USOC CEO Scott Blackmun has confirmed Ryan Lochte and three other US swimmers who claimed they were robbed will face disciplinary action.
Scott Blackmun, head of the United States Olympic Committee told NBC Olympics yesterday, the 4 swimmers at the center of the RIO scandal will face further action.
With a punishment yet to be decided for the swimmers, Blackmun expressed his disappointment in the athletes’ conduct saying, “they let down Americans.”
While the USOC needs to wait for the dust to settle in RIO and to fully understand the situation, the swimmers could face lengthy suspensions from professional swimming.
In 2014, the United State’s most decorated swimmer, Michael Phelps was suspended from the sport for 6 months. While conduct-endangering life is considered extremely serious, any lengthier suspensions would be unlikely at this point. That is of course if the USOC decides not to make an example of the elite athletes. Given the media attention and embarrassment caused, lengthier restrictions could indeed be handed down.
In a television interview with NBC on Saturday, Lochte stuck by his story as having “over-exaggerated” in his police report. Almost a carbon copy of his statement issued over Twitter, the swimmer still claims he didn’t outright lie to police. Lochte told NBC’s Matt Lauer, “I left details out, and that’s why I’m in this mess.” A far cry from admitting he fabricated the events that took place.
Originally claimed to be a robbery by Lochte, the 4 athletes were asked by service station security guards to make reparations for damaging the bathroom and urinating on the side of the building. It was admitted later by Lochte that he was drunk at the time of reporting the incident.
Only after reviewing video footage and fully taking stock of the situation, including interviewing service station attendants, did authorities know something was amiss. Only after pulling the athletes off an outbound flight for further questioning, did they admit they weren’t actually mugged at gunpoint.
Lochte and Feigan are now indicted on charges for falsifying a police report. Lochte was able to exit the country before the charges were laid. His teammate, Feigan, has been forced to donate $10,800 to a Brazilian charity in order to escape charges.
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