Brazil Lets Ryan Lochte Off the Hook

16 Jul 2017

(Newser) – 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 confirmed in a statement this week that it tossed out the case after determining that Lochte's robbery claim made to NBC News 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 AP on Saturday.

Lochte told NBC last year that he and swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz, and Jimmy Feigen were robbed at gunpoint as they returned to the Olympic Village from a party Aug. 15. Video showed the athletes in a confrontation with guards at a gas station when their cab stopped to let them use the restroom. The Olympic gold medalist later acknowledged he was intoxicated. Lochte served a 10-month suspension from the US national team. He was ineligible to compete at the recent US nationals, which kept him from qualifying for the world championships beginning July 23. 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 to return to action this weekend in the Los Angeles Invitational, but withdrew saying he was not in competition shape after the birth of his son, Caiden, last month.

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