Two US Swimmers Pulled Off Plane In Rio
Photo courtesy of American Airlines
The United States Olympic Committee has confirmed that two U.S. swimmers who claimed they were with teammate and star Ryan Lochte when he claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint, were removed from their flight home from Rio by Brazilian authorities.
Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, who said they were with Lochte and James Feigen when they were robbed trying to get back into the Olympic village, were literally pulled off the plane at Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport.
“We can confirm that Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities,” a spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee said. “We are gathering further information.”
BREAKING: USOC confirms Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities tonight.— Christine Brennan (@cbrennansports) August 18, 2016
Bentz and Conger were detained after boarding their American Airlines flight and taken to a police station in the airport.
Police in Brazil now have doubts that the group of four were actually accosted on Sunday morning, as they claimed. According to reports, Lochte and the group claim the taxi they were riding in back to the Village was pulled over by men dressed as police officers. The group claimed they were robbed at gunpoint, with Lochte saying a gun was put to his head.
But Brazilian authorities told the Associated Press there were inconsistencies in their story.
As a result, a judge in Rio ordered Lochte and Feigen to stay in Rio and forfeit their passports – but Lochte had already returned to the U.S. and, as of late Wednesday night, Feigen was still believed to be in Brazil but could not be found.
Lochte told Billy Bush of NBC’s Today Show that he was robbed of his wallet, but not his cell phone or credentials.
More by Rich Thomaselli
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