IOC sets up disciplinary commission for four US swimmers

The International Olympic Committee has set up a disciplinary commission for United States swimmer Ryan Lochte and his three teammates after they were found to have lied about an armed robbery during the Rio Olympics.

Gunnar Bentz (front) and Jack Conger, members of the US swimming team, leave a police station in Rio on Thursday after being interrogated.   -  AP

The International Olympic Committee has set up a disciplinary commission for United States swimmer Ryan Lochte and his three teammates after they were found to have lied about an armed robbery during the Rio Olympics, an IOC official told Reuters on Friday.

The commission will investigate the affair and could sanction the athletes if they considered their behaviour violated the Olympic charter in some way. The 32-year-old Lochte, one of America's most decorated swimmers, had originally said that he, Jimmy Feigen and two other teammates - Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger - were stopped in a taxi on the way back from a party by gunmen posing as police who stole $400 from them.

>Read: Give Lochte a break, urges Olympic official

The story turned out not to be true and Lochte >apologised earlier on Friday.

The US Olympic Committee (USOC) denied a CNN report that Lochte would be suspended by USA Swimming and USOC for allegedly lying about being held up at gunpoint on their way back to the athletes' village following a night out in Rio. “It's absolutely not true,” USOC spokesman Mark Jones said of the report, which was based on unnamed sources.

>Read: Rio incident cuts short Ryan Lochte's commercial victory lap

Police said that instead of being robbed, one of the swimmers had vandalised a petrol station after the group stopped the taxi there to use a bathroom. The swimmers started an argument with staff at the station, who demanded payment for the damage, police added.

>Read: US swimmers accused of false testimony

Lochte issued an apology on Friday and Feigen agreed to pay 35,000 reais ($11,000) to a charity. The story has been a major source of embarrassment for the US Olympic team which itself apologised to organisers for the swimmers' behaviour.

Lochte, who flew to the United States the day after Sunday's incident, said he should have been more careful and candid in his account but said it had been traumatic to have a man point a gun at him in a foreign country and demand money.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.