American swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger have left Rio after testifying about claims they were robbed after a late night of partying, according to the United States Olympic Committee.
Police have said the story was a lie, and that Bentz, Conger and two other U.S. swimmers, including Ryan Lochte, vandalized a gas station. Bentz and Conger told police that they felt Lochte had lied about the situation in media interviews, according to text of the statements released by Rio police.
Associated Press journalists saw Bentz and Conger checking in late Thursday for a flight leaving the country. They were whisked through security and did not have to wait in line.
"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."
USA Swimming also released a recent statement:
“The last five days have been difficult for our USA Swimming and United States Olympic families. While we are thankful our athletes are safe, we do not condone the lapse in judgement and conduct that led us to this point. It is not representative of what is expected as Olympians, as Americans, as swimmers and as individuals.
“That this is drawing attention away from Team USA’s incredible accomplishments in the water and by other athletes across the Olympic Games is upsetting. The athletes and their remarkable stories should be the focus.
“We’re extremely thankful of the support and efforts from the USOC, Department of State and U.S. Consulate General throughout this process. USA Swimming will undergo a thorough review of the incident and determine any further actions, per our Code of Conduct.”