint early Sunday in Rio de Janeiro as they claimed to the press, along with Lochte and swimmer James Feigen.

A judge ordered Wednesday for Lochte to stay in Brazil and issued a search and seizure warrant for the swimmer. Lochte, however, had already left the country before police could seize his passport and ensure that he could answer questions in the investigation. It’s unclear if Feigen, for which a warrant was also issued, is still in the country.

Lochte flew out of Brazil on Monday, before the order was issued, federal police said. Authorities apparently showed up at the Olympic village on Wednesday, only to find that the swimmers were not there for questioning.

“The swim team moved out of the village after their competition ended, so we were not able to make the athletes available,” said U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky said at the time.

“We will continue to cooperate with the Brazilian authorities,” he added.

Lochte and the American swimmers claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint early Sunday after leaving a party, when the taxi they were in was pulled over by criminals posing as police, the U.S. Olympic Committee said in a statement. In an interview with “Today’s” Billy Bush, Lochte described having a gun pointed at his forehead as the robbers stole their wallets.

Lochte’s mother also confirmed the story to USA Today.

It was a story that raised even more concerns over the safety of athletes in Rio de Janeiro. However, in recent days, the incident has been placed under a microscope, with some questioning the veracity of the report.

Rio authorities said they have not found the driver of the taxi the men were allegedly in, and have had trouble finding witnesses to corroborate their story.

A video reportedly showing the athletes returning to the Olympic village shows what appears to be their wallets and phones, which they said were taken during the robbery, in their possession walking through metal detectors.

“You can see the supposed victims arriving without signs of being physically or psychologically shaken, even joking amongst themselves,” Judge Keyla Blanc de Cnop said in a statement to the New York Times.

Lochte, a 12-time Olympic gold medalist, won a gold medal in the 4×200 freestyle relay.

Pictured above: U.S. Olympic swimmers Gunnar Bentz and James Feigen stand together during the men’s 400-meter relay team medal ceremony in Rio.

2016 Olympics: The Biggest Controversies to Come Out of Rio

More Biz

  • Alan Horn Bill Tanner

    Alan Horn to Keynote Variety Business Managers Elite Breakfast, Bill Tanner to Be Honored

    Bill Tanner will be recognized with Variety’s 2019 Business Managers Elite Award at the annual Business Managers Elite Breakfast presented by City National Bank, which takes place in Beverly Hills on Nov. 13. Co-chairman and chief creative officer of The Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn will be the keynote speaker in conversation with Variety editor-in-chief, [...]

  • Smoke haze covers the Sydney Harbour

    Australia's Seven West to Merge With Affiliate Prime Media

    Australia’s Seven West Media has agreed a deal to acquire regional broadcast group Prime Media. The move is a further step in the consolidation of Australia’s traditional media industry. The two companies announced on Friday that Seven will make the acquisition entirely through the issue of new shares to the owners of Prime. Both companies [...]

  • Ron Meyer

    Ron Meyer Files $10 Million Suit Over Forged Rothko

    NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer has filed a $10 million suit against two art dealers, claiming they sold him a forged Mark Rothko painting in 2001. Meyer accuses Susan Seidel and Jaime Frankfort of duping him into buying the work. According to the suit, he was told that it would be included in an official [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein Seeks to Call Expert on 'Recovered' Memories at Rape Trial

    Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys are seeking to call an expert on “recovered memories” at his trial on rape and sexual assault charges. The defense has filed a motion asking to call Deborah Davis, a psychologist and professor at the University of Nevada at Reno. Davis is a frequent defense witness. She co-authored an article in 2006 [...]

  • Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime

    Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime and Rolling Stone

    Showtime Documentary Films today announced a new limited docuseries profiling controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine. Titled “SuperVillain” and inspired by the Rolling Stone feature written by Stephen Witt, the three-part series will trace how a New York City deli clerk named Daniel Hernandez became superstar rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine — who racked up 2.6 billion streams and [...]

  • Fader Label Logo

    Fader Label Signs Two New Acts, Boosts Staff

    The Fader Label, home to Clairo, Matt and Kim and others, announced two new signings today along with three new hires on its staff. Charlie Burg and Zachary Knowles have joined the label’s talent roster, while Carson Oberg has come aboard as general manager, Yasmine Panah as project manager and Josh Hymowitz as label coordinator. They [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content