SÃO PAULO, Brazil — A Brazilian court has dismissed the criminal case against the American swimmer Ryan Lochte, who was charged with filing a false robbery report during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The court confirmed in a statement 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 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,” Jeff Ostrow, Lochte’s Florida-based attorney, said in an email to The Associated Press on Saturday. “We are hopeful that the prosecution accepts the court’s decision so that this story can finally be put to rest.”
Lochte told NBC last year that he and his fellow swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen were robbed at gunpoint in a taxi by men with police badges as the swimmers returned to the Olympic Village after a party on Aug. 15.
Video from 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.
Lochte, a 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 United States national swim team for his behavior in Rio. He was ineligible to compete at the recent United States nationals, which kept him from qualifying for this month’s world championships in Hungary. His suspension ended June 30.
“It’s been a long suspension but it’s over,” Lochte tweeted on July 1. “I’ve learned and became a better man from it.”
Lochte was supposed to return to action this weekend at the Los Angeles Invitational, but he withdrew on Friday, saying he was not in competition shape after the birth of his son, Caiden, last month.