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USOC: American swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz removed from flight to US by Brazilian officials

Posted: 9:46 PM, Aug 17, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-18 05:33:50-04
USOC: 2 US swimmers removed from flight to US

The USOC says American swimmers Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight to the U.S. by Brazilian authorities Wednesday night, hours after a judge ordered gold medalist Ryan Lochte and teammate Jimmy Feigen stay in the country as police investigate their claim they were robbed during the Olympics.

United States Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky confirmed the swimmers were detained but had no other details.

The swimmers' attorney said the swimmers will not be allowed to leave Brazil until they testify about robbery.

"There was confusion and they were shaken," said Sergio Viegas. "They did not understand what was happening and why they could not depart, and the confusion was because of what the police said and because they treated them as witnesses, whereas and the judge's decision was something else. Until we understand what is going on and what in fact happened and how it happened."

Lochte and his three teammates said they were held up at gunpoint in a taxi 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.

The office of Judge Keyla Blank gave the order earlier Wednesday to seize the passports of only Lochte and Feigen.

Steve Bentz, father of Gunnar Bentz, when reached by phone late Wednesday night, said: "I really don't want to say anything," and hung up.

Lochte's father, Steve Lochte, told The Associated Press by phone from his Florida home that his son called him Tuesday after arriving in the United States.

Feigen's whereabouts could not immediately be confirmed, though he told the San Antonio Express-News he was still in Brazil.

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.

Associated Press reporters waiting outside Lochte's home in North Carolina did not see the 12-time medalist.