The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) said that two swimmers from the U.S. swimming team were taken off a plane headed to the United States, by Brazilian authorities. Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight on Wednesday night as part of an investigation of a reported robbery.

A Brazilian judge ordered on Wednesday evening that the four athletes had to remain in the country while police officials investigated a robbery involving the gold medalist Ryan Lochte, Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen. By the time of the injunction, Lochte, and his teammate Feigen could get on a plane to return home. The Brazilian judge, Keyla Blank, oddly ordered to seize only Lochte and Feigen’s passports.

Ryan Lochte
Image credit: EFE/ Patrick B. Kraemer.

The USOC spokesman, Patrick Sandusky, said the committee is trying to gather further information to determine why the two swimmers were detained in Rio on Wednesday.

Lochte and the other three swimmers claimed they were robbed at gunpoint by thieves who pretended to be police officers. The athletes declared that after returning from a party to the athletes’ village, they were taken off a taxi and got their wallets stolen.

The incident occurred several hours after the last Olympic swimming event in Rio. Brazilian police authorities declared they have found little evidence to support the swimmers’ version of the event. Police added that the athletes did not provide key details during the interviews to advance in the investigation.

Lochte returned safely to the U.S.

Steve Lochte, Lochte’s father, affirmed his son returned safely to home in North Carolina. During a phone interview, Steve Lochte told The Associated Press that his son called him after arriving in the United States.

Elder Lochte declared that his son told him he was going to pick up his car, and he was planning to replace the stolen wallet by a new one.

U.S. Swimmers
Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz at Rio de Janeiro’s international airport. Image credit: Reuters.

Lochte’s father also stated that his son’s Olympic credential and cell phone were not stolen during Sunday’s morning incident. He added he was sure the 12-time medalist had his passport; otherwise, it would have been impossible for him to return home.

Steve Lochte said his son and the other three swimmers were just lucky of being safe after such disappointing incident. Feigen could also return to the U.S.

“I’m just happy he’s safe. It was an unfortunate experience for him and the other three. I don’t know what all the controversy is. They were taken out of the taxi and robbed. The main thing is he’s very lucky that he’s safe and that all they got was his cash and wallet,” declared Lochte’s father.

Source: The Chicago Tribune