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Brazilian Police: There was no robbery; swimmers were not victims as Lochte described

FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, file photo, United States' Ryan Lochte checks his time in a men's 4x200-meter freestyle heat during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lochte and three other American swimmers were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday, Aug. 14, by thieves posing as police officers who stopped their taxi and took their money and belongings, the U.S. Olympic Committee said. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - The chief of Civil Police in Brazil held a press conference Thursday, where he discounted Ryan Lochte's story of an armed robbery Sunday.

"No kind of violence was caused" against the swimmers, Chief Fernando Veloso said through the use of a translator.

Lochte originally told NBC News he was held at gunpoint, and was robbed with three other swimmers over the weekend.

"There was no violence, so their claim that they were a victim of an assault or any kind of violence is not true," Veloso said.

Surveillance video from both the Olympic Village and the gas station helped police conclude a robbery did not occur.

Veloso broke down the incident at the gas station:

  • The athletes arrived at the gas station, and one of the swimmers went to the restroom
  • Deliberately, "one or all of them started to vandalize the bathroom inside of the gas station, damaging some mirrors and things that they had inside that bathroom"
  • As the damage occured, "some of the employees from the gas station tried to control that situation"
  • The group then allegedly tried to leave the scene
  • When employees saw this, security guards asked the taxi driver to not leave and wait for police to arrive
  • "The athletes, they refused to stay there, they refused to wait for police to arrive," Veloso said. A translator then offered to help, and police said the athletes then paid 100 reais (brazilian currency) and $20
  • Police said that's when the group left, before investigators arrived

The chief said the video "confirmed that version," as did one of the swimmers who recently gave a statement to them.

They are investigating claims that guns were used in the incident.

Security guards allege Lochte was drunk, and the instigator of problems, but police have not been able to confirm his exact involvement.

One or all of them could be charged for damaging the gas station, or providing a false statement, though Veloso said it would not lead to any arrests.

Brazilian officials confirmed the FBI was involved in investigating the incident.

"I think it would be very noble for them to say that, to provide their apologies to the city of Rio," Veloso said.

The chief said he believed Lochte left Brazil Monday, August 15.




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