A Brazilian judge ordered U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte?s passport to be seized after conflicting reports emerged that the Olympic gold-medallist athlete was robbed of his belongings late Saturday night.
Lochte told Reuters he was returning to the Athletes’ Village from a party hosted by the French Games delegation, with swimming teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen. On the way back, armed robbers carrying police badges stopped their taxi, forced them to the ground and demanded their money and belongings.
The men told the swimmers to drop to the ground and demanded their money and belongings, Lochte said. When he refused, one of the men cocked a pistol and placed it against the swimmer’s head, and he then handed over his wallet.
However, Brazilian authorities don’t seem to believe the story and ordered his passport seized, but Lochte has left the country already. The judge also ordered Lochte? teammate Jimmy Feigen to stay in Rio. The other two swimmers, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, who were with Lochte and Feigen during the alleged robbery, were removed from their flight late Wednesday night as they tried to depart for the United States.
The authorities want to question the athletes as they claim discrepancies in the allegations made by the U.S. swimmers. A surveillance video also emerged via Daily Mail that supposedly shows Lochte and his teammates entering the Village early Sunday morning with the same belongings they claimed were stolen in the robbery. The video even shows Lochte might have been in an inebriated state.
The robbery story has raised more questions and there seems to be a cover up and as such several conspiracy theories have emerged about the alleged robbery.
Check the possible conspiracies here:
1) Olympics trying to cover up the story?
Forbes speculates that the International Olympic Committee may be trying to cover up their failure to protect athletes in the Summer Games. Afterall, IOC spokesperson Mark Adams earlier said the Lochte story is not true.
The armed robbery of one of the Olympics? most visible athletes (Lochte is a 12-time Olympic medalist) is a slap in the face of the U.S., Brazilian and International Olympic Committees, who have all relentlessly promised athlete safety.
The Olympic Committees are powerful and well-funded, and will do what they can to assure that these Olympics do not get labeled a failure.
2) Brazil also covering it up?
The other conspiracy theory that seems more logical is that Brazilian authorities are trying to cover the rampant crime in their city. Earlier in Games, several Australian were robbed at bus stops and beaches while a New Zealand athlete was even kidnapped upon arrival in Rio.
Prior to the Games, fumbling tourists were the target of the petty thieves riding their bikes along the Copacabana boardwalk, hunting for Iphones and gold necklaces.
It seems pretty plausible that Brazil may try to discredit the athletes to save its reputation from being labelled as one of the worst Olympic hosts in recent history.
3) Lochte is lying, but why?
Meanwhile, some believed that Lochte and his teammates are lying. After all Lochte has now altered his story somewhat with changes in few significant details. Lochte told NBC’s Matt Lauer that he and his teammates weren’t pulled over, as he had previously stated but that they were at a gas station when they were robbed.
The other discrepancy Lochte recounted involved whether one of the robbers had actually put a gun to his forehead.
“That’s not exactly what happened,” Lochte said, according to Lauer. Lochte described one of the robbers cocking the gun and pointing it “in my direction,” but not directly on his forehead.
However, Lochte denied making up a story. “I wouldn’t make up a story like this, nor would the others,” Lochte said, according to Lauer.
He has got a point as to why would he even try to make up a story and complicate matters for himself.
Stay Tuned for more updates about the Ryan Lochte story and the Rio Olympics 2016.