Rio 2016: Olympic Swimmers were not robbed- Police Chief

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It turns out the four US Olympic swimmers who said they were robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro were not victims of a crime.

Head of the city’s civil police,  Fernando Veloso told reporters that one or more of the men had actually committed an act of vandalism  at a petrol station the night the robbery supposedly took place,  at which point  armed security guards arrived at the scene.

One guard had drawn his gun after one of the swimmers began behaving erratically and they  had offered to pay for the damage they caused, which they did before leaving the scene.

Three of the swimmers are still in Brazil and were questioned by the police. The fourth  swimmer, gold medallist Ryan Lochte, went back to the States on Monday.

Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger were taken off a US-bound plane at Rio de Janeiro airport on Wednesday night and were seen entering a Rio police station for questioning on Thursday afternoon. Team-mate James Feigen is  still in  Brazil as well.

The swimmers, who repeatedly changed their accounts of what happened that night, might face charges of vandalism and giving false testimony, according to Mr. Veloso.

“We are dealing with important public figures who influence others and should know how to comport themselves,” he told reporters. The people of Rio were unhappy to see the reputation of their city damaged, adding,  “An apology would be welcomed.”

What really happened that Sunday night…

The four athletes  had arrived  at a petrol station  in Barra da Tijuca, 16km (10 miles) from the Olympic Park, in a taxi.

At least one of the athletes broke the bathroom door  and the petrol station attendants had asked the Americans to pay for the damage.

A verbal dispute is said to have ensued with the attendants, and security guards were called to contain the incident. The police were also called.

While the  police were on their way, another customer at the petrol station  served as an interpreter for the athletes  and helped agree payment for the damage.

When the police arrived, the athletes had already returned to the Olympic Village after paying for the broken door.

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