Brazil police detain two US swimmers on plane

Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian police pulled two US Olympic swimmers off a plane about to leave the country for questioning in a row over their claim to have been victims of an armed mugging, US officials said today.

"We can confirm that Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were removed from their flight to the United States by Brazilian authorities," said Patrick Sandusky, spokesman for the US Olympic Committee.

The two were with star US swimmer Ryan Lochte and another squad member, James Feigen, when they said they were robbed at gunpoint. A Brazilian judge ordered a probe saying their story is full of inconsistencies.

Globo, a leading Brazilian news organisation, posted a video online showing the two swimmers walking into a police station.

The G1 news site, which is part of Globo, reported that Bentz and Conger were detained for questioning and that Feigen had been taken in earlier while still in the airport.

Police did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

Lochte is believed to be already in the United States, having left before the Brazilian authorities ordered the swimmers' questioning.

Earlier, Judge Keyla Blank "issued warrants for searches and the seizure of the passports for the US swimmers," a statement from her office said. "With this, they are banned from leaving the country," the statement said.