Rio police charge Ryan Lochte for false report
RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian police charged American swimmer Ryan Lochte on Thursday with filing a false robbery report over an incident during the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
A police statement said Lochte would be informed in the United States so he could decide whether to introduce a defense in Brazil.
The indictment will also be sent to the International Olympic Committee’s ethics commission, the statement said.
The swimmer’s spokeswoman, Melissa Nathan, said Lochte had no comment.
During the games, Lochte initially said that he and fellow swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen were robbed at gunpoint in a taxi by men with a police badge as they returned to the Olympic Village from a party Aug. 15. However, security video suggested the four actually faced security guards after vandalizing a gas station restroom.
Lochte left Brazil shortly after the incident. Three days later, local authorities took Conger and Bentz off an airliner heading to the United States so they could be questioned about the robbery claim. They were later allowed to leave Brazil, as was Feigen, after he gave testimony. Feigen, who initially stood by Lochte’s testimony, was not charged.
Lochte has since acknowledged that he was highly intoxicated and that his behavior led to the confrontation. It is not clear from the video whether a gun was ever pointed to the athletes.
Under Brazilian law, the penalty for falsely filing a crime report carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison.
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