Ryan Lochte Cleared of Criminal Charges in Rio Olympic Robbery Scandal

Hope Soto
July 16, 2017

Olympic gold medal victor Ryan Lochte has been cleared of criminal charges by an appellate court in Brazil, Us Weekly reports.

The court decided that Lochte had not broken the law because Rio police instigated the investigation, not Lochte, according to USA Today Sports.

The court ruled that Ryan did not break the law in exaggerating the details of an incident at a gas station during last summer's Olympics.

The incident began when Lochte, 32, and three US swimming teammates, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen, were returning from a party celebrating the end of the swimming competition at the Rio Games.

Deborah Srour, an attorney who has practiced in Brazil for 25 years, said the two swimmers' actions do not constitute a crime based on a strict reading of the Brazilian penal code. Instead, they asserted Lochte and his teammates trashed the bathroom of a Rio gas station. Lochte was suspended for 10 months by the U.S. Olympic Committee, beginning in September 2016.

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"It's been a long suspension but it's over, I've learned and became a better man from it. now let's go #2020 #teamtyr #2020isforyoucaiden #justletmework", Lochte wrote on Instagram alongside a video of his biggest milestones, including last year's Rio scandal.

Lochte subsequently admitted that he "definitely had too much to drink" the night of the incident, adding that he was still intoxicated when he exaggerated the story on NBC the next morning. The three-judge panel, in a 2-1 ruling, noted that Rio police, not Lochte, had initiated the investigation and that the story he first told NBC did not meet the standard of a false report.

The only damage caused by the swimmers at the gas station was the poster that Lochte knocked off a wall.

Lochte, whose 12 Olympic medals ranks second all-time among US swimmers behind Michael Phelps, was pilloried in the media and several sponsors cut ties with him in the wake of the incident.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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