Sunday 22 July, 2018

Lochte cleared of charges in Rio gas station fiasco

Ryan Lochte speaking to the media in Rio.

Ryan Lochte speaking to the media in Rio.

Ryan Lochte has been cleared of falsely communicating a crime to authorities by an appellate court in Brazil in relation to his role in vandalising a Rio de Janeiro gas station during last year's Olympic Games.

Lochte claimed he and three other American swimmers were robbed at gunpoint in the early hours of August 14 2016, shortly after the swimming events concluded.

After security footage revealed a very different sequence of events, Lochte admitted to being intoxicated from a night of celebration and said he "over-exaggerated that story" in an interview with NBC and posted an apology on social media.

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.

"We are pleased that the court has finally dismissed the criminal prosecution against Mr. Lochte, while at the same time, appropriately recognising that he committed no crime," Jeff Ostrow, Lochte's Florida-based attorney, said in a statement to USA Today.

Lochte's 10-month suspension from the U.S. national swim team over the incident ended on July 1.