Police in Brazil want Ryan Lochte to return to give his account for what happened in the early morning hours of August 14.
The authorities seek to try Lochte for providing false information regarding a dustup at a Rio service station after a night of revelry. If Lochte refuses to return to Rio, the authorities plan to try him in absentia, ESPN Brazil reports. He faces a possible penalty of six months in a Brazilian jail or a hefty fine to allow him to escape the prospect of months behind bars.
The swimmer told the press that men with badges robbed him and three teammates at gunpoint, which brought further disgrace upon an Olympics that witnessed the robberies of several athletes. Video surveillance at the gas station where the alleged crime took place showed Lochte and his teammates raising their arms in unison when a man points his hand or an object at them.
USA Today displayed pictures showing that the door, mirror, and soap dispenser that the swimmers allegedly destroyed appeared old and intact in the gas station. No new items replaced the supposedly destroyed ones. The newspaper also discovered that the two men who extracted money from the swimmers worked a security detail in off hours from their jobs in law enforcement. Scorn initially came upon Lochte when he said men bearing badges robbed him and his teammates.
In an apology for taking attention away from the athletic achievements at the games, teammate James Feigen, who paid $10,800 to leave Brazil, denied that anyone destroyed property in the bathroom. “We did not force entry into the bathroom, nor did we ever enter the bathroom,” he explained. “We did, however, make the regrettable decision to urinate in the grass behind the building. On our way back to the cab, Ryan Lochte pulled a poster in a metal frame off a wall.”
Lochte, who absconded from Brazil before authorities could seize his passport, also apologized but lost numerous sponsors as a result of the controversy. Lochte won a gold in Rio to add to the eleven medals he earned in past Olympic games.