USOC and USA Swimming Release Statements on Ryan Lochte Mess

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Editorial Coverage Sponsored By FINIS

United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun released a statement tonight in regard to the incident from early Sunday morning involving four U.S. Olympic swimmers, including Ryan Lochte.

“Two U.S. Olympic swimmers (Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger) have given statements to local authorities today regarding the incident first reported on Sunday, August 14, 2016. Their passports have been released and they recently departed Rio.  

“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 CEO Chuck Wielgus followed that up with a statement of his own.

“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.”

42 Comments

42 comments

  1. avatar
    Tony

    It’s always the same isn’t it?
    What they did was bad enough but they did get away with it once they’d paid for the damage.
    But to then go and lie about it, under oath and in this case for no reason whatsoever.
    You couldn’t make it up!

    • avatar
      Seymour

      The truth seems to be in the middle here. The athletes behaved badly, but the behavior of the “security guards”, Rio’s police, and the government is also troubling.

      1. The swimmers didn’t lie about the main piece of the story: they were held at gunpoint and “freed” of their money. In most parts of the world, that’s considered armed robbery. The fact that they were drunk idiots doesn’t negate that.
      2. The police seemed more interested in blaming the swimmers for the altercation than solving it. There are three minutes of video footage missing (since the video cuts out just as two men approach the cab, the footage would likely show the extent of the altercation). Also, there doesn’t appear to be any damage to the bathroom.
      3. The passports of two totally innocent parties were pulled and they were kept from leaving the country. The offenses at issue were misdemeanors, and yanking the passports of two witnesses to those is highly irregular.
      4. Feigen wasn’t allowed to leave the country until he paid a “donation” to a “charity”. In most places, that’s a bribe.

      • avatar
        A Former USA Swimming Coach

        mid·dle
        ˈmidl/Submit
        adjective
        1. at an equal distance from the extremities of something; central.

        Your interpretation of “middle” appears to be either woefully uninformed or willfully ignorant. The swimmers behaved criminally, and the security guards, police and government in Rio acted within legal scope of their respective positions within the borders of their country.

        1. The swimmers, unprompted it would seem, fabricated a story to cover up their illegal behavior in a foreign country which was hosting them as dignitaries of the USA in the Olympic Games. They were held at gunpoint by armed, professional security personnel likely acting within the boundaries of the legal rights and responsibilities granted them by their government when dealing with criminal activity on a private patrolled premises.

        2. The Rio police were not called to, or perhaps had not yet arrived to the scene of the criminal behavior of the swimmers. The police investigation seems to have begun with the false report of a robbery being filed by the swimmers. The swimmers seemingly could have been charged with a minimum of disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, public urination and vandalism, and perhaps even with indecent exposure, public lewdness, sexual harassment, public nuisance. The $50 paid to the gas station for the perceived damages seemingly may have settled the issue had the swimmers returned to their housing and left the matter alone, or come clean about the incident when/if approached by the police. Instead, they reported a false robbery; made false statements to police; instigated a frenzied media blitz; detracted from the competition and accomplishments of their fellow Olympians; insulted the host city of Rio and the country of Brazil, and shamed their own nation.

        3.The passports of two young men central to a high profile, globally sensationalised criminal investigation were held by the government of the country where a crime against visiting dignitaries was purportedly committed and where no corroborating evidence was forthcoming, pending further investigation and resolution of the issue at hand.

        4. Feigen’s “donation”, as you call it, was ordered by a court after a hearing regarding Feigen’s involvement in the incident. Such a payment would generally be considered restitution, reparation, or compensation.

      • avatar
        Tony

        Mr or Mrs Former USA Swimming Coach nailed it.
        Nuff respect!

  2. avatar
    John Cross

    By strutting around acting like an idiot, this Lochte moron has already brought disrepute to the US swimming team. Maybe that cannot be helped. Some athletes let their marginal talents go to their heads and you can only blame a brawn-obsessed macho “winners only matter” society for that. A lot of people felt he deserved to be robbed anyway. Now it turns out it was all a story he made up to cover-up stupid hi-jinks he and his drunk team-mates were up to? Sure, there is crime in Rio. So he makes up a story making it seem like Rio is an evil place and he is a hero, blah blah blah. This is WAY beyond any type of normal behavior. Not only does it show how narcissistic and vain this asshat is, it also shows a sociopathic streak. He is leaving the country, so what does he care? But he gets his “teammates” to go along and leaves them stuck in hot water. IF THIS GUY IS ALLOWED TO REMAIN ON THE US SWIMMING TEAM I WILL NO LONGER HAVE ANY RESPECT FOR THAT INSTITUTION. GET RID OF THE BUM.

    • avatar
      Jerry

      Hear, hear!

    • avatar
      Fernando Solimando

      As a half, Italian with colombian roots seasoned by living in Latin America, I could not agree more with Mr. Cross’ opinions. The US Olympic team and the US Swimminng Team need to realise that these polished statements are nowhere enough to atone in the eyes of the Brazilian People. And what I fear is that if they don’t quick and stong, the entire US Olympic team will pay the price of Ryan Lochte’s selfishness and malignant narcissism by getting the most horrible reception/booing/mobbing at the upcoming Closing Ceremony that will make Michel Temer’s jeers at the Opening Ceremony look like a “Care Bears” episode. The Gold Medal he won needs to be taken away from him. He committed a crime during the Olympic Games, and since it was a relay team event, unfortunately the three other medals needs to be returned as well. Lochte may need to face Justice in Brazil. He should have thought better before doing what he did.

      • avatar
        Seymour

        What???

        So in Brazil, the appropriate response to someone peeing in back of a building and pulling down a sign is to pull a gun on him and demand money??? In most places, that’s considered armed robbery. And no, it wouldn’t be justified in the US.

        If Brazil really needs armed “security guards” at their gas stations, then Brazil has bigger problems than Ryan Lotche.

      • avatar
        Carrie

        The exact point is that Brazil has bigger problems than Ryan Lochte. That’s why his misleading story of ‘I was just minding my own business and got robbed’ offended so many. Rio struggles with crime and poverty. As guests in a host country, Lochte (and possibly other teammates) chose to break the team code of conduct and get wasted in public. Those rules are for the athletes’ protection. Then, he brought the story to the media, seeking sympathy for the fear he experienced. Whether or not the security guards were shady doesn’t change Lochte as the instigator. Lochte’s teammate stated he was belligerent and begged security not to call the real police. That’s very telling. I understand he was scared. I also understand he went looking for trouble and found it.

    • avatar
      Robert U. Mulder

      Agreed. Lochte is a decade older than the younger swimmers he had in tow. He should be made an example of. Therefore, he should be banned from swimming on the USA team for life. Period.

      Also, the US media continues to misrepresent what the international media gets right. The local media’s aim is to support Lochte’s lies as much as possible. Some of the above statements by US Swimming are self-serving and not fully truthful.

      Upon discovery of the vandalism, Lochte and Feigen attempted to flee the SHELL gas station, requiring the security guards to draw their weapons. The four swimmers were detained to await the police, which had been called. That large gas station had other customers at 6 AM, who became witnesses, and have given their sworn statements to police. A local customer served as an interpreter and told the swimmers that the police were on their way. At that point, the four offered a small payment and were allowed to leave. THEY COULD HAVE WAITED FOR THE POLICE! (But why did they not?)

      As to the security guards also being police, lowly paid police will moonlight to increase their take home pay. What is wrong with that? They knew how and when to draw their guns.

      It is offensive to Brazilians that some Americans continue to believe that Brazil is a banana republic, and therefore Americans can act disrespectfully toward it. Of late, Brazilians much prefer to host European tourists, so no loss there. What goes around comes around! The US should expect fewer visitors from Brazil in the future as a result of incidents like these.

    • avatar
      Cheryl Pollock

      It seems some people just want to make excuses for bad behavior and might be talking without having all the facts. They did more than pee around the station and pull down a sign and yes both acts are illegal there and in the US.
      I think Ryan should be banned from the swimming team. He’s an embarrassment to Team USA!

  3. avatar

    A Code of Conduct has been mentioned. Lochte & Feigen should be indicted. Plus, those two, Bentz & Conger should all be kicked out of the USOC & Swimming. What they did is akin to cheating. This is why the term “Ugly American” was coined. There is no excuse for what all (4) of these Olympic athlete’s did.

  4. avatar
    Kim

    FINA should ban all 4 for x-years – they have disgraced themselves, the swimming community, and the Brazilian nation.

    • avatar
      Fernando Solimando

      I don’t get it.. The didn’t disgrace the Brazilian nation, they Disgraced USA. I think that’s what you meant, perhaps? 😉

  5. avatar
    Cfrench

    Lochte is the only person that lied on television. You can’t punish the swim team for his lie to US press. They paid for whatever damage to the security guards. At that moment the guards decided what his punishment should be and did not call the authorities. What they did was degrading but they would have gotten a couple of nights in jail for drunkard and disorderly and fine for any damages at best.

  6. avatar
    Karl

    Lochte and his friends were arrogant and disrespectful to an entire country. Lochte’s fabricated version on television (more than once) shows he is half demented. They got off easy, especially Lochte

  7. avatar
    Hannah

    It’s bad enough to have such behaviour in a foreing country, but even worse is to taint, to dirty the reputation of a country with lies taken out from a xenophobe manual (if I tell some brazilians robbed me, they will believe me” that’s the thinking of these guys. Deplorable).

  8. avatar
    Greg

    I am sure the swimmers feel embarrassed about what they have done and they have let their fellow team members down, whilst there actions are a little immature i am sure the stigma will be enough punishment on its own. Let the officials do there thing and then let it blow over….
    A silly mistake should not be a life sentence.

    • avatar
      Fernando Solimando

      Mr. Gre. I respectfully disagree, because there is a crime committed under Brazilian Criminal Code, which is filing a false police report. They crossed a line, and unfortunately this is what happens to Fallen Idols: The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

    • avatar
      RUM

      Lying under oath, in a matter of international import, is not a silly mistake in my book. Being drunk and disorderly, perhaps, but not at 31 years of age. Lochte should have been an example to the younger swimmers.

  9. avatar
    David Abineri

    It would have been good to hear the voices of these swimmers apologizing to Brasil, to Rio and to the swimming community for their actions before leaving Rio rather than the USOC and USA swimming statements made on their behalf.

    • avatar
      RUM

      A public televised apology by all four swimmers is warranted.

  10. avatar
    Loretta Woodson

    These swimmers would have gotten away with this and came back to the states laughing about this for years.
    They only got caught because Ryan felt like he needed to tell his mom the half truth and she told because she was worried about her son and reached out and told?
    This is hurtful to everyone in the USA but especially to our swim family as a whole.
    My son is 13 and a USA swimmer????‼️
    His 13th. Birthday gift was for him to go too the Olympic Trials to see the fastest swimmers in the USA and we had a blast meeting everyone.
    Ryan nor the other swimmers should get a pat on wrist because either 1 person ( Ryan ) made up the story and 3 backed him up they all supported this story until they were caught .
    Have they never heard the story that a lot of people in prison are there because of guilty by association.
    This has taken away from all the hard work that everyone has put in over the last 4 years.

  11. avatar
    Marge brown

    They hAve hurt the USA and US swimming by their conduct. They should be thrown out of the organization and not permitted to swim in the Olympics again. They should have known better and have hurt all other swimmers representing USA

  12. avatar
    Swim Grandpa

    The situation should be fully reviewed by USA Swimming. It is likely that some of the group should be suspended for a period of time to be determined. Consideration should be given to excluding them from any US International teams for some period of time.

    Lochte is a 32 year old adult, the same age as our son who swam through college, D3, and is now a responsible adult like most swimmers and former swimmers. The behavior that appears to have occurred here is stunningly inappropriate. Our grandchildren are now in swimming and I will show them Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel and others as role models not this group.

    I am less concerned that this gives swimming a black eye than I am with the behavior being swept under the rug, thus condoning it. There are consequences to inappropriate behavior and this group deserves to suffer such, as appropriate following an open and fact based review. “As you sow, so shall you reap”

  13. avatar
    Michael Ray

    From what I gather from Mr. Lochte’s statement, there may have been an issue with the language barrier during the incident. While that is no excuse for the group’s boorish behavior, I can see how they may not have understood that the men were actually paid security guards for the gas station. If men demanded money from any of us in a foreign country (at gun point) when we didn’t really understand what they were saying, we might have suspected that we too were being robbed. Nevertheless, Mr. Lochte should have returned to Rio to issue a public apology the IOC, the USOC, and the people of Brazil. It’s actually not too late for him to do so. I think it might be too harsh a penalty to ban him from competition for life or even claw back his medal (or medals) earned in the pool. I think he will ultimately pay dearly when his sponsors drop him like a hot potato. He will also likely be remember more for this incident than his accomplishments in the pool. When your name and legacy become irreparably tarnished, that is really difficult to deal with over the rest of your years on earth.

    • avatar
      Alessandra

      I imagine the store owner has another version of this: four drunken rowdy tourists show up at your gas station at dawn and demand to use your bathroom. You try, through the language barrier, to explain it is for customers only. They walk outside, piss on your building, then one them starts yanking things off the wall (I doubt an advertising sign was mounted in an inconspicuous place). You call the cops and tell the security guards to stop them. Drunken guys try to jump in cab to speed away, guards stop them. A random bilingual customer explains to the calm drunk guys that they need to pay for the damage they did or be arrested, while rowdiest drunk guy screams at guards, freaking them out. Two of the quiet ones hand over some cash to cover the damage and you let them leave. You think it’s done until you turn on the TV and find out that Rowdy Drunk has spun this into an international incident, where he is the victim and hero, in the media and with the FBI and IOC and you groan.

      The guard who never even tried to extort any money from the drunkards is portrayed as a corrupt thug. American Olympics authorities all jump in to rally behind their criminal swimmers, because there’s sponsor money at stake. No penalties are given to any of them – and they all exclaim what a corrupt country Brazil is.

  14. avatar
    Bill Jackson

    Marge Brown, above, was short and to the point. I think she nailed it. I will go further, and suggest, like others have, that these 4 are not WORTHY of a medal, and all their medals should be taken from them.

  15. avatar
    Al G

    lochte is a shameless liar that should have his medals stripped and put on a Perma Ban. He deserves no recognition as a USA Olympian athlete! Send him and his buddies back to Brazil so they can perform community service Cleaning Rio’s gas station lavatories using their toothbrushes. The world sees them as Gringo Idiots representing USA. Shame on US

  16. avatar
    Happy Belle

    I’m in the minority but I think the who thing got blown way out of proportion by the media. There are way more important issues happening in our world this week than this.
    For all you who disagree and want to comment , this is how I feel and I won’t be responding to your nasty comments!

    • avatar
      Carrie

      I agree that no one should leave a nasty comment. We can disagree respectfully.

  17. avatar
    Carrie

    Ryan Lochte’s and teammates’ false claims are not only ugly, they are newsworthy. In a news cycle of important events and international disasters, I understand why some are frustrated that his story gets top billing, but it still matters:

    Lochte’s actual apology, a long yet unspecific statement issued today shows little accountability. Lochte said he’s guilty of, “Not being careful and candid.” AKA lying? Making false statements is a punishable offense.

    As a large city, Rio faces its own challenges with areas of severe poverty. His cover up story disrespects a nation that struggles with real crime, and still manages to be a gracious host.

  18. avatar
    mikael v /Finland

    Im sry our wondering but is this kind of behaviour ”just” and normal partying style there in US? Pure vandalism and idiotism and then suffer the consequences (rightly) and then trying to blame and revenge an entire nation?

    • avatar
      Alessandra

      ” is this kind of behaviour ”just” and normal partying style there in US? ”

      Yes, very normal, very coddled and promoted as acceptable. However, as always, not everyone does it. The US has a huge drinking problem and it starts young. Furthermore, money talks above what is right or wrong – many parents and coaches are concerned about reputation and money, not character.

  19. avatar
    Alessandra

    my comments on Bentz’s statement: “2. I never made a false statement to anyone at any time.”

    I doubt it, but what this proves is that when he saw Lochte go on TV and falsely report a crime, he didn’t come forward to correct the record. He seconded the lie by his silence. Second, the four begged security not to call police after soiling and trashing the place.

    ” I am unsure why, … Ryan pulled to the ground a framed metal advertisement that was loosely anchored to the brick wall. I then suggested to everyone that we needed to leave the area and we returned to the taxi.”

    Here’s his accusation of vandalism having occurred – aside of soiling the place by peeing. And why indeed did Lochte tear the thing down? Maybe because he was on drugs, and not just alcohol?

    Third, what was reported is that Lochte made so much noise tearing the sign down that this was what called the attention of security. So that contradicts “the loosely anchored”.

    Fourth, they tried to leave before police arrived. And when security said they had to wait for police, they offered to pay for the damage they caused, settling with security right there.

    His statement omits connecting the damage they caused to offering to pay for it right away. He tries to spin it as if security just wanted to get some money out of them for nothing.

    And we can see the four coming out of a building in the video! Bentz says they urinated only outside. Was that the bathroom or some other kind of room?

  20. avatar
    Rodney

    Wow! you people have no sympathy, and you DON’T grasp that we in the U.S. are innocent till proven guilty…and not by foreign police, Rio magistrates, gas station videos, and social media. From all I have read, I feel fair to. Say Lochte career is Toast. He is older and should know better, but we in America treat our athletes as something more than regular human beings. And then when they believe they are super human and act as if nothing they do is wrong…we turn on them?!!! Get real, he was wrong on a lot of counts, but his vandalism was ripping up a shirt cardboard sign…POSSIBLY messing up a door handle & maybe urinating outside of the bathroom…..this brings GUNS a blazing???
    I really think we need to hear from all of them and until the whole truth surfaces…presume their innocence and assign stupidity and immaturity where it applies

    • avatar
      Rodney

      You are correct, but do you think that these guys was robbed by the fake police? They do not lie?

      • avatar
        mikael v /Finland

        Hymm..this reply of mine (You are correct, but do you think that these guys was robbed by the fake police? They do not lie?) coming with your name here…odd…

    • avatar
      Rodney

      It’s not your fault, because there’s a lot of guilty swimmers trying to spin this to blame others for their deeds, but you didn’t get the facts right. Imagine if you and three drunken buddies show up at a gas station or mall at dawn and demand to use the bathroom. It’s closed or blocked, so you walk outside, piss all over the building, then one of your buddies yanks things off the wall so loudly that it attracts security. Security is going to call the cops but you beg them not to because you know it’s going to get you in trouble. But since they’re dealing with drunk vandals, they tell you to cool it right there and stay put until police arrives. One of your buddies says, “Let’s get out of here,” and starts walking away. Security pulls out a gun and tells the four to stop. Another buddy offers to pay for the damage, and security calls manager. Manager is cool enough to not want to make a big deal of the incident and tells security to accept the offer.

      Then you go on international TV and say you were robbed at gun point by corrupt police.

      That’s what these four jerks did.

  21. avatar

    So for equity sake as many on this thread would support based on their comments: let’s kick every swimmer out of the sport that does something stupid along with anyone near him or associated with him at that time. Additionally, let’s take the medals of any teammates on any race away with him. How asinine…If the fanatics on this chat had there way every international swimmer from every country would be banned and in jail. I’ve personally been in FINA meets in Europe where half-of the Brazilians deck-changed in front of the whole crowd. There is not only a ban on that, but also an indecent exposure law that we were all warned about before the meet. So should all of those people who flashed the entire crowd “illegally” and to the disgust of women and children be sanctioned, put in jail, and not allowed to swim any longer? Of course not. They take whatever is handed down, and life goes on. A whole chat does not make disparaging and bigoted stereotyped comments about them and call for them to clean the deck with toothbrushes along with be fined thousands of dollars? That would be idiotic…as are the prejudiced comments above. Should every person on the Brazil team at this FINA meet have been pulled off of their plane; held at gunpoint and in the country for two days against their will with no charges while a mob with pitchforks berates them? Should all of their team’s medals taken away because they were there at the meet on the same team during the “illegal” deck change that embarrassed the host and disgusted everyone there? Should the hosts and law enforcement make sure they were all (including every teammate present) be banned from the sport or sanctioned just because they were present and did not report the “crime”? Of course not. That would be stupid; just as the overblown response and call for execution here is.

    Lochte was drunk and stupid, pulled a metal sign off the wall and made a bunch of noise, and deserves what he gets; but this is not a capital offense just as the crime of indecent exposure was not. Feigen, although a loyal teammate, was an idiot for backing Lochte’s story in an official claim. He’s made his restitution and will have to deal with other consequences from the governing body because this whole thing was overblown by Lochte. Feigen’s crime was loyalty and filing a false claim – that’s it.

    Conger’s and Bentz’s only offense was being there. They never made a claim of robbery, lied, broke any law, or backed Lochte. For that, they had guns pulled on them, were terrified for their life, all for a 200real metal sign that was damaged. That’s insanity and is third world vigilante justice. On top of that, they were yanked off of an airplane with no charges as “witnesses.” That’s not how the judicial system in a developed country system behaves. Should the Europeans have done this to the entire Brazilian team for illegal indecent exposure? I know Conger and Bentz and know their character. It is above reproach; but they were blown away because someone that they considered a hero that they got to know after Trials and at training camp actually asked them to go out with him. For that everyone here wants their heads. If that is the case, all of those swimmers at the FINA meet should have equal sanctions…and that would be ridiculous as are many of these comments that are actually ignorant of the facts. I know that this will start a firestorm of those saying it is “not the same thing” and calling me names. Please look in the mirror first as I will not post again.

    • avatar
      Alessandra

      So much baloney in your comment!

      “Conger’s and Bentz’s only offense was being there. They never made a claim of robbery, lied, broke any law, or backed Lochte. For that, they had guns pulled on them, were terrified for their life, all for a 200real metal sign that was damaged. That’s insanity and is third world vigilante justice. On top of that, they were yanked off of an airplane with no charges as “witnesses.” That’s not how the judicial system in a developed country system behaves.”

      You’re quite wrong. First of all, let me say that I also think that apparently Conger and Bentz weren’t as bad as Lochte at the site – but who knows how each of them exactly behaved in that bathroom/gas station? To their credit, it seems they were the ones who told Lochte to sit down and shut up instead of escalating the verbal attacks at the security guards doing their job handling four drunk American jerks peeing all over the place and trashing the bathroom.

      However, when Lochte went on national TV and told a gigantic and damaging lie – what did the three other idiots do? Did any of them step forward and tell the truth? No. Furthermore Bentz tweeted that he was thanking the support of his fans and his gold medal was safe (despite the horrible crime that never took place).

      I’m very happy security had guns and did a magnificent job holding the four idiots there at the station, or they would have soiled it and trashed it and then just hailed a cab. That is in fact what the four drunkards tried to do, but failed.

      And the fact that they got scared is wonderful too – it seems never in their lives have they had to behave as adults and face the real world and this was a very nice lesson. I think they should be seriously punished but ultimately allowed to swim again.

      The only reason they had to be yanked off the plane is because US officials were colluding with them trying to hide them from police. When you are a witness in a crime investigation, police have the right to call you in for questioning – and this is a legal feature of civilized countries like Brazil.

      It’s obvious that when the police investigation started, they contacted US officials to locate the swimmers, and US officials did not produce them. It seems character problems are not limited to the four jerks but includes people higher up.

      And lastly, someday, I’d like to see an explanation as to why USOC and Lochte’s coach first emphatically denied he was robbed, but then did a complete turn around and supported Lochte’s whopper. There’s more to this story than is being told.

      In any case, this was a great lesson for all ignorant, racist Americans who think they can trash things in other countries because they assume they don’t have laws and police. It was a great display of how uncivilized Americans like yourself are and how civilized the Brazilians involved in this case were.

    • avatar
      Swimdad

      Swimmingfly, I am a USA Swimming official. If during the meet, swimmers violate a rule or code of conduct, they are disqualified from the meet. In your example, if the officials did not respond to the violations, either it was not a violation, it is common practice in Europe, the officials didn’t see it, or they just ignored it. But whatever the case, you should have informed your coach, who should then inform the officials. Though I do not know the code of conduct for Brazilian swimmers, I do know the USA Swimming code of conduct for our swimmers and it does not include public drunkenness, public vandalism, false reporting of a criminal act, and gross misconduct while representing the our country on foreign soil. And rules aside, is Ryan Lochte; a noted hard partier; dye my hair to shock the world; all attention on me type personality; now a known repeated liar with disregard to everyone but himself- the type of person you want resenting the United States of America in the future? I’ll take the like of Katie Ledecky

Author: David Rieder

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David Rieder is a staff writer for Swimming World. He has contributed to the magazine and website since 2009, and he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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