Ryan Lochte robbed: Mystery of Rio 2016 robbery deepens with new video evidence

Prosecutors say the swimmers appear with 'physical and psychological integrity intact', uncharacteristic of people who have experienced trauma

Feliks Garcia
New York
Wednesday 17 August 2016 21:01 BST
US swimmers escorted to Rio airport police unit

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Newly uncovered surveillance footage has increased confusion over US Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen story of a weekend robbery in Rio.

On Wednesday, a Brazilian judge ordered that Lochte, Feigen, and two other swimmers stay in the country for further questioning, while police carry out their investigation of the alleged robbery. However, it later emerged that Lochte had already arrived home in the US.

Prosecutors say that the swimmers were shown in a video leaving the Olympic Village laughing and smiling, exhibiting no behaviours characteristic of people who had just undergone the shock of a mugging at gunpoint.

Additionally, X-ray scan documents reviewed by investigators showed that the swimmers had their wallets – which they claimed were among the items stolen in the Saturday robbery. It remains unclear whether or not they replaced the stolen items prior to appearing in the surveillance footage.

“One sees that the supposed victims arrived with their physical and psychological integrity intact, even playing with each other, showing that there wasn’t any psychological shock inherent to such alleged violence,” a prosecutor said of the video obtained by the Daily Mail.

The moment commentator mixes up Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps

Lochte’s father, Steven, confirmed to the Associated Press that his son was at home in the US.

“I’m just happy he’s safe,” he said. “It was an unfortunate experience for him and the other three. I don’t know what all the controversy is. They were basically taken out of the taxi and robbed.”

Police, meanwhile, have been unable to confirm Lochte and Feigen’s story.

According to the AP, police have not found witnesses to the robbery nor have they located the taxi driver.

The International Olympic Committee denied that the robbery ever took place.

“I can tell you from Ryan Lochte’s mouth that the story is absolutely not true,” IOC spokesperson Mark Adams told reporters on Sunday, immediately after the story emerged.

Lochte gave his account in an interview with NBC on Sunday evening.

“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights … and they pulled us over,” he said. “They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get on the ground – they got down on the ground.

“I refused. I was like, ‘We didn’t do anything wrong so I’m not getting down on the ground.”

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in