RIO DE JANEIRO- Rio police announced Thursday that U.S. swimmer, Ryan Lochte, is being charged with falsely reporting a crime.
The department police has requested that Lochte be notified through letter about the legal process related to the charges. Lochte can then decide whether or not to introduce a defense in Brazil. A statement detailing all of this also said a copy of the evidence could be sent to the International Olympic Committee’s ethics commission.
The gold medalist will now be summoned to Rio courts, said Tourist Support Special Precinct officials. Lochte can decide to opt out and send a lawyer, he does not have to appear in court.
If convicted of the charges, Lochte could face one to six months in jail, however the judge could choose to levy a fine instead.
A commissioner of the Special Tourist Police in Rio said there would be no negotiations in this case. Lochte will have the choice to appeal the decision.
According to CNN, Lochte’s lawyer, Jeffrey Ostrow, had not heard from Brazilian authorities yet.
Lochte has already been dropped from four major sponsors. Speedo was the first to drop the 12-time Olympic medalist after he lied to Rio police about being robbed at a gas station with three U.S. swimming teammates.
On Thursday Lochte did pick up one new sponsor account in Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops. He will appear in ads for the company.
“Thanks to all the folks at pine bros. for your confidence in me. I look forward to making you proud,” Lochte tweeted.
This all comes after Lochte apologized on social media following the questioning of his fellow teammates.
Lochte arrived back in the United States before Rio police were done with their investigation. He called the experience “traumatic.” The falsely reported crime outraged local Brazilian residents that feel like Lochte tampered with Rio’s reputation.