Two American swimmers were pulled off their flight to the United States by the Brazilian authorities and detained for several hours on Wednesday night, until they testify over the claim of being robbed in Rio de Janeiro, say Brazilian authorities.
Olympic officials said. It was the latest indication that the police were skeptical of the swimmers’ claims that they had been held up at gunpoint during the Rio Games.
“We can confirm that Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities,” a spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee said. “We are gathering further information.”
The men were released after agreeing to remain in the country and to speak with investigators about the episode on Thursday, according to officials with the United States Olympic team.
In a case that has made headlines around the world, the gold medalist Ryan Lochte said that after leaving a party early Sunday, he, Mr. Conger, Mr. Bentz and one other American swimmer were robbed by men claiming to be police officers.
The idea that such prominent athletes could be robbed by officers during the Olympics was a huge embarrassment for Brazil, underscoring longstanding concerns about holding the Games in a crime-plagued city like Rio de Janeiro.
But questions about the Americans’ testimony to the police turned that embarrassment into anger, with many Brazilians wondering whether the athletes had lied about the episode and smeared their country’s reputation.