U.S. Olympic Swimmers Jack Conger & Gunnar Bentz Detained at Rio Airport Amid Ryan Lochte Robbery Probe

Olympians were "removed from their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities" for questioning

By Bruna Nessif Aug 18, 2016 3:42 AMTags

UPDATE: Patrick Sandusky, United States Olympic Committee spokesperson, released the following statement to E! News regarding tonight's airport incident:

"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. We will continue to provide updated information as it is appropriate."


E! News has confirmed that two U.S. Olympic swimmers have been detained by authorities while attempting to leave the Rio Games in Brazil, and are currently being questioned in connection to the alleged robbery involving fellow Olympian swimmers Ryan Lochte and James Feigen.

United States Olympic Committee spokesperson Patrick Sandusky tells E! News, "We can confirm that Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities. We are gathering further information."

NBC reports that Bentz and Conger were in their seats on the plane when they were removed shortly before takeoff. The report continues to state that the two Olympians are being held at the airport but are being treated well and cordially, and authorities have indicated they don't want to hold the swimmers long, but want to gain some information on what happened during the alleged robbery (especially since there seems to be conflicting reports).

5 Things to Know About James Feigen: Ryan Lochte's Teammate at the Center of Rio Robbing Scandal
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On Sunday night, the four swimmers said they were robbed at gunpoint after a night out in Rio by men who posed as officers.

Lochte told Today's Billy Bush, "We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over. They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground—they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn't do anything wrong, so I'm not getting down on the ground."

The case took an interesting turn, however, when police found no evidence to support Lochte's claim, which led to a Brazilian judge ordering seizures of their passports.

E! News obtained a statement from the Rio de Janeiro court earlier today, which said Judge Keyla Blanc De Cnop, the Special Court of the Fan and Major Events, found inconsistencies in the swimmers' testimonies about the amount of robbers involved in the incident.

Lochte reportedly said they were only robbed by one culprit, while Feigen said there were multiple people involved. Furthermore, the judge highlighted the men's "attitude" as they passed through security after the alleged stickup, which was captured by security cameras.

Bentz and Conger were not named by the Brazilian judge who wanted Lochte and Feigen's passports seized, but now they are reportedly in limbo.

Authorities said the swimmers did not call police, and officials only began investigating after seeing media reports in which Lochte's mother had discussed the robbery. Police interviewed Lochte and one other swimmer, who said they had been intoxicated and could not recall details about the taxi they were driven in, or where the robbery happened. The athletes could not say what time the events occurred, or when they left the French House.

Legal expert Troy Slaten tells E! News, "If, and that's a big 'if,' Lochte is convicted of 'making any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation' to the FBI, then he faces up to 5 years in federal prison...The FBI takes lies very very seriously."

Slaten adds, "I doubt there would be a trial unless he wanted to fight it all the way. There would likely be a deal."

Athletes Crying at the 2016 Rio Olympics