It is now being reported that US Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte and James Feigen are being indicted by Rio Authorities on charges of them filing false reports of a crime. This was confirmed by the Federal Police of Brazil.
These charges came after Ryan Lochte and some other American swimmers claimed that they were assaulted at gunpoint over the weekend by assailants who were posing as police officers. Apparently, this is not true as it is now being reported it was fabricated. This incident has spiraled into a thorny legal case that can test the relations between Brazil and the United States.
The Brazilian police said that they were under the belief that the American swimmer Ryan Lochte had “stained” Rio by lying about what happened, but acknowledged that a security guard had waved a gun after some of the swimmers ended up vandalizing a gas station bathroom.
Fernando Veloso, the Civil Police chief, said in a news conference that “there were no signs of a robbery in the way as the athletes reported it.” and “ they were not a victim of the criminal act that they had described.”
According to the original reports that were filed by Ryan Lochte, he had claimed that men were posing as police officers had pulled over their taxi and that and assailant had put a loaded gun to his forehead and demanded his money. He would later recant his account, saying the taxi stopped at a gas station so they could use the bathroom.
After they had been watching the video and hearing testimony from the witnesses, it was determined by the Brazilian police that the supposed incident was being involved with damage to a bathroom at a gas station where the swimmers were stopping in on their way back to athletes’ village from a party on Saturday night.
According to the police, the taxi was carrying the swimmer stopped at a Shell gas station around six a.m., shortly after they left a party at Club France, an Olympic house that was built in the upscale Lagoa district.
As more information is coming out on what they did and what happened to other athletes during the 2016 Olympics, it is a disgrace of how the games have turned out. I understand that these athletes are going to have fun and party. But these athletes need to realize that they are representing their country and need to stop acting like it’s a college party.
According to the same report, apparently the swimmers went to the bathroom and in the process damaged the door. It was at this point that a discussion would happen between the manager and a security guard of the gas station. Also, it should be noted that the gas station is in Barra da Tijuca.
The judge who was overseeing the case had ordered the swimmers to stay in the country and surrender their passports over their testimony. Where this story takes an interesting turn is one of the swimmers who was being ordered to stay in Brazil is not in Brazil and is back in the United States. Ryan Lochte had already left Brazil, and the USOC would not be giving up his location.
This case has touched on sensitive issues of nationalism and sovereignty around the Rio Olympics. This also adds to a long list of problems that have faced Rio for upwards of the last two years. A few weeks ago I did an article that talked about the problems facing Rio as the prep work was being done for the Olympic games.
This biggest thing I am curious to see is a few things that we may find out in the next few weeks. For starters, what is the future of Ryan Lochte and would they bring him back to Brazil to testify. Do these guys get some suspension from the Olympics that they may not be able to participate in the 2020 Summer Games when they come to Tokyo, Japan?