U.S. Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte and three other members of the U.S. Olympic swimming team were robbed at gunpoint in Rio by gunmen posing as police officers early Sunday morning, Lochte said.
Lochte claims that one of the men aimed a gun at his forehead during the robbery, the athlete told NBC's Billy Bush.
"I was with a couple swimmers, we got pulled over in our taxi and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge," Lochte said. "No lights, no nothing, just a police badge. They pulled us over. They pulled out their guns."
U.S. & World
News from around the country and around the globe
He said they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground but he refused.
"I was like 'we didn't do anything wrong so I'm not getting down on the ground,'" he said.
That's when Lochte said one of the men pulled out his gun, cocked it, put it to his forehead, and said "get down."
"I put my hands up," Lochte said. "I was like 'whatever.' He took our money, he took my wallet."
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.
"All four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities," the USOC said in a statement.
Lochte said he was with fellow swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen. Bentz and Conger were fellow members of the gold-winning 4X200m freestyle relay team in Rio. Feigen won gold in the 4X100m freestyle relay.
Lochte's mother Ileana Lochte, reached by USA TODAY Sports, said her son was robbed when a cab he was in stopped to get gas.
"I think they're all shaken up. There were a few of them," Ileana Lochte told USA Today Sports. "They just took their wallets and basically that was it."
The International Olympic Committee initially denied the report before spokesman Mark Adams acknowledged he didn't directly know the specifics of the situation.
David Marsh, the swimmer's personal coach, also intially disputed the reports.
Ileana Lochte did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press.
Lochte, a four-time Olympian, earned his 12th career Olympic medal with the relay gold in Rio.
Several other athletes, coaches, trainers and attendees have reported being victimized while attending the 2016 Olympic Games.
Belgian judo competitor Dirk Van Tichelt was hit in the the face during celebrations of his bronze medal performance on Copacabana beach. His phone was stolen late Monday on the popular strip and he was hit as he was chasing the local thief.
Australia's Olympic delegation also called for tighter beach security after two rowing coaches were robbed at knife point near Rio's iconic Ipanema beach.
Two teens, one of them brandishing a long knife, grabbed the coaches by their throats in the Friday incident and pushed them against the wall. The coaches didn't offer any resistance and handed over their wallets and mobile phones.
An Olympic security officer was also fatally shot after taking a wrong turn into a dangerous slum.