RIO DE JANEIRO (KXAN/NBC) — American swimmers Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight back to the U.S., Wednesday.
Conger, a member of the University of Texas at Austin swim team, won gold in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay. Reports that Conger and Bentz were placed under arrest could not immediately be confirmed.
Jack Conger, Ryan Lochte, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen were robbed at gunpoint while in Rio de Janeiro overnight Saturday.
Multiple sources told NBC Sports that Conger and Bentz cleared security and were in their seats on the plane when authorities came on to the aircraft shortly before takeoff and removed the swimmers.
They are being held at the airport but are being treated well and cordially, the sources told NBC. Authorities have indicated they don’t want to hold the swimmers long, but do want to know what happened during the early morning robbery, the sources said.
The root of the problem for the Brazilian authorities is seemingly contradictory versions of the robbery by Lochte and Feigen. NBC News reported Lochte told police there was one robber, while Feigen said there were more, one of whom had a gun.
The men also said the robbery took place on the way home from a club, which they left at 4 a.m. But security video showed them leaving at a different time, the judge said.
A Brazilian judge ordered Wednesday that the passports of American swimmers Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen be seized, confining them to the country as authorities investigate their robbery claim.
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. Spokesman Patrick Sandusky declined to say whether Lochte and Feigen were still in the country.
Conger spoke with KXAN in July before heading to Rio. “I wanted to go to the Olympics since I was eight years old,” Conger said. “I saw flashes, sort of sparks of the opportunity to go. I think it became a pretty big realization when I was 14 and broke my first national age group record.”