UPDATED WITH LOCHTE STATEMENT BELOW Ryan Lochte and three other swimmers were robbed at gunpoint this morning in Rio de Janeiro. The swimmer, who was unharmed, confirmed the robbery during an off-air interview with NBC News’ Billy Bush. MSNBC broke into its usual programming to report the news at 9:35 am PT.
The confirmation to Today‘s Bush came after various and conflicting reports about the incident surfaced, with the IOC at first issuing denials.
“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over,” Lochte told NBC. “They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground.
“And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, get down and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’ He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cell phone, he left my credentials.”
In a statement to NBC News, USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky confirmed that “According to four members of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team (Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen and Ryan Lochte), they left France House early Sunday morning in a taxi headed for the Olympic Village. Their taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes’ money and other personal belongings. All four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities.”
Later on Sunday, Lochte posted an Instagram message thanking his supporters for their concern: