Ryan Lochte cleared of criminal charges in Rio encounter

Ross Houston
July 15, 2017

Initially, Lochte was ruled to have broken the law by means of a 2-1 vote in the Brazilian court, but on Thursday, the decision was reversed by a new 2-1 count.

The investigation found that Lochte and has teammates had been detained by armed security guards, who drew their weapons and demanded that the swimmers pay them money for the alleged vandalism at the gas station.

Lochte had said that he and three other US swimmers, Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were on their way back to the Olympic Village from a party when their vehicle was pulled over by gun-toting robbers pretending to be police officers.

Rio police later said that the Olympians had vandalized the gas station bathroom by breaking a soap dispenser and mirror, and destroying a poster outside the restroom.

A USA Today Sports investigation found that Lochte's story was substantially true and did not constitute a false report.

Prosecutors could still challenge the ruling, and they have 15 days to do so. "It has been a long year, but in the end, justice prevailed", said Jeff Ostrow, Lochte's attorney, to USA TODAY Sports. While he was able to leave Brazil quickly, his three team-mates were detained, with Feigen agreeing to pay a fine of almost US$11,000 to expedite his departure.

The United States Olympic Committee suspended Lochte for 10 months in September and ordered him to perform 20 hours of community service.

Although he was entered in three individual events at this week's Los Angeles Invitational, Lochte said he had decided not to compete in the meet on the campus of the University of Southern California, where he is now training with the Trojan Swim Club.

Lochte lost sponsors and was suspended from the USA national swim team for 10 months over the scandal.

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