BRAZIL CRIME RIO 2016 CONGER BENTZ.jpg
US swimmer Gunnar Bentz sits in a car leaving a police station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 18 August 2016.
Photograph: EPA/FABIO TEIXEIRA

Brazilian authorities said Thursday four US Olympic swimmers were not robbed in Rio de Janeiro as they originally claimed.

Ryan Lochte and three team-mates - James Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz - had previously said they were riding in a taxi back to the Olympic village from a party early Sunday when men posing as police pulled them over and robbed them at gunpoint.

But Fernando Veloso, head of the civil police in Rio, has been quoted in media telling a news conference: "There was no robbery as the way it was reported or claimed by the athletes."

Earlier Thursday US broadcaster ABC quoted a Brazilian police source as saying: "One of the swimmers was seen on CCTV footage breaking down the door to the bathroom at the gas station and fighting with a security guard," as their story continued to unravel.

Veloso confirmed the swimmers damaged the bathroom and were detained before settling the matter by paying cash.

However, the police also confirmed that a security guard had drawn a gun during the altercation.

CCTV pictures now published online appear to disprove the claim a robbery took place.

Rio local organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada said at the International Olympic Committee daily briefing he hadn't seen the video of the incident, but he showed understanding for the US swimmers.

"They trained for at least four years. They competed under gigantic pressure," he said.

"Let's give these kids a break. They had fun, they made a mistake, that's part of life. Life goes on."

He added later: "Maybe the Rio police have a different feeling than I do."

The four also faced questions about why they delayed reporting the crime to police. US media report that the incident only came to the attention of police when Lochte's mother began speaking about it.

On Wednesday Judge Keyla Blanc approved a judicial order preventing Conger and Bentz leaving Brazil. They were taken off a flight and briefly detained.

The pair, along with Feigen, are to provide testimony to the authorities regarding the incident.

US State Department spokesman John Kirby said he could not talk specifically on the swimmers' case because of privacy concerns and noted there are trained consular officers in Rio to assist Americans.

Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medallist, was also ordered to remain in the country but had already returned to the US.

Andrada said conclusions about overall security in Rio during the Games would have to wait "until further investigations, especially in the case of the American athletes."

An unnamed British athlete was robbed in Rio during the Games, the British Olympic Association confirmed Thursday. Last week, Belgian judoka Dirk Van Tichelt was hit in the face while chasing down a phone thief.

Latest news

Thousands of Romanians revive anti-government protests

Thousands of Romanians turned out on Sunday to renew their demands for the government to step down amid accusations it is trying to protect corrupt politicians.

Francis, first pope to visit Anglicans in Rome, weighs S Sudan trip

Pope Francis became the first leader of the Catholic Church to visit the Anglican community in Rome on Sunday, where he said he was considering a trip to famine-struck South Sudan.

Ibrahimovic lifts Man United past Southampton in League Cup final

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an 87th-minute winner as Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2 in an exciting League Cup final on Sunday.

London screens Iranian director's film amid Oscars boycott

Thousands of people watched a free screeening of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's film "The Salesman" in London on Sunday to coincide with the Oscars.

Real Madrid stage comeback to stay top; Messi scores in Barcelona win

Lionel Messi scored the winner as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Sunday to move top of the Spanish first division.

Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotel member of The Leading Hotels of the World

The Dubrovnik Sun Gardens Hotel has joined the Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., a global hospitality consortium of more than 375 hotels and resorts in over 75 countries.

Biggest Bosnian Serb party ceases all contact with Izetbegovic over ICJ judjment review request

The main committee of the biggest Bosnian Serb party which makes up the ruling majority in Bosnia and Herzegovina decided o Sunday that its officials would cease all contact with member of the Bosnian President Bakir Izetbegovic until the crisis occurred following the submission of a request to the International Court of justice (ICJ) to review its ruling against Serbia is resolved.

Egypt court adjourns Morsi retrial over prison escape

An Egyptian court adjourned a case against former president Mohamed Morsi until March 29 on Sunday, during the first session of his retrial over orchestrating a prison escape during the 2011 uprising.

Hamas rejects Netanyahu's proposal for international forces in Gaza

The Islamic Hamas movement rejected on Sunday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal to send international forces to the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave that Hamas has been ruling since 2007.

Deloitte: Growing optimism among CFOs

Chief financial officers (CFOs) in Croatia are more optimistic about growth and financial prospects in 2017 than they were last year, with most of them expecting increases in their company's revenue, a survey shows.

Russian agents main suspects for attempted coup in Montenegro

Russian citizens Eduard Shumakov and Vladimir Popoc, suspected of organising terrorist activities in Montenegro and forming a criminal organisation, are agents of Russia's Main Intelligence Agency (GRU), British, U.S. and other intelligence agencies confirmed, the Podgorica-based media reported on Sunday.

Six injured, 96 detained in Berlin fan clashes

Six people were treated in hospital and 96 detained in clashes in Berlin between fans of Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt, police said Sunday.