RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 12: Ryan Lochte of the United States attends a press conference in the Main Press Center on Day 7 of the Rio Olympics on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)

Ryan Lochte slightly changes his story, and that's bound to raise more questions


Ryan Lochte has changed some key details in his robbery story as authorities in Brazil try to piece together exactly what happened to four American swimmers in Rio.

Locchte and his relay teamates say that on Sunday night, they were robbed at gunpoint by thieves posing as police. Brazialian authorities say they can find no eveidence a crime occured, and are refusing to allow Lochte's teammates --- Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen --- to leave the country until they get answers. A judge on Wednesday told all four swimmers they could not leave Brazil and ordered them to surrender their passports, but by then, Lochte had left.

RELATED: Brazil could seek jail time if authorities believe a false report was filed

At issue now is Lochte's description of events. This is what he initially told NBC news:


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. 

He also said:

"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.

But, in a report on NBC, Lochte now says the gunmen never pointed a gun at his head, but pointed it in his direction. He also said the taxi was never pulled over, but was stopped at a gas station as he and his teammeates used the bathroom. Lochte insisted that the other aspects of this story are true.

RELATED: Brazil pulls two American athletes off a plane as part of a robbery investigation

Brazil is taking this very seriously. Authorities actually pulled Conger and Bentz off a plane as they were about to head back to the United States, and Feigen remains in Brazil. Conger and Bentz were taken to speak wtih authorities Wednesday, but there's no word on the outcome of that meeting. Feigen has said he's cooperating with authorites, and is looking forward to getting back to the United States.


USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky, in a statement, said Feigen will have more to day today:

"Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were detained Wednesday night shortly before their flight was scheduled to depart from Rio," Sandusky said. "They were released by local authorities with the understanding that they would continue their discussions about the incident on Thursday. James Feigen is also communicating with local authorities and intends to make further statements regarding the incident on Thursday, as well. We will continue to provide updated information as it is appropriate."

As NBC news pointed out on its Wednesday evening broadcast. this is as much a public relations as it is a potential criminal issue. Rio de Janiero is very sensitive to its crime issues, and Olympic athletes being robbed by fake cops ---and gaining tremendous media attention -- would be an embarrasment to the country.  No doubt, everyone from the judge who issued the order to seize the passports, to the local authorities, want to get to the bottom of this, one way or the other.

Reports originally conflicted on whether Lochte was indeed robbed, and later reports show that the Rio police seriously doubt whether the crime happened. According to Rio police, Lochte and his teammates never reported the crime, and the unit only began investigatingafter a report from Lochte's mother indicated that he had been robbed.