On Thursday, Brazilian police charged US Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte with filing a false robbery report, citing evidence that contradicts Lochte’s testimonies.
Lochte first told police that he and his three swimming teammates were robbed at gunpoint on August 14 by gunmen wearing badges. He claimed that he and his fellow swimmers were on the way back to their hotel rooms at Olympics Village after a night out partying when the robbery occurred.
But the most shocking part of his testimony was quickly walked back. Shortly after telling police that a gun was placed to his forehead, he took back this plot line, claiming that a gun was simply directed toward him.
Brazilian police later accused Lochte along with his teammates Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen of vandalizing a bathroom at at gas station near the location the swimmers’ alleged they were robbed.
Aside from grainy surveillance footage showing Lochte and crew at the gas station, Brazilian police have been unable to prove that the swimmers committed acts of vandalism.
According to a USA Today Sports investigation, “Lochte pulled down a metal advertisement and the swimmers urinated behind the gas station restroom [but] there was no other evidence of vandalism.”
USA Today also notes that police never interrogated the swimmers about the alleged acts of vandalism. Rather they waited until reports of the swimmers being robbed made national headlines to finally disclose their accusations.
Lochte’s legal team claims that it hasn’t received an official notice specifying the charges. However, the likelihood that the United States will extradite one of its own to face petty and seemingly unfounded charges in Brazil is incredibly small.