Following the alleged robbery of Ryan Lochte and U.S. Swim Team members Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, people are now scrutinizing the reaction of their other teammate, Michael Phelps.
During his final interview in Rio de Janeiro before heading back to the U.S., Olympic gold medalist Phelps was asked about the supposed robbery involving his other teammates. Refusing not to issue any statement on the subject, a representative from Team USA joined Phelps during the interview and told the media to refer to a press release issued by USA Swimming regarding the incident.
Nonetheless, according to a report from Sporting News, Phelps ended up getting asked about Lochte’s robbery story. At which point, Phelps said he had no idea about what happened even if his press conference occurred more than 12 hours since the supposed robbery.
Moreover, he also made it clear he had not been with his teammates at the France House party where they got the cab from. In addition, he stressed that he had always felt safe whenever he was in Brazil and has had no issues with the said country.
In an earlier report, Sporting News stated that Phelps said that at the time of the incident, he had been back in his room at the Olympic Village with his son Boomer and fiancée Nicole Johnson. “I wasn’t there last night, I was with my family all night long, and that was the most important thing to me. I was dead asleep,” he said.
Recently, Lochte’s version of the events on August 14 is facing criticism after a surveillance footage released shows no evidence of him and his teammates being robbed at gunpoint, as Lochte had earlier claimed.
Two of Lochte and Phelps’ teammates, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were pulled off a plane as they tried to make their way back to the U.S. They have since been brought to a police station in downtown Rio for questioning.
Following the controversy, Lochte has given a slightly modified version of the events to NBC’s Matt Lauer. However, he still maintains that a robbery had taken place.