Brazil court dismisses case against Lochte
SAO PAULO — A Brazilian court has dismissed the criminal case against U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte, who had been charged with filing a false robbery report during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The court confirmed in a statement this week that it tossed out the case after determining that Lochte’s robbery claim made to NBC did not constitute the filing of a fake report, a crime punishable in Brazil by up to 18 months in prison.
“We are pleased that the court has finally dismissed the criminal prosecution against Mr. Lochte, while also acknowledging that he committed no crime while in Brazil. 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.
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 Aug. 15.
Video captured by surveillance cameras showed the athletes getting into a confrontation with security guards at a gas station when their cab pulled over to let them use the restroom.
The six-time Olympic gold medalist later acknowledged that he was intoxicated and that his behavior led to the confrontation.
Lochte served a 10- month suspension from the U. S. national swim team for his behavior in Rio. He was ineligible to compete at the recent U.S. nationals, which kept him from qualifying for the world championships beginning July 23 in Hungary. His suspension ended June 30.
“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.”
Lochte was supposed to return to action this weekend by competing in the Los Angeles Invitational, but he withdrew Friday, saying he was not in competition shape after the birth of his son, Caiden, last month.