The American Olympic swimmers who claimed they were robbed at gunpoint  early Sunday morning by Brazilians posing as police officers fabricated their account of the incident, according to local investigators.

Ryan Lochte And U.S. Swimmers Vandalized Rio Gas Station, Got In Fight, Brazilian Reports Say

After viewing video footage and hearing testimony from witnesses, the Brazilian police have assessed the incident involved the four U.S. male swimmers, which included three-time Olympian Ryan Lochte, causing damage to a bathroom door at a gas station where the swimmers stopped Sunday morning on the way back to the athletes’ village from a party at the French hospitality house.

A Brazilian police official who had reviewed the video images stated there had been no armed assault, contrary to what the Olympians alleged. The official declined to be identified because the investigation is ongoing.

Two of the swimmers, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, were pulled off their flight bound for the United States overnight and had their passports seized as the episode quickly spiraled into a diplomatic affair in the waning days of the Rio Games.

Some news organizations have reported that one of the swimmers got into an altercation with a security guard, although no evidence of any kind of this has yet been found.

Brazilian daily newspaper O Globo cited the owner of the Barra da Tijuca gas station as saying that the Olympians had thrown stones at the business and torn one of its signs before urinating in the street that morning.

“They stopped next to the gas station, and urinated outside right next to the gas station,” said the owner, who the newspaper stated chose to remain unnamed. We even have images of one of the athlete’s butts, as he is pulling up his pants.”

CNN has viewed the footage but cannot confirm its authenticity. The network has reached out to police and attorneys for the swimmers for comment on the report but has not received any responses.

Someone at the gas station called the police, but by the time a police car arrived at the scene, the swimmers were gone. Witnesses, including a person who offered to translate for the swimmers, said that they paid money to the manager before leaving.

Brazilian authorities said they have questions about what happened early Sunday and have concerns over inconsistencies in the accounts of the events. Many policemen in Rio reportedly believe there was no robbery.

Jeff Ostrow, Lochte’s lawyer, waived off suggestions of conflicting stories, stating the four swimmers’ accounts “are 95 percent consistent.”

On Sunday, Lochte gave a terrifying account of the alleged robbery to NBC, which is broadcasting the Olympics in the United States. The 32-year-old swimmer said his and his three teammates’ taxi was pulled over and men flashed a police badge at the Americans before forcing them to the ground. After Lochte refused to get down, he said one of the assailants cocked a gun and pressed it against his head.

However, Lochte slightly changed his account Wednesday, NBC reported, saying he and his teammates were robbed after using a toilet at a gas station. Lochte said two men tried to force them to the ground, one pointing a gun inches from him when he refused.

Ostrow said the gun was pointed near his client’s head, not against it, adding the difference was just “a matter of inches.”
The release of one video obtained by the Daily Mail, which it said was filmed after the alleged robbery, has sparked severe public speculation regarding the incident.
The video appears to show the four swimmers returning to the Olympic Village, and in possession of high-value items that might be expected to have been taken in an armed robbery.
Brazilian Judge Keyla Blanc De Cnop stated the athletes’ jovial behavior upon arrival at the Olympic Village — combined with inconsistencies in their statements — led police to question the veracity of their claim.
The judge, who ordered Lochte and his teammate James Feigen to remain in Brazil, noted that Lochte had claimed a single robber approached the athletes and demanded all their money ($400), while Feigen’s statement said a number of robbers targeted the athletes but only one was armed. Lochte had already left, however, by the time the judge issued the order.
Initial reports regarding the robbery were confusing, with an International Olympic Committee spokesman first saying they were “absolutely not true” at a press conference Sunday. He later backtracked and apologized, saying he was relying on initial information from the US Olympic Committee that was incorrect.
 Ostrow told CNN that the discrepancy arose because Lochte first informed his mother of the incident and then she relayed it to the media.
Lochte held off on going to the media until he realized he was not in violation of any US Olympic Committee rules, but by then, the story had gone public, Ostrow said. Ostrow said the video doesn’t show a complete picture of what happened, especially considering there is no audio.
“That video shows me nothing — it shows guys coming home at 6 or 7 in the morning and shows me they’re happy that they’re alive,” he said.

 The American swimmers are not the only athletes in Rio to complain of theft.

 The British Olympic Association told CNN on Thursday that one of its athletes had been a victim of theft there.

The episode has also touched on sensitive issues of sovereignty and nationalism around the Rio Olympics, while focusing enormous scrutiny on the perceptions of danger in a society where many Brazilians themselves often lament their exposure to alarming levels of violent crime and police corruption.

“This incident has caused so much damage to Rio’s brand abroad that I think Brazilians deserve a clear, consistent account of what happened,” said Brian Winter, vice president for policy at Americas Society and Council of the Americas.

The entire episode, Winter said, “has tapped into one of Brazilians’ biggest pet peeves — gringos who treat their country like a third-rate spring break destination where you can lie to the cops and get away with it.”

Several Brazilian commentators have also accused the U.S. Olympic Committee of providing confusing initial accounts of what occurred and then protecting the swimmers from scrutiny.

“The swimmers involved owe apologies to Rio and Brazil,” said Diego Escosteguy, the editor in chief of Época, an influential news magazine. “The United States Olympic Committee, as well.”

Still, Olympics officials in Rio seemed to be trying on Thursday to play down the episode.

“No apologies from him or the other athletes are needed, said Mario Andrada, a spokesman for the Rio Olympics organizing committee. “These kids were trying to have fun. They came here they represented their country.”“They competed under gigantic pressure,” Mr. Andrada continued. “But let’s give these kids a break. Sometimes you take actions that you later regret.”

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)

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