In Interview with Matt Lauer, Ryan Lochte Sticks to His Story

The Brazilian authorities are at odds with the four American swimmers involved in an alleged armed robbery on Sunday morning. Earlier today, the Rio authorities forbid both Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen from leaving the country (although Lochte is already back in the U.S.). Just minutes ago, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger were pulled from their flight out of the country. They are, at the time of this writing, currently speaking with Rio authorities.

According to NBC, the Rio police are unaware of Feigen’s current whereabouts. He was scheduled to fly out with Conger and Bentz, but never arrived at the terminal.

The authorities seem to be suspicious of Lochte’s story of the robbery, but, in an interview with the Today Show’s Matt Lauer earlier today, Lochte stuck to his version of the events. Lauer noted that when Lochte spoke to him, his account was a little softer around the edges, but he stood by his earlier testimony.

One difference between Lochte’s interview with NBC’s Billy Bush and his conversation with Lauer tonight, Lauer highlighted, was that rather than getting pulled over, Lochte said today that the four tried to get into a taxi, but the driver wouldn’t let them. When they told taxi driver to move, he didn’t, and that’s when two men approached the car and told them to get on the ground. The other swimmers did, but Lochte didn’t.

Another difference is that when Lochte talked to Bush, he said that the assailant put gun to his forehead. However, this time, Lochte said that the man pointed the gun in his direction.

Lauer thinks that the initial story was hyperbolic rather than being untrue.

Lauer also asked Lochte directly whether the swimmers were engaged in any type of embarrassing or illegal behavior, and if that had spurred them to make up the robbery story. Lochte strongly denied the accusation.

According to Lauer, Lochte said “We wouldn’t make a story up. We’re victims in this.”

Lochte then reiterated that the four athletes originally didn’t want to tell the police or the U.S. Olympic Committee about the incident because they were worried that they would get in trouble with the USOC or the IOC for partying. However, according to Lochte, when they realized that they hadn’t broken any rules, they told the USOC.

As for his interactions with the Rio police, Lochte told Lauer that nobody in law enforcement asked him to stay around for questioning. He told police he was reachable and he would cooperate. Lauer said that Lochte called the conversation “friendly, casual, and vague,” and said it was less intense than a questioning Lochte recently went through in the U.S. regarding a home robbery.

Lochte also said that he was planning on leaving the city on Wednesday even before the incident occurred. The USOC systematically keeps athletes’ travel plans private.


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Naya Missy
4 years ago

This story just keeps getting more and more tangled.

Brute Bradford
Reply to  Naya Missy
4 years ago

At the end of the day, it’s simple: Brazil is sticking to the narrative that it’s a safe place and a good Olympic host despite so much evidence to the contrary. It’s politics, and money, on the one hand versus the truth and American athletes on the other.

Pocoyo Lover
Reply to  Brute Bradford
4 years ago

Brazilian citizens and authorities know Rio is not a safe place, that has nothing to do with it. Under Brazilian law, it is a crime to tell a lie to authorities. And their stories have so many contradictions that they now suspect it was a lie. It is not the police’s choice to investigate the story, it is an obligation. I think politics and money would rather have this story disappear.

Reply to  Pocoyo Lover
4 years ago

Hey guess what, nobody lied.

Reply to  Pocoyo Lover
4 years ago

Or maybe is just some ***heads thinking that they can do whatever they want in other country believing that prejudice to the other will justify their actions.

Reply to  Naya Missy
4 years ago

This is what you get when you have a weak leader in the White House. Now they’re not letting other U.S. Swimmers get out of Rio…

tea rex
Reply to  Kdiz
4 years ago

Brazil doesn’t even have a president right now – which is probably 1000 times more important to Brazilian authorities than who the US president is.

Reply to  Kdiz
4 years ago

This was the funniest take on this situation I’ve seen so far. Thanks for the humor.

Reply to  Naya Missy
4 years ago

Getting worst now… The robbery never happened, according to the investigations. They got into a fight in a gas station because they damage the property (2 of them). The security guard pulled the gun to try to stop them fleeing the place before the authorities arrived.
Some other people intervened and they set a deal to leave some money for the damage.

Well, let’s see what is next, but is a bit doggy trying to make up a tale to hide your mistakes. But, at the same time, the security guard should never tried to stop someone with a firearm.

David Ramsey
Reply to  Naya Missy
4 years ago

Terrible interview, did laurer think he was interviewing a hardened criminal or a murderer. Terrible interview.

4 years ago

Stranger Things……is a really good show.


Reply to  HypeTrain
4 years ago

Conger and Gunny B just seem so innocent to me from what we’ve seen leading up to this. I picture them being scared to death during this process 🙂

4 years ago

The corruption of the Brazilian government sure is a sight to behold. Maybe we should just question the hundred’s of regular civilians who are robbed by Rio police every year – I’d expect that would get some more details.

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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