Ryan Lochte Cleared of Criminal Charges From Rio Olympics Robbery Scandal

Ryan Lochte Cleared of Criminal Charges From Rio Olympics Robbery Scandal

Just one day after Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte was set to return to competition, his lawyer confirmed the 32-year-old was cleared of a criminal charge in the Rio Olympics incident that sparked worldwide outrage.

However, a subsequent investigation {by USA Today: "" target="_blank"} found the basic elements of Lochte's story were true.

Last August, the swimmer was charged with filing a false police report over a gas station encounter during the Olympics. "It has been a long year, but in the end, justice prevailed", Jeff Ostrow, Lochte's Florida-based attorney, said.

Prosecutors have 15 days to decide whether they will challenge the ruling. Instead, they asserted Lochte and his teammates trashed the bathroom of a Rio gas station.

The charge against Lochte stems not from telling the exaggerated story to NBC days after returning to the US, but from telling it to Rio police, who triggered an investigation of the incident.

Police had already started their probe and they came to court to complain after the interview, a panel of judges said.

Video captured by surveillance cameras showed the athletes getting into a confrontation with security guards at a gas station. Lochte's lawyers have been pressing for a dismissal of the case, but a lower court had ruled 2-1 to uphold the charge.

The dismissal is due to the fact that Lochte's interview with NBC, in which he made the claim, could not be considered evidence of a false report.

Lochte was suspended from the US national swim team for 10 months for his actions at the gas station, a penalty that ended July 1, USA Today reported.

Lochte, whose 12 Olympic medals ranks second all-time among USA swimmers behind Michael Phelps, was pilloried in the media and several sponsors cut ties with him in the wake of the incident.