Report: British Olympian Robbed at Gunpoint in Rio
An unnamed member of the British Olympic team in Rio was robbed at gunpoint this week—just days after American swimmer Ryan Lochte and several others claimed to have been stopped at gunpoint as well.
The Guardian, in an exclusive report, said that while many details are still unclear, a warning has been sent out to Team GB members that it’s “not worth the risk” to leave the Olympic Village for fear of being targeted.
The alleged robbery took place on the morning of Aug. 16. According to the report the British team member was not seriously hurt.
In the email sent out by British track and field officials, athletes and staff were told to follow several new protocols, including not wearing their Team GB kits and not taking taxis.
British competitors should “avoid leaving the village after dark in anything other than British Olympic Association/Local Organising Committee/UK Athletics transport—taxis cannot be considered safe late at night. If you are planning on going out after dark and have no way of returning other than via taxi, do not go out,” the email read according to The Guardian.
“Do not go out of the village wearing TeamGB kit or carry anything of value unless absolutely unavoidable—this makes you too big a target for theft/crime,” it adds. “You MUST inform a member of team management if you are leaving the village and planning on staying out overnight—please do this BEFORE you leave,” the letter reads.
Following The Guardian report, a British Olympic spokesperson confirmed to the BBC that there was an “incident of theft,” adding that “all members of our delegation, including the individual concerned, are accounted for, and are safe and well.”
In response to the new security protocols, British boxer Joshua Buatsi told the BBC he “felt safe.”
He said the measures were merely “common sense,” including not “wearing flashy watches or having jewelry on display.” He noted: “When I go out I don’t have on anything to catch the eye of someone looking to rob you.”
Lochte and fellow American swimmers James Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger have said they were robbed inside a taxi at gunpoint. However, Rio authorities have questioned their claims’ veracity.