U.S. gold medal swimmer Ryan Lochte was robbed in a taxi hold-up in Rio de Janeiro after leaving a party where he had been celebrating the end of the Olympic swimming programme, he told fellow competitor Thiago Pereira.
A spokesman for Brazilian Pereira told Reuters on Sunday Pereira had called Lochte after hearing reports the U.S. swimmer had been the victim of a gun-point robbery the night before.
“Thiago and his wife went yesterday night to a birthday party for a common friend with Lochte in the France House,” the spokesman said.
“He parted ways with Lochte when he returned to his hotel with his wife.
“Today in the morning he received the news about Lochte’s incident, so he called him and Lochte told him he was fine and said the taxi he was in got robbed.”
The International Olympic Committee confirmed the incident after the United States Olympic Committee initially told the Olympic ruling body the story was false. The USOC is expected to issue a statement on the matter.
Lochte’s mother said the swimmer was unharmed but was shaken by the incident.
“I think they’re all shaken up. There were a few of them,” Ileana Lochte told USA Today. “No, they were just, they just took their wallets and basically that was it.”
It was not immediately clear if a firearm had been used in the robbery.