The scandal that the U.S. swim team is embroiled in has now overshadowed Michael Phelps’ triumph in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Swimmer Ryan Lochte and three other members of the American delegation James Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz flat out lied about being victims of a robbery while in Rio.
So, what exactly does the 31-year-old think swimming legend Michael Phelps think about it?
Speaking to E! News, Michael Phelps revealed that he hasn’t yet reached out to his friend. In the same vein, Ryan Lochte also did not communicate with him after the scandal.
— E! News (@enews) August 20, 2016
Michael Phelps was also asked by the entertainment website if he thinks the rest of the U.S. swim team can walk away unscathed. He replied, “We have good people taking care of it, so hopefully.”
By now, the details of what really happened have surfaced. The U.S. swim team was using the bathroom around 6 a.m. at a gas station in Barra da Tijuca last weekend. They tried to push the bathroom door, which appeared to be stuck and broke it in the process.
They were reportedly confronted by security at the scene. The guard had his pistol by his waist but did not attempt to pull it out, nor point the firearm at the Americans.
According to Extra TV, Brazilian authorities blew holes into the robbery claims of the U.S. swim team members. They then investigated whether Ryan Lochte and others fabricated their stories.
Gunnar Bentz, 20, and Jack Conger, 21, were then asked to deplane as they were about to leave Rio de Janeiro and questioned at length about what transpired. Meanwhile, Lochte at this point was already home and still insisting that they were indeed robbed.
Meanwhile, 26-year-old Jimmy Feigen, agreed to pay for the damages so he could leave Rio, although the term used was “donation.” The amount, however, was substantial at $11,000 which he will turn over to a charity or foundation.
After the turnover, his passport would be returned and he will be allowed to go home.
For his part, Ryan Lochte issued a lengthy apology, published on CNN, after admitting that the robbery they reported to the media was fabricated.
He was supposedly sorry about not being truthful about what really transpired when he and three other members of the U.S. team dropped by the gas station.
The 32-year-old also expressed regret that their actions took the focus away from the athletes that are still participating in Rio Olympics.
“It’s traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country — with a language barrier — and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave, but regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night, I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself,” he said.
The United States Olympic Committee also issued a formal apology on behalf of the American swim team to the Rio government and the Brazilians “for this distracting ordeal.”
When the scandal blew over, Michael Phelps did not issue a statement in support or condemnation of the rest of the swim team’s actions. The most decorated Olympian of all time is now back to his home in Scottsdale, AZ where his firstborn and girlfriend, Nicole Johnson, also live.
At the Rio Olympics, Michael Phelps added to his collection after winning five gold medals in 200-meter butterfly, men’s 4x100m medley relay, men’s 4×200 freestyle relay, men’s 4x100m freestyle relay, and men’s 200m individual medley. He also grabbed one silver in the 100-m butterfly event.
Michael Phelps now has a total of 23 gold medals won in the Olympics, which is a record. He also holds the record for the most number of gold medals in individual events in the Olympics at 13.
[Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]