Ryan Lochte was robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro early Sunday morning, while out celebrating the end of the swimming events at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
"Four members of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team (Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen and Ryan Lochte), left France House early Sunday morning in a taxi headed for the Olympic Village. Their taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes' money and other personal belongings," according to a statement from the U.S. Olympic Committee
. "All four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities."
"We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over," Lochte said. "They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn't do anything wrong, so — I'm not getting down on the ground.
"And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, "Get down," and I put my hands up, I was like 'whatever.' He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cell phone, he left my credentials."
"I think they're all shaken up," Lochte's mom, Ileana, told USA Today. "No, they were just, they just took their wallets and basically that was it," she added after confirming the news early Sunday morning.
"We are all safe," Bentz assured fans on Twitter. "Thank you for your love and support."
Lochte addressed his fans on Twitter Sunday afternoon with the following message: "I want to thank all of my family, friends and fans for the overwhelming support and concern I have received today. While it is true that my teammates and I were the victims of a robbery early Sunday morning, what is most important is that we are safe and unharmed."
"I am honored to have represented the U.S. here at the Rio Olympics and to win Gold for my country alongside my teammates," he added. "I look forward to getting home so that I can begin to map out the plans for my future with an eye on representing #TeamUSA at the #2020 Tokyo Olympics."
A spokesman for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) originally denied the report, but later acknowledged that he didn't directly know the specifics of the situation, according to CBS News
. Other robbery incidents have also been reported, involving members of the Australian Paralympic sailing squad and the Australian team, who claim were they robbed in the Olympic Village
Lochte, the second most decorated Olympian of all time, swam in two events at the Rio Games, winning gold in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay. His teammate, Michael Phelps took home his 28th Olympic medal on Saturday. Watch the video below for more on Phelps' Olympic journey.