United States Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte has been cleared of all criminal charges in a Brazilian court stemming from an incident in which he was accused to have fabricated a robbery story last summer while in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
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.
“We are pleased that the court has finally dismissed the criminal prosecution against Mr. Lochte, while at the same time, appropriately recognizing that he committed no crime. It has been a long year, but in the end, justice prevailed,” said Jeff Ostrow, Lochte’s attorney, to USA TODAY Sports.
Lochte was charged with falsely communicating a crime to police, following an incident at a gas station in which he claimed that he, and three others members of the U.S. swim team, were robbed and held at gunpoint.
The story was revealed to have been fabricated in the sense that the athletes weren’t robbed, instead being forced, at gunpoint, to pay for items that they took from the gas station.
Lochte lost multiple sponsors stemming from the incident and became a national punch line, but has continued to train in the pool and is eyeing another return to the Olympics in 2020 for the Tokyo Summer Games.
Lochte had previously earned a 10-month suspension from the national swim team, a penalty that has concluded as of July 1, allowing him to return to action.