A court in Brazil has dismissed charges against US swimmer Ryan Lochte relating to false robbery claims he made at the Rio Olympics.
Lochte, 32, had told a TV interview that he and three other members of the US swimming team had been robbed at gunpoint at a petrol station. Brazilian police later determined, partly based on CCTV footage, that Lochte had largely made up the story. He was charged with making a false statement and banned from swimming.
But an appeal court in Rio de Janeiro has thrown out the case, the AP reports saying Lochte’s robbery claims “did not rise to the level of filing a false crime report”. This is because the claim was made to a broadcaster and not to police.
“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,” Lochte’s lawyer Jeff Ostrow told to American newspaper magazine, USA Today.
Prosecutors can still appeal against the court’s decision but Ostrow added: “We are hopeful that the prosecution accepts the court’s decision so that this story can finally be put to rest.”
Lochte is one of the most successful swimmers in history, with 12 Olympic medals – including six golds.
He swam in two events in Rio, winning gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay.