An International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesperson told Reuters news service that the IOC was setting up a disciplinary commission for Ryan Lochte and three other U.S. swimmers involved in a lie about an armed robbery.
The Reuters report says that the IOC commission will investigate the incident and decide if the athletes violated the Olympic charter, which could bring sanctions.
Earlier reports said the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and USA Swimming would suspend Lochte, but that report has been denied by officials from both organizations.
Lochte was with Jimmy Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz early in the morning in Rio when the four stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom. Brazilian police allege the swimmers caused damage to the bathroom, then were involved in an altercation with security guards, who reportedly drew their guns to get the swimmers to pay for the damages.
Lochte claimed in several interviews afterwards that he and the other three had been robbed at gunpoint, even at one time saying the gun was put to his head.
It appears Lochte is currently the swimmer under the most heat, after statements critical of Lochte that supported the innocence of Bentz and Feigen. Bentz released a statement earlier today, claiming that he never lied about the incident and that Lochte was the one who both pulled down a metal advertisement on a wall and yelled at the security guards.
And now, per the Washington Post, a Rio Police officer says Feigen told police he initially lied to protect Lochte. A few excerpts from that story:
Carregosa interviewed Feigen on Thursday night. The swimmer said he had initially lied to protect Ryan Lochte.
“He was very frightened,” Carregosa said. “He said he was very drunk and did not understand things properly. When he realized the day after [what had happened], he looked at the TV and he saw Ryan explaining on the TV.”
“He said he wanted to protect Ryan. He was scared of the repercussion,” Carregosa said. “He regretted everything that had happened.”
Carregosa described Lochte as the irresponsible ringleader of what police have described as acts of vandalism. At 32, Lochte was much older than the other three swimmers, who looked up to him, the officer said.
“For these three swimmers, Ryan is a reference, an icon,” he said. “If Ryan says jump of the bridge, they are going to jump. For a lack of maturity and his influence. They are very young.”
He said Feigen’s original testimony was much closer to the version of events that have now emerged, whereas Lochte’s was invented. “His version was pure fantasy,” Carregosa said.