SWIMMING

US swimmer Ryan Lochte robbed in Rio taxi hold-up, says mother of relay gold medal winner

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 August, 2016, 1:02am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 August, 2016, 4:28am

Ryan Lochte of the United States was robbed at gunpoint early on Sunday, two media outlets reported quoting the swimmer’s mother Ileana Lochte..

USA Today and Fox Sports Australia both said the 32-year-old athlete was robbed and had his wallet stolen early Sunday after leaving a party where he had been celebrating the end of the Olympic swimming programme.

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International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams refuted the claim at first before acknowledging he didn’t directly know the specifics of the situation.

Adams said the US Olympic committee had denied the story but it later looked like that denial “is not correct”. The USOC said it was gathering more information.

A spokesman for Brazilian swimmer Thiago Pereira told reporters on Sunday that Pereira had called Lochte after hearing reports the American had been the victim of a robbery the night before.

“Thiago and his wife went yesterday night to a birthday party for a common friend with Lochte in the France House,” the spokesman said.

“He parted ways with Lochte when he returned to his hotel with his wife.

“Today in the morning he received the news about Lochte’s incident, so he called him and Lochte told him he was fine and said the taxi he was in got robbed.”

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Rio organisers spokesman Mario Andrada said he has been briefed on an “issue” involving the swimmer, but could not say if he was held at gunpoint.

Lochte swam in two events at the Rio Games, winning team gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Reporting by Associated Press and Reuters