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SBD Global/August 18, 2016/Olympics

Rio Police Finding Little Evidence In U.S. Swimmers' Robbery Investigation

Police investigating reports that American swimmer Ryan Lochte and three of his teammates were robbed at gunpoint in a taxi "so far have found little evidence supporting the account, and say the swimmers were unable to provide key details in police interviews," according to the AP. A police official with knowledge of the investigation said that police "cannot find their taxi driver or witnesses." Lochte's attorney, Jeff Ostrow, said that there was "no question the robbery happened and that Lochte had 24-hour security hired after the incident." Ostrow: "This happened the way he described it." A Brazilian judge has reportedly "issued an order to prevent Lochte and James Feigen from leaving the country on the grounds they gave conflicting accounts of their robbery." Lochte is "thought to have already returned" to the U.S. It was "unclear if Feigen had also left the country" (AP, 8/17). USA TODAY's Christine Brennan reported Judge Keyla Blanc said that "there were inconsistencies in the testimony of the two swimmers." Blank wrote in her filing that there were "discrepancies about the time when they left France House and arrived at the athletes' village." She did not accept that "they were too drunk to get the details correct." She wrote, "They arrived with their psychological and physical integrity unperturbed." She also noted that the swimmers "appeared to be joking with each other and did not appear to be upset." She "watched the surveillance video of the swimmers arriving at the athletes' village." The U.S. Olympic Committee said that police had "further questions for the swimmers but that no athletes had been detained Wednesday morning" (USA TODAY, 8/17). REUTERS' Ramil & Flynn reported after the decision by Blanc, authorities reportedly "requested a search and arrest warrant for the swimmers with the aim of finding Feigen's cellphone in order to identify where the swimmers were on Sunday night." Civil police agents visited the U.S. delegation building on Wednesday and "spoke to the head of security there, but neither of the swimmers were present" (REUTERS, 8/17).
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