Today Shows No Signs of Damage at Bathroom U.S. Swimmers Are Accused of Vandalizing
Ryan Lochte previously claimed he was robbed during a night out, leading to an international incident
Authorities in Brazil claim that Ryan Lochte and three other Team U.S.A. swimmers vandalized a gas station during a night out in Rio last weekend, but Today says they couldn’t find any significant signs of damage when they visited the station.
In a Friday morning report, Today correspondent Keir Simmons visited the gas station that Lochte, Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen allegedly vandalized, leading to a confrontation with the gas station’s security that involved a gun being drawn and the swimmers handing over money for alleged damages.
While walking through the station, Simmons pointed to what appeared to be an advertisement that had been pulled off of a wall and walked to the bathroom door that one of the four men are accused of damaging. However, Simmons said he couldn’t see any signs of damage – meaning either the damages had been repaired before the NBC show arrived at the gas station or perhaps there were never any damages.
Photos released on Friday also showed no real signs of damage – but it is still unclear if the alleged vandalism had already been cleaned up.
As PEOPLE previously reported, sources on both sides of the incident agree that a security guard drew his gun on the swimmers and they were told to hand over money. However, while Lochte initially said he had been robbed, authorities say he and the other swimmers were asked to pay for damages that they allegedly caused to the gas station. As Today notes, it’s unclear if this was simply a case of miscommunication and misinterpretation.
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Earlier this week, a Brazilian judge asked that Lochte and the other swimmers remain in Brazil as they investigated their claims, but Lochte had already left the country. Feigen, Conger and Bentz were detained by authorities and Rio police claimed that they had recanted on their robbery story. Conger and Bentz, who had been pulled off their plane on Wednesday, arrived back in the United States early Friday morning while Feigen has reportedly agreed to donate $11,000 in restitution to an unspecified “institute” in order to be able to leave the country and drop the case.
On Thursday, the United States Olympic Committee released a statement apologizing to the people of Brazil for the scandal that the surrounded the four swimmers.
“The behavior of these athletes is not acceptable, nor does it represent the values of Team USA or the conduct of the vast majority of its members,” the USOC said. “We will further review the matter, and any potential consequences for the athletes, when we return to the United States.”
On Today on Friday, Bob Costas estimated that the unraveling of Lochte’s story could cost him potentially $11 million in endorsements.