Mystery surrounds this week’s reported hold-up of US swimming champ Ryan Lochte, after news that Brazilian police are searching for Lochte and team mate James Feigen after conflicting accounts of the incident.
A judge on Wednesday (local time) issued an order preventing Lochte and Feigen from leaving the country until they clarified their accounts of how they were robbed at gunpoint.
But after completing checks at Rio’s international airport, Brazil’s federal police said Lochte was thought to have already left Brazil.
US media claimed that Lochte, who won a gold medal with the US relay team and is the second-most medalled Olympic swimmer after Michael Phelps, saying the swimmer had already returned to the US.
— Ryan Lochte (@RyanLochte) August 14, 2016
While Lochte was reported to have returned to the U.S, Feigen’s whereabouts aren’t known.
The USOC wouldn’t confirm the athletes’ location, but Lochte’s father told media his son was in the U.S.
Jeff Ostrow, Lochte’s U.S.-based attorney, didn’t return calls, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Feigen, however, was quoted by the San Antonio Express-News as saying that he was still in Rio de Janeiro, but that he refused to comment further.
A US Olympic Committee (USOC) spokesman said police had arrived at the Athletes’ Village on Wednesday and asked to meet the swimmers and collect their passports to collect more testimony.
However, Olympic officials have said police are still looking for key witnesses, including the driver of the cab the swimmers said they had been in.
The office of Judge Keyla Blanc de Cnop, of Brazil’s Special Tribunal for Fans and Major Events, said they were examining “possible inconsistencies in the swimmers’ stories”, including different accounts of the number of assailants there were, and the swimmers’ seemingly casual behaviour reportedly caught on security cameras, as they returned to their hotel after the robbery.
“It’s noticeable that the victims arrived back physically and mentally unshaken, even joking with each other,” the judge said.