USOC Gives Statement on Lochte Incident; Bentz & Conger Have Left Rio

According to the United States Olympic Committee‘s official statement released at 11:19 Brazil time on Thursday night, the Rio authorities have released Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger‘s passports, and the two have left the country.

Jimmy Feigen has revised his statement, hoping to have his passport released soon.

The USOC has not yet seen Bentz and Conger’s statements regarding the incident on Sunday morning, but, having collaborated with the U.S. Consulate in Rio and watched the security footage, the USOC has pieced together the events of the night.

“As we understand it, the four athletes (Bentz, Conger, Feigen and Ryan Lochte) left France House early in the morning of August 14 in a taxi headed to the Olympic Village,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun“They stopped at a gas station to use the restroom, where one of the athletes committed an act of vandalism. An argument ensued between the athletes and two armed gas station security staff, who displayed their weapons, ordered the athletes from their vehicle and demanded the athletes provide a monetary payment. Once the security officials received money from the athletes, the athletes were allowed to leave.”

The statement assures that the athletes’ behavior is “not acceptable,” and the U.S. Olympic Committee will further review “any potential consequences for the athletes” upon its return to the United States.

See the full statement below:

Two U.S. Olympic swimmers (Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger) have given statements to local authorities today regarding the incident first reported on Sunday, August 14, 2016. Their passports have been released and they recently departed Rio.  
 
After providing a statement earlier in the week, a third (James Feigen) provided a revised statement this evening with the hope of securing the release of his passport as soon as possible. 
 
Working in collaboration with the U.S. Consulate in Rio, we have coordinated the athletes’ cooperation with local authorities and ensured their safety throughout the process, but we have not seen the full statements provided by Bentz and Conger.
 
However, we understand that they describe the events that many have seen on surveillance video made publicly available today. As we understand it, the four athletes (Bentz, Conger, Feigen and Ryan Lochte) left France House early in the morning of August 14 in a taxi headed to the Olympic Village. They stopped at a gas station to use the restroom, where one of the athletes committed an act of vandalism. An argument ensued between the athletes and two armed gas station security staff, who displayed their weapons, ordered the athletes from their vehicle and demanded the athletes provide a monetary payment. Once the security officials received money from the athletes, the athletes were allowed to leave.
 
The behavior of these athletes is not acceptable, nor does it represent the values of Team USA or the conduct of the vast majority of its members. We will further review the matter, and any potential consequences for the athletes, when we return to the United States. 
 
On behalf of the United States Olympic Committee, we apologize to our hosts in Rio and the people of Brazil for this distracting ordeal in the midst of what should rightly be a celebration of excellence.
 
With three days remaining in the Olympic Games, our primary focus will remain on supporting the athletes who are still competing and celebrating the achievements of those who have finished.

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199 Comments on "USOC Gives Statement on Lochte Incident; Bentz & Conger Have Left Rio"

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Brute Bradford

What the armed security guards did was not legal under Brazilian law. Neither is vandalism, but it doesn’t justify the response. I’d like to know who committed vandalism. I’d like the full truth brought to light.

Brute Bradford

Why would Feigen say that Lochte invented the robbery to get media attention, if in fact Feign said that? To get his passport back and get the hell out of Brazil.

Are you Ryan Lochte?

Brute Bradford

No, just someone interested in truth who hates bullies and corruption and media distortions.

In all seriousness; he created the situation. From whatever happened that night to where we are now, bad judgement has run a rampant on all sides. I can also understand why he is being portrayed so poorly. Whether he misrepresented what happened or in the heat of the moment believed he was being robbed: don’t know. But what I do know is he got out of town real quick and left 3 guys hanging, 2 of which are college kids. Don’t know if he was scheduled to leave when he did or not, but that doesn’t sit well with me (just my opinion). And of course now he’s doing what some think in hindsight he should have done in the… Read more »

“But what I do know is he got out of town real quick”

Someone at swimvortex mentioned Lochte has the fastest reaction time of any US swimmer.

Conger get shafted, again.

CROOKED HILLARY

Do we know if he “left” them? Did he make travel arrangements that day, thereby cancelling his original flight or was that just the flight he had going out all the time? You act as if the the 3 of them called for backup while under attack but no one sent any and then he went home blaming it on a video.

Call Me Herb

Call for backup, get no reinforcements, then have the whole thing blamed on a video? Sounds like Benghazi to me! It and Rio really are on the same level. Both are as dumpy as it gets. India would’ve been a more competent host, cows and all.

For what it’s worth, and I have no idea if Lochte would have offered, but NCAA rules would have prohibited Locate from helping Bentz or Conger financially to get them out of Brazil.

Scott Morgan

Doubtful. Ryan is unable to formulate complete sentences.

Attila the Hunt

LOL.
Best comment ever!
It would have been funny if it were not so true, now it’s just painful.

Why is Lochte is apologizing? He is a victim of a robbery. How many robbery victims do you know apologize for a crime committed against them?

Well, how can you judge if it is legal or not without having all the details?
The facts is that they were clearly intoxicated (they admitted that) and that at least one swimmer commited vandalism. It’s easy for you to say in hindsight, that the response was not justified.

Scott Morgan

There you have it folks: Ryan Lochte, liar and poor teammate: national embarrassment.

I’m sure this won’t be well received at the moment, but is it really wise to judge somebody by the worst decision they (probably) ever made or will make?

Attila the Hunt

We are not judging him.
We are only articulating and verbalizing what he has been doing in the past few days.

To put it in your preferred parlance, that is not a FACT.

Attila the Hunt

That he is a liar and poor teammate in the past few days?

FACT.

Yes, and I’m sure you have never told a lie, nor been anything other than an exemplary team member. But the fact that he is famous and what he did and said is replayed and regurgitated in various media outlets around the world somehow makes him an awful human being that you, for some reason, take an inordinate amount of pleasure in harping on about in every story posted on the subject. These are also FACTS. I question the motive. Surely you understand you are doing nothing of any real consequence?

Attila the Hunt

Nice argument you had there.

Lochte lied again and again and has been a bad team mate in the past few days.

FACT.

I don’t know if you know this, but we are not currently in your high school debate seminar. What do you think you are accomplishing right now?

Attila the Hunt

And what are you accomplishing by continually defending Lochte’s lies?

I’m not, and haven’t been since it became clear my first impression was mistaken. But you’re deflecting my question. Why is this so all-consumingly important to you?

Attila the Hunt

This is so all-consumingly important to me?
Have you asked the same question to yourself?

You know what? I apologize to high school children everywhere. You have reached “I know you are but what am I territory” and even high school kids are better than that

Scott Morgan

Wise? Not sure how wisdom has much to do with stating my contempt for those who inflate and distort the truth about being somehow victimized. I find dishonorable people who betray their teammates to be quite terrible, in spite of the wisdom of these beliefs or lack thereof.

Yeah idk what I was expecting

This is not a kid, in college…..It is a 32 year old dude, that acts like a spoiled teenager…..who still lies to mommy…and cant barely complete a full sentence…with the whole world watching……Give me a break….I feel bad for the young one…..Lochte? Sorry…..Dude is a liar and an embarrassment to US swimming.

Perfectly stated. Couldn’t have articulated it better.

Yep. But we glorified a guy with two DUI convictions, the last one of which he plea-sealed out of a one year jail sentence, to the point that we had him carry the flag at the opening ceremony. Sorry, but this boneheaded move by Lochte is nothing compared to even Phelps’ first DUI. He hasn’t even been charged with a crime. Only the Brazilian “indiciamento” —- a “preliminary conclusion of the investigation by police,” after which prosecutors decide whether to pursue charges and a judge decides whether to validate the case.

Well put. It is absurd that a 32 year old still has to lie to his mother. And if he hadn’t lied to mommy, this whole thing wouldn’t have become the media spectacle it has become. What’s with the vandalism anyway? A release of energy? Fun? It’s so immature, disrespectful and then cowardly to lie about it. It is also infuriating that this news is stealing so much time from Olympic coverage.

This story would have never been a story if Mrs. Lochte never alerted the news…Ryan called his mom after a long night with some exaggerations and then went to bed….if this hasn’t happened to you then you live in a different world and should probably go to a different website…

Sure….when we were 20…..when you are 32 and still doing things the way you did when you were 19? Give me a break….

Attila the Hunt

Except that any responsible and honorable adult would have done the right thing:
Clarify to the media that the robbery did not happen and that there was some miscommunication with his mum.

Lochte did the opposite: appearing on the international media about how he stared we down the robber who cock the gun on his head.

Right. And Phelps carried the flag in the opening ceremony, so I guess he’s your model of a responsible and honorable adult. This bonehead move by Lochte or even Efrimova meldonium intake pale in comparison to two DUI convictions. I don’t recall that you went on a cyberbullying shaming rant as you have about Lochte (and not just Lochte, you called all 4 guys “lying punks”) for Phelps after his first or second DUI. I’m sure you never praised him once on the comment boards here during the Rio games, and only reminded people how he let his teammates down by missing Worlds, shamed his family, coaches, and country (as you’ve said 10000 times about Lochte), and endangered people by… Read more »

What Phelps did was wrong. Period. I don’t think anyone will disagree with that. However, Phelps came onto the news admitting that he made a mistake, apologized for his behavior, and then sought treatment for alcohol abuse. Ryan has not admitted any wrong doing and lied to the public. If he comes out with a genuine apology and a plan for retribution to the gas station and his team, maybe he deserves the defense. Right now, he is behaving like a child and people are enabling that behavior.

And then he did it again, right?

Attila the Hunt

Phelps?
Cyberbullying?
manic Efimova?

for responding to “what an honorable and responsible adult would have done”?
Are you Ok, doc?

Read: “A robbery may or may not have happened in this instance. But we have to say something, and U.S. athletes should not consume alcohol. Especially at France House, where Germans are still given free rein to march in the shade.

It is clear Rio has no clue about security or sanitation. Only three days until we can get the entire U.S. Delegation out of this third world country.”

Brute Bradford

Yes, Marge. “And we’re desperate to get out athletes out of this country unscathed, so we are kissing the rings of the Brazilian organizers until we all get back to the U.S.”

You and Brute is part of the reason why the world hates us…..Every country not named the USA is a 3rd world country…..Have you ever got out of Alabama? Geez…..Did you know Brazil is the 8th or 9th largest Economy in the world? Sure it is not the US, but it is not like these games are being held in the CONGO…..

You and Brute *are

Brazil dumps raw sewage into their bays and beaches; their government is beyond corrupt. Alabama is considered cosmopolitan in comparison. Auburn excluded, obviously.

Marge, before you wax all-knowingly about the glorious reputation of our country – as wonderful as it truly is – please comment on Flint, Michigan’s water quality, Benghazi or something more recent like the PA Attorney General’s recent conviction. Our political class these days rivals most of other countries for their ability to race to the bottom. And if you’re relying on your understanding of Brazil by mainstream media accounts then you probably need to think twice about information sources. Spend a couple of weeks down here, as I am doing for these Games, and you might think otherwise.

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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