Judge Seizes Passports of American Swimmers in Rio

VOA News

A Brazilian judge ordered Wednesday that American swimmers Ryan Lochte and James Feigen not leave the country, stating that they gave conflicting testimonies regarding a robbery earlier this week.

Ryan Lochte and three other American swimmers said they were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday by thieves posing as police officers who stopped their taxi and took their money and belongings.

Lochte and his teammates were returning to the athletes’ village by taxi after a night out at the French Olympic team’s hospitality house in the Rodrigo de Freitas area in the upscale south zone of the city. The outing was several hours after Olympic swimming competition ended Saturday night at the Rio Games.

Word of the robbery touched off a chain of confusion between Olympic and U.S. officials. An International Olympic Committee spokesman said reports of the robbery were “absolutely not true,” then reversed himself, apologized and said he was relying on initial information from the U.S. Olympic Committee that was wrong.

Judge Keyla Blank requested that the swimmers’ passports be seized as authorities investigate their claims.