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Rio mob wants to run US swimmers out of town

US Olympic swimmers Jack Conger (left) and Gunnar Bentz leave the police station after being questioned. Photo Reuters

Olympics Day 13: Stars charged for false crime report; Aussies grounded after party; where are all the fans?

Rio mob wants to run US swimmers out of town

Two of the four US swimmers caught up in the Ryan Lochte robbery row ran a gauntlet of hate as they left Rio’s special tourist police station and were confronted by an angry mob.

Locals incensed by the damage to Brazil’s reputation screamed insults and booed at the tops of their voices, branding the pair liars and a disgrace to their country.

The crowd surged forward and tried to grab the two Americans. Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger remained silent but looked visibly shaken as they climbed into a US consulate car.

Conger, 21, and Bentz, 20, were prevented from boarding a plane at Rio’s airport, interviewed and cleared to go home after admitting the robbery story – in which Lochte, 32, said they were held at gunpoint – was made up.

Lochte has already gone home but team-mate James Feigen, 26, remains in Brazil and has yet to speak to police.

Prosecutors charged Lochte and Feigen for falsely reporting a crime but cleared Conger and Bentz. The charge does not carry prison time but the pair could face fines or community service.

Grounded

Two Australian swimmers have been disciplined after a night out in Copacabana that saw one forced to go to an ATM at gunpoint and robbed of $1000. Both have been banned from the Games closing ceremony.

Josh Palmer and gold medallist Emma McKeon had been with other Aussie swimmers at a nightclub but chose not to accompany their team-mates back to the village. It is understood they were still in the club at 4am.

Australian Olympic boss Kitty Chiller said their behaviour was unacceptable and they were grounded. McKeon had been a strong contender for the honour of carrying the Aussie flag at the closing event.

Palmer told officials he was approached by a man who forced him to withdraw money from a nearby ATM. He was found by two businessmen who reported the swimmer was, to put it discreetly, “disoriented and had lost his wallet and phone”. They phoned the Australian Consulate.

Where are the fans?

The crowds, or lack of them, will be part of the inquest into South America’s first Olympics.

Despite organisers’ insistence that most tickets were sold, it wasn’t uncommon to see Usain Bolt running in a stadium that had more empty blue chairs than fans.

Officials insist more than 80% of tickets were sold and they have met financial targets. An Associated Press review of the 100 event sessions remaining showed roughly half – including the closing ceremony, women’s soccer gold-medal match and all remaining track and field – have tickets remaining.

There’s been no shortage of theories. Some events start too early; others start too late. Some tickets were too expensive. Too many sports seemed foreign to Brazilians. Blocks set aside for international fans either weren’t sold or claimed. Traffic scared away locals. Visitors were scared away by pre-Olympic stories of disease, dirty water and crime. They’re probably all valid.

Organisers add that 11% of advance-purchase tickets – and 55% of the free tickets given to needy kids – weren’t used.

Hey there, lonely girl

Darya Klishina says she is so stressed by the past week that she can’t even talk about it.

The only Russian track and field athlete allowed to compete at the Games will take her place among the top 12 jumpers for tonight’s long-jump final.

She won a last-minute verdict appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Klishina said she felt alone and stressed. “It is very hard being the only Russian, as normally we are a big team with big support and I am alone. I want the Russian team here with me.”

Leg overboard

A severed leg has been found floating not far from the Guanabara Bay sailing venue.

Locals found the leg, severed at the hip, just a few miles from the venue. “It was probably someone murdered by the drugs gangs, who was dumped in one of the rivers that flow into the bay,” a police source said.

Police are doubtful they’ll be able to identify the person despite a tattoo reading “Kauan” on the calf.

“It is very common to find body parts in Guanabara Bay,” the source said. In June mutilated body parts washed up on Copacabana Beach, where the beach volleyball competition was played.

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