Ryan Lochte has created more enemies than friends lately, and the latest developments certainly won’t change that.
The U.S. swimmer reportedly could face criminal charges for fabricating a story that he and three teammates were robbed at gunpoint at a gas station in Rio de Janeiro at the 2016 Olympics. Lochte pretty much has stuck to his original account, but teammates Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, both of whom were with Lochte during the alleged robbery, each recently issued statements that tell a different story.
In a statement released Friday night, Bentz claimed that Lochte vandalized a metal advertisement by pulling it to the ground before the group returned to their taxi. According to Bentz, two security guards drew their guns and made the swimmers exit the vehicle, at which point Lochte got involved.
“I cannot speak to his actions, but Ryan stood up and began to yell at the guards,” Bentz said in his statement. “After Jack and I both tugged at him in an attempt to get him to sit back down, Ryan and the security guards had a heated verbal exchange, but no physical contact was made.”
Per Bentz, the security guards then told the swimmers they had to pay them in order to leave, and they complied by paying approximately $70 before taking off to hail another taxi.
Conger’s statement, released Saturday morning, more or less corroborated Bentz’s account.
“Early Sunday morning I was with USA swimming teammates celebrating at the French House. Four of us took a taxi back to the Olympic Village, and on the way we pulled into a gas station to use the restroom, but ultimately relieved ourselves outside, for which I apologize.
“Ryan Lochte removed a poster from a nearby wall, which apparently alerted the gas station employees, leading to our being confronted by two armed security men. Although I cooperated with their requests while there was a heated exchange among others, at one point a weapon was pointed at me.
“Eventually, a man appeared who was able to translate for us, helping to defuse the situation. We paid some money to compensate them for the torn poster, and returned to the Village in a different taxi.”
It’s clear both Bentz and Conger have different accounts than Lochte, who initially claimed they were pulled over by men posing as police, forced onto the ground and robbed at gunpoint.
Thumbnail photo via Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports Images