Ryan Lochte cleared of criminal charge in Rio Olympics gas station scandal

Ryan Lochte was due to return to competitive action this weekend but pulled out before he was due to appear

Ryan Lochte has officially been cleared from charges stemming from his Rio robbery scandal a year ago.

Lochte had said that he and three other USA swimmers, Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were on their way back to the Olympic Village from a party when their auto was pulled over by gun-toting robbers pretending to be police officers.

Police reported that the swimmers had lied about what happened and that no crime had been committed against them.

This was likely a severe blow to Brazil's reputation for being a safe place for tourists, especially after all the concerns and swirling chatter about hosting the 2016 Olympics elsewhere due to the rising crime-rates in Rio De Janeiro. The US swimmer had been accused of fabricating a story about getting robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro during August's Olympics, causing an worldwide scandal that drew in some of his team-mates.

Prosecutors could still challenge the ruling, and they have 15 days to do so.

Brazil's government expressed discontent about Lochte's lies, accusations, and lude behavior - yet do not appear to be levying any "ban" from the country against him. Lochte's lawyers have been pressing for a dismissal of the case, but a lower court had ruled 2-1 to uphold the charge.

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Lochte's 10-month suspension from the US national swim team over the incident ended July 1.

The same investigation found no evidence of damage other than a poster that Lochte tore from a wall.

"I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend - for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics", he said.

Lochte did apologize for the incident in an Instagram post on August 19, 2016.

Lochte is currently together with the sexy Kayla Rae Reid who now both have a child together.

Lochte, 32, is expected to compete in the 2020 Olympics.

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