2 US swimmers pulled off plane in Rio over questions in robbery
Thursday - 18/08/2016 12:22
The US Olympic Committee said the robbery occurred after the athletes left a party at the French hospitality house.
Rio de Janeiro (CNN) - American Olympic swimmers Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were pulled off their flight from Rio de Janeiro to the United States overnight and had their passports seized as muddled accounts of a reported robbery involving the athletes spiral into a diplomatic matter.
The two men and fellow US swimmers Ryan Lochte and James Feigen reported being robbed at gunpoint early Sunday in a taxi bound for the Olympic Village by individuals posing as armed police officers, the US Olympic Committee said.
But a series of conflicting accounts by the athletes and authorities since then has caused confusion and turned the event into a diplomatic issue involving consular officials, lawyers, judicial orders to confiscate passports and the removal of athletes from a flight.
The twists and turns in the case also threaten to overshadow the Olympic Games as they draw to a close.
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The US committee told CNN that Brazilian authorities had removed the swimmers from the plane Wednesday night for questioning about the robbery. It said they had been released, with the understanding they would discuss the incident Thursday.
Brazilian authorities said they have questions about what happened that night and have concerns over inconsistencies in the accounts of the events.
A Brazilian police source close to members of the investigation say that police in Rio believe there was no robbery.
An attorney for Lochte, Jeff Ostrow, brushed off suggestions of conflicting stories, saying the four swimmers' accounts "are 95 percent consistent."
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