Brazil court dismisses Ryan Lochte false report case

Lochte was suspended for 10 months for his behavior

FILE - In this Aug. 9, 2016, file photo, United States' Ryan Lochte prepares before a men's 4x200-meter freestyle heat at the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lochte is banned from swimming through next June and will forfeit $100,000 in bonus money that went with his gold medal at the Olympics, part of the penalty for his drunken encounter at a gas station in Brazil during last month's games. The U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Swimming announced the penalties Thursday. Sept. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

SAO PAULO (AP) — A Brazilian court has dismissed the criminal case against U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte, who had been charged with filing a false robbery report during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The court confirmed in a statement this week that it tossed out the case after determining that Lochte’s robbery claim made to NBC did not constitute the filing of a fake report, a crime punishable in Brazil by up to 18 months in prison.

“We are pleased that the court has finally dismissed the criminal prosecution against Mr. Lochte, while also acknowledging that he committed no crime while in Brazil. We are hopeful that the prosecution accepts the court’s decision so that this story can finally be put to rest,” Jeff Ostrow, Lochte’s Florida-based attorney, said in an email to The Associated Press on Saturday.

Lochte told NBC last year that he and fellow swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen were robbed at gunpoint in a taxi by men with police badges as they returned to the Olympic Village from a party Aug. 15.

American Olympic swimmers Gunnar Bentz, left, and Jack Conger, center, leave the police station at Rio International airport early Thursday Aug. 18, 2016. The two were taken off their flight from Brazil to the U.S. on Wednesday by local authorities amid an investigation into a reported robbery targeting Ryan Lochte and his teammates. According to their lawyer they will not be allowed to leave Brazil until they provide testimony about the robbery. (AP Photo/Mauro Pimentel)

Video captured by surveillance cameras showed the athletes getting into a confrontation with security guards at a gas station when their cab pulled over to let them use the restroom.

The six-time Olympic gold medalist later acknowledged that he was intoxicated and that his behavior led to the confrontation.

Lochte served a 10-month suspension from the U.S. national swim team for his behavior in Rio. He was ineligible to compete at the recent U.S. nationals, which kept him from qualifying for the world championships beginning July 23 in Hungary. His suspension ended June 30.

“It’s been a long suspension but it’s over,” he tweeted on July 1. “I’ve learned and became a better man from it.”

Lochte was supposed to return to action this weekend by competing in the Los Angeles Invitational, but he withdrew on Friday, saying he was not in competition shape after the birth of his son, Caiden, last month.