A Brazilian court on Friday dismissed the case against US swimmer Ryan Lochte, who had been charged with falsely reporting a crime after his tale of being robbed at gunpoint during the Rio Olympics fell apart.
The gold medalist sparked a global media frenzy after he told his mother he and other swimmers were violently robbed in Rio. She told reporters, then Lochte himself publicly described having a gun held to his head by a robber dressed as a police officer.
The story made international headlines and prompted questions about the safety of the city — then quickly fell apart. Brazilian officials said Lochte and his teammates were drunk and vandalized a gas station. Security guards also asked the swimmers to pay for about $33 worth of damages caused in the incident, which was captured on surveillance video.
On Friday, a Brazilian appeals court ruled that Lochte could not be criminally charged with making a false police report because the investigation was initiated by Rio police, not Lochte, USA Today reported.
In an interview with NBC, Lochte admitted he had "over-exaggerated."
The exaggerated story and criminal charge caused sponsors to drop Lochte following the Olympics. He was also suspended by US swimming officials for almost a year and required to give up $100,000 in bonuses.
Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Claudia Koerner at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.