A Brazilian appellate court has cleared U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte of a charge connected to his recounting of an incident during the Rio Olympics, multiple news outlets reported.
Lochte, 32, was charged with fabricating the details of a crime to authorities during the 2016 games. He claimed, in an interview with NBC, that he and three other teammates were victims of an armed robbery at a gas station outside Rio de Janeiro.
A Brazilian police official told the Associated Press Lochte had made up the account, saying the swimmers had vandalized the gas station and were confronted by a security guard, manager and translator to pay for the damages.
The appellate court determined Thursday that no laws had been broken in Lochte’s detailing of the alleged crime, USA Today and others reported.
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“We are pleased that the court has finally dismissed the criminal prosecution against Mr. Lochte, while at the same time, appropriately recognizing that he committed no crime,” said Jeff Ostrow, Lochte’s attorney, told USA Today Friday. “It has been a long year, but in the end, justice prevailed.”
Lochte apologized and was suspended from the U.S. Swimming team for his behavior for 10 months. He started competing for the first time this week since the suspension ended.
A 12-time Olympic medalist, Lochte lost sponsorship deals with multiple major companies over the incident.
Lochte moved to Charlotte in 2013 to train at SwimMAC Carolina with famed swim coach David Marsh. He announced in August that he would be leaving Charlotte to train on the West Coast.
After leaving Charlotte and moving to Los Angeles, the swimmer was a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars,” and has since become a first-time father.
Metzler: 704-231-5316, @crmetzler