Five years after a saga that forced Ryan Lochte to leave the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, charges filed in a Rio court alleging the U.S. swimmer filed a false police report have been dismissed, the swimmer’s lawyer told USA TODAY Sports.
The statute of limitations in the case -- stemming from Lochte saying he had been robbed at gunpoint during a late-night incident at a gas station in Rio -- expired, and a judge also ruled Brazilian prosecutors could not prove their case, said Jeff Ostrow, Lochte’s lawyer.
“As we always suspected, they can’t win their case and the judge finally dismissed it,’’ Ostrow, who is also Lochte’s agent, told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. “We are not going to Rio to celebrate, I assure you.’’
Lochte, who was suspended for 10 months after the incident, released a statement Thursday afternoon:
"I'm not surprised that the court dismissed the case, because it should have never been brought in the first place. I'm grateful that the Brazilian court has finally closed the door on the prosecution so that all can move on."
At 36, the 12-time Olympic medal winner recently failed to make his fifth Olympic team.
An international drama ensued at the Rio Games after Lochte said he had been robbed at gunpoint. Eventually, charges were filed against the swimmer.
Lochte later admitted he exaggerated his initial description of how he and three other men were stopped in their taxi and robbed by men who flashed badges, as well as his sensational claim of a gun being held to his forehead.
Ostrow said Lochte initially prevailed in court and then won again. But the case was reopened before the statute of limitations ran out, according to Ostrow.
“You can’t falsify a report if you don’t report it,’’ Ostrow said. “And Ryan never reported this to anyone. It was his mother who told some other reporter she didn’t even know she was talking to that Ryan had been held at gunpoint, and that’s what started this whole thing.
“The Brazilian police came to us and Ryan and wanted a statement, which we voluntarily gave right away and reported our side of what happened. And they then took from there as a save-face for the black eye that that country had been experiencing by having such a dangerous venue at the Olympics and said that Ryan and the boys trashed a gas station.’’
Three other American swimmers were involved in the incident.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ryan Lochte has charges over 2016 Olympics incident dismissed