RIO DE JANEIRO — Rio police said four U.S. swimmers lied about being held up at gunpoint Sunday morning.
“No robbery was committed against these athletes. They were not victims of the crimes they claimed,” Fernando Veloso, chief of civil police, said during a news conference Thursday afternoon.
Police said they had evidence swimmers Ryan Lochte, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen vandalized a gas station after a late night out partying. And the events could not be interpreted as a robbery, Veloso said.
“There is nothing that justifies the confusion of the men thinking they were victims of a robbery," he said.
Bentz and Conger were being questioned by police after they were pulled off a plane trying to fly home Wednesday night. Lochte is home in the United States. Feigen was still in Rio as of Thursday afternoon.
None of the athletes has been charged with a crime, Veloso said.
He added the investigation is ongoing. If charges are brought against the swimmers, they could include filing a false police report and committing property damage
Police said one of the swimmers, who was not identified, broke a door to an outside bathroom at a gas station when they couldn't get inside, and a soap dispenser and mirror were also broken. Surveillance video from the gas station showing the American swimmers was released by Globo on Thursday. When asked about the authenticity of the video, police said images would be subject to forensic analysis.
The athletes were confronted by security officers, and they offered the gas station employees 100 Reais and $20 to cover the damages.
Police said a gun was shown by one of the security officers because the athletes were getting aggressive, but excessive force was not used.