Suspicion Grows About Whether Ryan Lochte Was REALLY Mugged
This year's Olympics certainly haven't been short on drama; before that very shiny Tongan athlete had shimmied across our screens at the Opening Ceremony, there were already plenty of stories about shootings, suspicious packages and shootings.
But perhaps the most shocking story - and one shrouded in a lot of mystery - was 12-time Olympic medal-winning swimmer Ryan Lochte being held at gunpoint while in a taxi in Rio.
The American and three of his teammates claim to have been stopped by robbers dressed as Brazilian police on their way home from a party at the French team's quarters, saying that they had guns pointed at their heads before being stripped of their money and personal belongings.
According to their version of events, the four arrived back at the Olympic village at 4am - but CCTV recordings don't put them back in the area until 7am.
Indeed police say there are a number of inconsistencies in the swimmers' accounts, not least that they can find no evidence of the robbery; they have also been unable to locate the driver of the taxi taking Lochte and his teammates back to the village when the incident allegedly occurred, and say that their recollections don't match up.
A video obtained by the Daily Mail doesn't help matters, as Lochte and Feigen are shown entering the Olympic village in possession of what appears to be their phones and wallets, which they had claimed were among the stolen items.
Suspicions have grown so much that an order was issued by a Brazilian judge this morning, seeking to prevent Lochte and one of the other US swimmers involved, James Feigen, from returning to the US, indicating that they are being investigated for false communication of crime.
Lochte, however, has already flown home.
"He arrived back before the judge issued anything," said Jeffrey Ostrow, Lochte's lawyer. "He was never asked to remain for further investigation or for any other purpose after he met with Brazilian authorities after he gave a statement."
USA Today reports that Feigen is still in the country; he told them in a phone interview last night that he was "just trying to give Brazil what they need or what they want and get out of here... I’m safe, everything’s fine.''
If the Americans are found guilty of false communication of a crime, they could face up to three years jail time; either way, Brazilian police seem determined to get to the bottom of what exactly went on that night.