Ryan Lochte sponsors should probably hold off from any further withdrawal of sponsorship. New details regarding what really happened to him and his three fellow athletes in Rio could have been a setup. At the moment, fresh information is starting to paint the picture that Rio de Janeiro officials could be guilty of extorting money from Jimmy Feigen.
Ryan Lochte could be telling the truth even if he partially lied. For one, it is already becoming apparent that the star swimmer did not break the toilet door at the gas station. According to Feigen, not one of them was able to get inside the toilet, as the door was locked, which is why they all ended up answering the call of nature by relieving themselves on the wall of the gas station.
The only other alternative would be to get their pants wet. When you’re drunk and your bladder is full, it’s so easy to get irrational, especially if you find that the toilet is closed. You do not wish to cause any harm or any scandal. But the fact remains that you still need to do what you got to do.
Also, when Ryan Lochte forcibly removed a poster from the frame on the wall, he was possibly trying to keep from getting the poster soaked when he had to do what he had to do. When you are used to finding a toilet or comfort room easily especially when clubbing in the United States, you could lose your wits when you are unable to find one, available especially in a city which is hosting the Olympics.
Like many Americans, Lochte was accustomed to finding at least a Porta-potty. Unfortunately, he, Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger couldn’t find one. They could just as easily have relieved themselves anywhere, and yet they bothered to look for a toilet because it was the proper thing to do.
For a while now since he returned to the United States, American media have been painting an ugly picture of Ryan Lochte as a conceited, lying alpha male who is more narcissistic than genuinely concerned about his three swimming mates. But Ryan could just as well have rushed back to his home country as fast as he could in order to keep Brazilian authorities from questioning him and possibly becoming a victim of extortion like his pal, Feigen.
Ryan Lochte should at least be given credit for the quick thinking on his part, which could have avoided a slew of unpleasant consequences such as being held up indefinitely in Rio de Janeiro.
“I just think there’s been a rush to judgment with respect to Ryan,” said Bobby Cohen, owner of Bobby Ties to USA Today Sports. The source continues as follows.
“He [Bobby Cohen] also believes Lochte basically had it right. He and his teammates did get held at gunpoint. And as it turns out, vandalizing the bathroom never came up — authorities never even questioned the swimmers about it.”
A recent report by MSN shows that Feigen might have been extorted by Rio de Janeiro authorities for as much as $46,000. Here’s more from the source.
“Feigen says prosecutors asked him to pay $31,500 to get his passport back so he could return to the United States. When his lawyers refused, the fine was raised to $46,875.”
According to Business Insider, the swimmer ended up paying $10,800 in the form of a donation in order to get his passport back. Feigen also confirms in his statement that, as Ryan Lochte alleges, a gun was pointed at the Olympians at one point as follows.
“We then got out of the cab and I paid the driver the fare. As I walked away, the man with the gun pointed it at me and my teammates and ordered us, in Portuguese, to sit. This was the first time I have ever had a gun pointed at me and I was terrified.”
So based on new information, the only thing that Ryan Lochte lied about was about being robbed. However, being extorted for money with a gun pointed at you, is a kind of robbery, don’t you think? Especially if the only damage is pulling a poster off the wall or accidentally hitting a sign.
Obviously, further investigation needs to be done before putting the blame on anybody. As it is right now, Ryan Lochte is being tried in a court of public opinion.
[Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images]