A Brazilian court has dismissed the criminal case against US swimmer Ryan Lochte, who had been charged with filing a false robbery report during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The court in Rio confirmed in a statement this week that it tossed out the case after determining Lochte’s robbery claim made to NBC did not constitute the filing of a fake report. Jeff Ostrow, a US lawyer for Lochte, said in a statement to USA Today they are “pleased” by the decision and the court understood Lochte “committed no crime”.
Under Brazilian law, the penalty for filing a false crime report is a maximum of 18 months in prison. Lochte told NBC last year that he and fellow swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen were robbed at gunpoint in a taxi by men with police badges as they returned to the Olympic Village from a party on August 15.
Video captured by surveillance cameras showed the athletes getting into a confrontation with security guards at a petrol station when their cab pulled over to let them use the toilet. The six-time Olympic gold medallist later acknowledged he was intoxicated and his behaviour had led to the confrontation.
Lochte served a 10-month suspension from competition over his behaviour in Rio.
“It’s been a long suspension but it’s over,” he tweeted on July 1. “I’ve learned and became a better man from it.”