According to USA Today, an appellate court in Brazil cleared the 32-year-old Olympic swimmer of any criminal charges, concluding that Lochte did not break the law in exaggerating the details of an incident at a gas station during the Rio Olympics in August.
The appeals court also ruled that Brazilian law was not broken because the investigation was initiated by the authorities in Rio, not Lochte, and that what he said in his NBC interview didn't constitute as a false report. Prosecutors now have 15 days to decide whether they will challenge the ruling.
"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," said Jeff Ostrow, Lochte’s attorney, in a statement to ET.
The Dancing With the Stars alum originally claimed that he and three other members on the U.S. swim team were robbed at gunpoint during a night out. Days later, Rio police stated that the athletes had vandalized the gas station bathroom and concluded that the swimmers had fabricated their story. The gold medalist apologized for the incident and admitted that they were intoxicated at the time. He was then suspended for 10 months from the USA Swimming nation team and lost many sponsorships.
"It's been a long suspension but it's over, I've learned and became a better man from it.... now let's go #2020 #teamtyr #2020isforyoucaiden #justletmework," Lochte wrote on Instagram alongside a video of his biggest milestones, including last year's Rio scandal.