RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The father of American swimmer Ryan Lochte said Wednesday his gold medal-winning son arrived back in the United States before a Brazilian judge ordered that Lochte and U.S. teammate Jimmy Feigen stay in Brazil as authorities investigate their claim they were robbed during the Olympics.
Steve Lochte told The Associated Press by phone from his Florida home that his son called him Tuesday after arriving in the United States. The 32-year-old swimmer was going to pick up his car and buy a new wallet to replace the one that he said was stolen in the robbery.
“I’m just happy he’s safe, ” the elder Lochte said. “It was an unfortunate experience for him and the other three. I don’t know what all the controversy is. They were basically taken out of the taxi and robbed. The main thing is he’s very lucky that he’s safe and that all they got was his cash and wallet.”
The elder Lochte said his son’s Olympic credential and cell phone weren’t taken during the incident early Sunday morning. He said he was sure Ryan had his passport or he would not have been allowed to board a plane.
Feigen’s whereabouts could not immediately be confirmed.
The office of Judge Keyla Blank confirmed the order to seize the passports of Lochte and Feigen in a statement Wednesday.
The U.S. Olympic Committee said police went to the athletes village Wednesday morning to try to collect the passports, but the swim team had already moved out.
“We will continue to cooperate with Brazilian authorities, ” Sandusky said.
The U.S. State Department issued a statement Wednesday encouraging those involved to cooperate with Brazilian law enforcement.
A USA Swimming spokesman and Lochte’s attorney, Jeff Ostrow, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Lochte and three of his teammates said they were robbed at gunpoint in a taxi Sunday morning as they returned to the athletes village from a party, several hours after the last Olympic swimming events were held.
Police have found little evidence so far to support their accounts, and say the swimmers were unable to provide key details in police interviews.
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