U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte confirmed reports that he had been robbed at gunpoint.
The gold medal swimmer told TODAY’s Billy Bush on Sunday that he and “three other swimmers” from the U.S. national team were robbed at gunpoint while celebrating in Rio de Janeiro.
"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.
He continued: "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."
Lochte and his teammates were returning to the athletes village by taxi after a night out at the French Olympic team's hospitality house in the Rodrigo de Freitas area in the upscale south zone of the city. The outing was several hours after Olympic swimming ended Saturday night at the Rio Games.
U.S. Olympics Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky released a statement to confirming the incident, saying the other swimmers were Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen.
He said "the taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes' money and other personal belongings."
Sandusky added that the four swimmers are "safe and cooperating with authorities."
The 32-year-old swimmer spoke out after conflicting reports were circulating after his mother Illeana Lochte told USA Today and Fox Sports Australia that he had been held at gunpoint and his wallet was stolen.
“I think they’re all shaken up. There were a few of them,” Ileana Lochte said USA Today. “No, they were just, they just took their wallets and basically that was it.”
She said they were held up and confronted by people with guns and knives. She said her son notified her via a text message afterward that they had taken his wallet.
Word of the robbery touched off a chain of confusion between Olympic and U.S. officials. An International Olympic Committee spokesman said reports of the robbery were "absolutely not true," then reversed himself, apologized and said he was relying on initial information from the USOC that was wrong.
The incident was also confirmed by a spokesperson for Brazilian swimmer Thiago Pereira, who was meeting up with Lochte and the other swimmers early Sunday.
Rio organizers spokesman Mario Andrada said he has been briefed on an "issue" involving the swimmer, but could not say if he was held at gunpoint.
Street crime was a major concern of Olympic organizers going into the games. Brazil deployed 85,000 soldiers and police to secure the games, twice as many as Britain used during the 2012 London Olympics.
Last week, a Brazilian security officer was fatally shot after taking a wrong turn into a dangerous favela, or slum. Two Australian rowing coaches were attacked and robbed by two assailants in Ipanema, and Portugal's education minister was held up at knifepoint on a busy street.
In addition, stray bullets have twice landed in the equestrian venue, and two windows were shattered on a bus carrying journalists in an attack that Rio organizers blamed on rocks and others claimed was gunfire.
Lochte swam in two events at the Rio Games, winning gold in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Updated: Sun. Aug. 14, 1:53 p.m.