In a development that has become a focal point of the final week of the Rio Olympics, two U.S. swimmers were ordered to remain in Brazil as they were about to leave the country.
“The U.S. Olympic Committee said Wednesday evening that swimmers Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their return flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities,” The Washington Post reports. “Early Thursday, the USOC released a statement indicating that Conger and Bentz were no longer being detained but were not yet free to leave the country.”
The development is part of the fallout from a report by Ryan Lochte that he and three other U.S. swimmers were robbed at gunpoint. Lochte was already back in the U.S. when Brazilian officials began trying to round up the athletes to check what the authorities characterize as discrepancies in their accounts of the incident.
The officials initially sought to pull the passports of Lochte and fellow U.S. swimmer Jimmy Feigen. Feigen reportedly remains in Brazil.
In its statement, USOC said: “Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were detained Wednesday night shortly before their flight was scheduled to depart from Rio. They were released by local authorities with the understanding that they would continue their discussions about the incident on Thursday. James Feigen is also communicating with local authorities and intends to make further statements regarding the incident on Thursday as well.”
Meanwhile, British Olympic officials said a U.K. athlete was robbed early Tuesday.
“The team did not identify the athlete, who was reported safe, or provide any details of the incident, but it prompted officials to warn team members not to go out at night in Rio or wear distinctive ‘Team GB’ gear identifying them as British Olympians,” The Post reports. “The Guardian newspaper reported that the athlete was robbed at gunpoint.”