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Local swimmers react to Lochte robbery allegations

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Thursday, Brazilian police accused American swimmer Ryan Lochte and three other swimmers of fabricating the story that they were robbed at gunpoint in Rio.

Since Sunday, this story has taken over many Americans’ conversations about the Olympics. Many people are worried about Team USA’s image.

IUPUI swim team member Lennart Kuester has been following the news out of Rio.

“I just heard the normal things about it, about the robbery and was kind of shocked at first definitely,” he said.

Now he’s learned the accusations from Brazilian police that Lochte and the other three swimmers made up the story about being robbed at gunpoint.

“It’s definitely a little disappointing, especially with the Olympics going on. It’s supposed to be the world’s greatest sports festival,” he said.

Brazilian police claim Lochte and the other swimmers were approached by an armed guard because they vandalized a gas station and tried to leave.

“He’s supposed to set an example for younger people, you know, if you hear something like that, of course it’s disappointing,” he said.

But Kuester doesn’t think it takes away any glory from the medals won at the games.

“Me as a swimmer, I’m focusing on the sport, on the performance that they do in the pool, and I think the United States, Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps, everybody did phenomenally,” he said.

“I’m not going to judge him for what he allegedly has or allegedly has not done,” IUPUI student JJ Oakley said.

Oakley said the situation with Lochte doesn’t bother him.

“I mean, I’m sure we’ve all had a couple of beers and maybe remembered a story incorrectly,” he said.

But Oakley said this doesn’t do anything good for America’s image on an international stage.

“Any time the United States is cast in a negative light it’s definitely not ideal, but I can kind of see what Brazil has out of it too, because they don’t want to be cast in a bad or a negative light either,” he said.

The robbery story started spreading four days ago when Ryan Lochte’s mom told USA Today her son was robbed.