Let's be honest, this has been a strange Olympics. There have been a series of controversies in the boxing (these are still developing, by the way), there's been the Pat Hickey scandal but, quite frankly, none of those are as flat-out bizarre as what has been transpiring involving Ryan Lochte and the US swimming team.
You will no doubt have heard the story already. Lochte and two of his swimming team colleagues claimed that they had been robbed at gunpoint in Brazil but it now seems as if the entire incident was made up to try and hide an incident in which they damaged the door of a bathroom at a petrol station in Rio.
Instead, it seems, they have ignited a story that is traversing the globe.
Speaking to NBC regarding the incident a few days ago, Lochte explained:
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 … 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.
It seemed that he thought that this was all there would be to the story. Not so. Brazilian authorities investigated and soon found that the account that Lochte and his teammates described was inaccurate.
Police removed two members of the US Olympic team from a flight back to the States for questions. A third has also been detained in Rio. Lochte, meanwhile, is already back in the United States.
It now seems that Brazilian police are working off the theory that Lochte fabricated the entire incident to cover up a fight he had with a security guard at a Rio petrol station.
— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) August 18, 2016
Why do the Brazilian authorities care so much about this? Well, filing a false police report - as they were forced to do when the story blew up - is a crime worthy of 6 months in jail in Brazil. In addition to that, it seems that the Olympic Committee are coming down hard on Lochte because their principle concern is taking care of the athletes during the games and a (possibly fabricated) story of Olympians being robbed at gunpoint doesn't help their cause.
UPDATE: Ryan Lochte's teammates told police that robbery story had been fabricated by Lochte.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 18, 2016
The AP is reporting that Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, two swimmers who were with Lochte on the night in question, have now admitted that the entire thing was fabricated.
He said that around 6 a.m. on Sunday, Lochte, along with fellow swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, stopped at a gas station in Barra da Tijuca, a suburb of Rio where many Olympic venues are located. One of the swimmers tried but failed to open the door of an outside bathroom.
A few of the swimmers then pushed on the door and broke it. A security guard appeared and confronted them, the official said.
The official says the guard was armed with a pistol, but he never took it out or pointed it at the swimmers.
The plot thickens...