US team apologizes for fake robbery story, two swimmers leave Brazil

Two US Olympic swimmers involved in an alleged robbery incident with relay gold medal winner Ryan Lochte have had their passports released and have left Brazil, the US Olympic team said Thursday.

Team USA CEO Scott Blackmun clarified the incident involving Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, James Feigen and Lochte early Sunday in Rio and apologized for what he called a "distracting ordeal."

Initially, Lochte had said men posing as police had robbed him and his teammates, but the statement now changes that version of events.

"As we understand it, the four athletes (Bentz, Conger, Feigen and Ryan Lochte) left France House early in the morning of August 14 in a taxi headed to the Olympic Village," the statement said.

"They stopped at a gas station to use the restroom, where one of the athletes committed an act of vandalism."

"An argument ensued between the athletes and two armed gas station security staff, who displayed their weapons, ordered the athletes from their vehicle and demanded the athletes provide a monetary payment."

"Once the security officials received money from the athletes, the athletes were allowed to leave."

James Feigen has provided a revised statement with the hope of securing the release of his passport as soon as possible, Blackmun said.

Ryan Lochte was also due to have his passport seized, but returned to the US before authorities reached him.

The US team would review the matter, and any potential consequences for the athletes, after returning home, the statement said.

Last update: Fri, 19/08/2016 - 07:54
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