U.S. swimmers pulled off plane as Brazilian authorities investigate robbery claims

Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger were with Ryan Lochte during alleged robbery.

Two American swimmers who were with teammate Ryan Lochte when he was allegedly robbed at gunpoint several days ago were pulled off their plane at Rio’s airport Wednesday evening and are reportedly being detained by Brazilian authorities.

According to news broken by NBC National Correspondent Peter Alexander, and since corroborated by several news sources and the U.S. Olympic Committee, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger are being held for questioning as authorities investigate their claims of a holdup.

Earlier Wednesday, a Brazilian judge ordered that Lochte and teammate Jimmy Feigen, a fourth alleged victim, stay in Brazil as authorities continue their probe. However, Lochte’s father said Wednesday that his gold medal-winning son had arrived back in the United States on Tuesday, before the edict.

Feigen’s whereabouts could not immediately be confirmed, though he told the San Antonio Express-News he was still in Brazil.

Feigen was reportedly scheduled to be on the same flight as Bentz and Conger but did not show up to the airport.

The U.S. Olympic Committee said police went to the athletes village Wednesday morning to try to collect Lochte’s and Feigen’s passports, but the swim team had already moved out.

“We will continue to cooperate with Brazilian authorities,” spokesman Patrick Sandusky said.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement Wednesday encouraging those involved to cooperate with Brazilian law enforcement.

Word of the robbery initially created confusion between Olympic and U.S. officials. An International Olympic Committee spokesman at first said reports of the robbery were “absolutely not true,” then reversed himself, apologized and said he was relying on initial information from the USOC that was wrong.

Lochte told USA Today that he and his teammates didn’t initially tell the U.S. Olympic officials about the robbery “because we were afraid we’d get in trouble.”

Content from the Associated Press was used in this report

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