News Worms
News Worms

Ryan Lochte cleared of all charges in Olympics Rio scandal

Ryan Lochte cleared of all charges in Olympics Rio scandal

The U.S. swimmer had been accused of fabricating a story about getting robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro during August's Olympics, causing an worldwide scandal that drew in some of his teammates.

"We are hopeful that the prosecution accepts the court's decision so that this story can finally be put to rest", Jeff Ostrow, Lochte's Florida-based attorney, said in an email to The Associated Press on Saturday.

During an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer last August, per USA Today's Rachel Axon, the 32-year-old Lochte said he was taking responsibility for the incident.

Ryan Lochte's criminal case in Brazil has been dismissed.

The incident began when Lochte, 32, and three USA swimming teammates, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen, were returning from a party celebrating the end of the swimming competition at the Rio Games. Rio police disputed the account, and said the four swimmers were drunk and rowdy at the gas station, tearing down a poster and wrecking a bathroom, and were detained briefly by two Rio police officers moonlighting as armed private security, who took something like $33 dollars off the men to pay for damages.

But an appeals court on Thursday ruled Brazilian law was not broken because the investigation had been initiated by police in Rio and not Lochte, and that what he said in the interview did not constitute a false report.

Prosecutors now have 15 days in which they may challenge the ruling; otherwise, it will stand and the matter will be considered closed.

As of July 1, the 32-year-old six-time Olympic swimming gold medallist was clear to return to worldwide competition after seeing out a 10-month ban imposed by the US Olympic Committee and USA Swimming.

Lochte, whose 12 Olympic medals ranks second all-time among USA swimmers behind Michael Phelps, was pilloried in the media and several sponsors cut ties with him in the wake of the incident.

Lochte subsequently said that he "definitely had too much to drink" that night, adding that he was still intoxicated when he provided false details to NBC's Billy Bush the day after the incident.

The charge against Lochte stems not from telling the exaggerated story to NBC days after returning to the US, but from telling it to Rio police, who triggered an investigation of the incident.


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