Two US Olympians tred wa­ter in Rio Games

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE -

Brazil­ian po­lice have rec­om­mended charg­ing US Olympic swim­ming cham­pi­ons Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen with giv­ing false tes­ti­mony, Brazil­ian TV said on Thurs­day, af­ter au­thor­i­ties ac­cused the pair of ly­ing about be­ing robbed at gun­point.

The swim­mers could also po­ten­tially face pun­ish­ment un­der USA Swim­ming’s code of con­duct, which pro­hibits dis­hon­esty or fraud, in­clud­ing pro­ba­tion, sus­pen­sion, a fine or ex­pul­sion. It was not im­me­di­ately clear if the or­ga­ni­za­tion planned to act.

Brazil­ian po­lice also pulled two of their fel­low US Olympic swim­mers off a US-bound plane in con­nec­tion with their claim that they were vic­tims of an armed mug­ging, of­fi­cials said on Wed­nes­day.

“We can con­firm that Jack Conger and Gun­nar Bentz were re­moved from their flight to the United States by Brazil­ian au­thor­i­ties,” said Pa­trick San­dusky, spokesman for the US Olympic Com­mit­tee.

The two were with star US swim­mer Ryan Lochte and fel­low squad mem­ber James Feigen when, they later said, they were robbed at gun­point early on Sun­day.

Me­dia re­ports emerged on Thurs­day that the four swim­mers dam­aged a gas sta­tion re­stroom door.

A Brazil­ian se­cu­rity source said they were in­volved in a dis­pute with a se­cu­rity guard and were asked to pay for the dam­age.

Be­fore those al­le­ga­tions, a Brazil­ian judge or­dered a probe, say­ing the swim­mers’ story is full of in­con­sis­ten­cies.

“The swim­mers are here and mak­ing state­ments,” an air­port po­lice spokesman said, with­out giv­ing fur­ther de­tails.

They were later re­leased “with the un­der­stand­ing that they would con­tinue their dis­cus­sions about the in­ci­dent on Thurs­day”, San­dusky said.

Lochte, who went home be­fore Brazil­ian au­thor­i­ties or­dered the swim­mers’ ques­tioned, and Feigen, who re­mains in Brazil, will co­op­er­ate with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, NBC News re­ported.

Ear­lier on Wed­nes­day, Judge Keyla Blank “is­sued war­rants for searches and the seizure of the pass­ports of the US swim­mers”, a state­ment from her of­fice said.

Brazil­ian of­fi­cials said the swim­mers may have made up their ac­count and could be charged with fil­ing a false re­port.

Lochte de­nied the al­le­ga­tion. “I wouldn’t make up a story like this, nor would the oth­ers,” NBC quoted him as say­ing.

REUTERS

US Olympic swim­mers Jack Conger (right) and Gun­nar Bentz leave a po­lice sta­tion af­ter be­ing ques­tioned in Rio de Janeiro on Thurs­day.

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