Olympics: Brazil police pull US swimmers from flight in robbery probe

Police in Brazil says they may charge a group of US Olympic swimmers with vandalism and false testimony, accusing them of lying when they reported being robbed at gunpoint.
Three US Olympic swimmers have been ordered to remain in Brazil to answer questions about a robbery that happened over the weekend.
US swimmers Jack Conger (left) and Gunnar Bentz walk into a police office of Rio de Janeiro's international airport after they were stopped from boarding a flight to the United States following their participation in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug
US swimmers Jack Conger (left) and Gunnar Bentz walk into a police office of Rio de Janeiro's international airport after they were stopped from boarding a flight to the United States following their participation in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug 17.PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian police stopped three US Olympic swimmers from boarding a flight home on Wednesday (Aug 17) to question them about inconsistencies in their accounts of being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro, police sources said.

Federal police also want to question gold medallist Ryan Lochte, but he had already returned to the United States.

A Brazilian judge ordered police on Wednesday to seize the passports of Lochte and fellow gold medallist James Feigen so they could be questioned over their description of the robbery, which took place in the early hours of Sunday morning and also involved teammates Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger.

Lochte, 32, one of swimming's most decorated Olympians, had flown home already on Monday, a police spokesman said.

The other three men were stopped by police at Rio's international airport on Wednesday evening, one police source said.

A spokesman for the US Olympic Committee (Usoc) confirmed that Bentz and Conger were pulled from their flight.

"We can confirm that Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities," said Patrick Sandusky, Usoc spokesman. "We are gathering further information."

The police source said Feigen had been detained by police before he boarded the plane and was then taken for questioning along with the other two. There are no charges facing the three men, the source said.