A Brazilian judge issued an order Wednesday to impede Ryan Lochte and James Feigen– two of the four American swimmers who stated they were robbed at gunpoint during the Olympics on Sunday– from leaving the country as suspicions emerged over their testimony of the incident.

Brazilian Judge Orders Ryan Lochte and James Feigen To Stay In Country

However, 12-time Olympic medalist Lochte had already left Brazil before the judge issued the order to seize his and Feigen’s passports, according to Mr. Lochte’s lawyer in the United Staes. It was not immediately known whether Mr. Feigen, 26, was still in Brazil.

Mr. Lochte, 32, had claimed that he, Mr. Feigen and two other American swimmers–Jack Conger, 21, and Gunnar Bentz, 20– were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday by men who identified themselves as police officers, though many believe they may have simply been posing as policeman. The four swimmers were caught in the incident after departing in a taxi from a party at Club France, a temporary venue set up to promote France during the Games.

Investigators have not yet discovered evidence corroborating the account, according to local news reports. Thus, the judge was prompted to issue the order.


A week of sports news in your in-box.
We find the sports news you need to know, so you don't have to.

“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, referring to video of the swimmers arriving back at the Olympic Village after the party.

During the robbery, one of the bandits was said to have put a gun to Lochte’s forehead.

Police arrived Wednesday morning at the Olympic Village to take the swimmers’ passports and gather further testimony from them regarding the alleged robbery, US Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky said.

Nevertheless, the athletes were not there.

“The swim team moved out of the village after their competition ended, so we were not able to make the athletes available,” Sandusky said in a statement, adding that the committee would “continue to cooperate with Brazilian authorities.”

 Sandusky added that due to security protocols, he could not disclose the swimmers’ whereabouts.

Mr. Lochte’s lawyer, Jeff Ostrow, rejected claims that his client and the three other swimmers may have fabricated details of the incident, calling such assertions efforts by Brazilian officials to deflect criticism of the many problems facing the Rio Games.

“The country has a dark cloud over it for a million and one reasons, from their economy to their crime to their management of the Olympics,” said Mr. Ostrow, who is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and attended the Games last week. “My client has cooperated thoroughly with the Brazilian authorities and stands behind his statement.”

 “He sat for a victim interview with the Brazilian Tourist Police, USOC Security, State Department, FBI, and anyone else that the Brazilian authorities requested to be present,” Ostrow also told CNN. “He left for the United States as he was planning to after he completed his events. He was not asked by the Brazilian authorities to remain in Brazil for further investigation.

“Had they asked, he would have stayed and assisted. They still have not reached out to ask for additional information.”
The Brazilian authorities have been heavily criticized following an array of armed assaults during the Olympics, despite the deployment of an 85,000-strong security force to ease fears about violent crime in Rio.
Lochte told NBC’s “Today” show that several men pulled out their guns and that one of the men took his money and wallet, but left his cellphone and credentials.
He also added that he and the three other swimmers did not initially inform the United States Olympic Committee about what happened “because we were afraid we’d get into trouble.”
Lochte and Feigen told Brazilian investigators that they left the party at Club France at around 4am Sunday morning, according to local news reports.
Video cameras, however, showed the swimmers leaving at 5:50am, about an hour before they arrived at the Olympic Village at 6:56am, according to Extra, a Rio newspaper.
There also remain other points of confusion in Lochte and Feigen’s accounts of the episode. They were the only swimmers to provide testimony to Brazilian investigators.
The swimmers said they were intoxicated upon leaving the party, and could not recall the color of the taxi they took, or where exactly the assault occurred. Investigators have been unable to find the taxi driver who brought the men back to the Olympic Village.
Although doubts linger over the episode, it is not uncommon for the police in Rio to be involved in armed assaults of both Brazilians and foreigners.
Shortly before the beginning of the Games, Jason Lee, a 27-year-old jujitsu champion from New Zealand, claimed he was briefly kidnapped in Rio by police officers and forced to give up the equivalent of roughly $800 from his bank account.
Despite a long series of incidents like these, many Brazilians have become defensive over criticism of Rio during the Games.
Some are lashing out at the American swimmers by contending that they are hiding details about what happened.

“So, the American swimmer lied about the robbery?” Mariana Godoy, a prominent television news announcer, asked in a post on Twitter in which she implied that Mr. Lochte was trying to cover up something untoward over the weekend.

“He left one party and went to ‘another party’ and didn’t want to tell Mommy about it? What an idiot” Ms. Godoy remarked.

 RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 12: Ryan Lochte of the United States attends a press conference in the Main Press Center on Day 7 of the Rio Olympics on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)

Read more about:

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Listen to the uInterview Podcast!
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!