Ryan Lochte and James Feigen, the two swimmers who initially spoke to police and told them they’d been robbed in a taxi, have officially been indicted by Rio police for falsely reporting a crime, O Globo is reporting. ABC News also confirmed the indictment.
Since Lochte first said he and several other swimmers were robbed at gunpoint, the attempts to verify that story have instead lead to more questions. One of latest developments today was a gas station owner said the swimmers peed on the station after being told to use the bathroom.
Now, what began as a story about a robbery has morphed into a matter of international legal intrigue, in which international sports leaders, a man dedicated to making “Jeah!” happen, and the Brazilian justice system are entangled.
We’ll update this post as more information becomes available.
Update, 7:35 P.M. EDT: The swimmers have apparently dug in their heels and are insistent that the police are lying.
Update, 8:01 p.m. EDT: ESPN now reports that Lochte and Feigen may not be formally indicted yet after all. They spoke with Rio police chief Fernando Veloso, who reiterated that they had not been robbed, and said that they will figure out whether or not to indict them after a full investigation:
“No robbery was committed against these athletes. They were not victims of the crimes they claimed,” Civil Police chief Fernando Veloso said during an afternoon news conference Thursday.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that police are merely “recommending” charges:
Brazilian police have recommended charging U.S. Olympic swimming champions Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen with giving false testimony, Brazilian TV said on Thursday, after authorities accused the pair of lying about being robbed at gunpoint.
O Globo’s most recent report also does not mention an indictment, and instead suggests that an investigation is underway.