Lochtegate: How the lies unravelled

Jack Conger (left) and Gunnar Bentz prepare to board a flight back home on Thursday, after being interrogated by police in Rio de Janeiro.
Jack Conger (left) and Gunnar Bentz prepare to board a flight back home on Thursday, after being interrogated by police in Rio de Janeiro.PHOTO: REUTERS

August 14

WHAT LOCHTE SAYS

Shortly after 9am, initial reports of Ryan Lochte being held at gunpoint begin to surface.

His mother Ileana confirms to USA Today that Lochte and his team-mates were held up by men impersonating police officers and robbed of their wallets.

Lochte tells NBC that one of the men pulled out a gun and put it to his forehead and he handed over his wallet.

At 5.57pm, he tweets a message thanking people for their support.

WHAT HAPPENED

One hour later, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) director of communications, Mark Adams, flatly denies Lochte's story, saying it's simply "not true".

The US Olympic Committee (USOC) names the other swimmers involved in the incident: Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen.


August 16

WHAT LOCHTE SAYS

Lochte flies home. His lawyer confirms he is cooperating with authorities.

WHAT HAPPENED

Police struggle to find any details that support the allegations. They say they were not contacted by the swimmers and it was only after reading media stories that the officers began investigating.


August 17

WHAT LOCHTE SAYS

At night, Lochte changes parts of his story. He says the robber only pointed the gun at him.

WHAT HAPPENED

A Brazilian judge orders the seizure of Lochte and Feigen's passports as doubts about the story develop. Police officers visit the Games Village, but the swimmers cannot be found.

Later that evening, Conger and Bentz are detained at Rio airport. They are barred from leaving Brazil until they testify fully.

The Daily Mail releases video footage of the swimmers returning to the Village early on Aug 14.


August 18

WHAT HAPPENED

Brazilian authorities say Lochte fabricated the story. They reveal that the four athletes broke into a bathroom at a petrol station close to the Olympic venues and paid for the damages after a slight confrontation with the guard. O Globo releases footage of the video.

The USOC apologises for the behaviour of its swimmers.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2016, with the headline 'Lochtegate: How the lies unravelled'. Print Edition | Subscribe