03:37 GMT +319 February 2019
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    Story Sinks: US Swimmer Lochte Lied About Robbery to Hide ‘Drunken’ Vandalism

    Rio Cops Charge Olympic Swimmer Ryan Lochte in False Crime Report Scandal

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    US Olympic gold medal swimmer Ryan Lochte was charged on Thursday with making a false statement to police, over his claims that he was robbed at gunpoint after partying in Rio de Janeiro.

    Lochte, 32, could face up to six months in prison if convicted on the charge.

    "Ryan Lochte was charged with the crime of falsely reporting a crime," police said in a statement, which also said that they had recommended that the court issue a summons for him to be questioned.

    If Lochte fails to return to Brazil for his hearing, the trial will go on in his absence. 

    "Once he is summoned, whether he turns up or not, the penalty is the same: one to six months' prison," Rio police official Clemente Braune told G1. "If he is summoned and does not turn up to the hearing, the trial will go ahead in the accused's absence until the final sentence is given."

    The news comes just hours after it was announced that the swimmer has signed a new endorsement deal with Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops. He will reportedly be appearing in a series of print ads for the company with a theme of “forgiveness.”

    On Monday, it was announced that both Speedo and Ralph Lauren had dropped endorsement deals with Lochte over the allegations.

    Lochte apologized for the incident last week, admitting that he “over-exaggerated” the story. The US Olympic Committee has also apologized for the swimmers’ actions, and acknowledged that the athletes had not been robbed.

    The 12-time Olympic champion is also slated to appear on the next season of Dancing With the Stars.


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    US Olympic Committee, Olympics, Ryan Lochte, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
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