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Rio Olympics 2016: US gold medal swimmer Lochte, 3 teammates robbed at gunpoint

'All four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities,' United States Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky said. Photograph: (Getty)

Reuters Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Aug 15, 2016, 02.37 AM (IST)
US gold medal swimmer Ryan Lochte and three teammates were robbed in a taxi hold-up by men posing as armed police officers, the United States Olympic Committee confirmed on Sunday.

US gold medallist Lochte said armed robbers posing as police officers held a gun to his forehead in a taxi hold-up in Rio after a party early on Sunday. The men told the swimmers to drop to the ground and demanded their money and belongings, but Lochte said he had initially refused to go to ground.

"According to four members of the US Olympic swimming team (Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen and Ryan Lochte), they left France House early Sunday morning in a taxi headed for the Olympic Village," USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said.

"Their taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes' money and other personal belongings. All four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities."

Lochte's mother said the swimmer was unharmed but was shaken by the incident. "I think they're all shaken up. There were a few of them," Ileana Lochte told USA Today. "No, they were just, they just took their wallets and basically that was it."

Michael Phelps yesterday said he reacted with disbelief when he heard his teammate Ryan Lochte had been involved in a taxi hold-up in Rio de Janeiro, and confirmed to reporters that he was not present when the incident took place.

Security has been a major headache for organisers of South America's first Olympics.

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