USA's Ryan Lochte waits for results in a Men's 200M Individual Medley semifinal at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 10. Thursday, police filed a charge of filing a false police report against the gold medalist. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI. | License Photo
Authorities investigating the case of U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte in Brazil have filed a charge of making a false police report against the 12-time Olympic medalist.
Rio de Janeiro police made the decision to file on Thursday, according to news reports.
"The U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte has been charged with the crime of false communication," a police statement said, according to USA Today.
News of the charge came not long after reports that Lochte will likely be summoned to Brazil to testify as part of the investigation into his fabricated claims that he and three of his teammates were held at gunpoint on the second weekend the Summer Games.
Reports said Lochte was informed of the charge and must now determine whether to present a defense. Details of the charge might also be sent to the International Olympic Committee, which has formed an ethics committee to investigate the gas station incident.
It's possible that Brazil could request Lochte be extradited to face the charge. He could, however, sent a lawyer because he is not required to appear in person, CNN reported.
A FOX News report stated that prosecutors have requested Lochte testify in front of the Brazilian Justice Department. Lochte is prohibited from negotiating a plea deal unless he is physically in Brazil.
The 32-year-old Lochte initially claimed that he was robbed at gunpoint, although police declared that the swimmers vandalized a bathroom after a night of partying before armed guards confronted them and asked for payment for the damage.
"Whether you call it a robbery or whether you call it extortion or us just paying for the damages, we don't know," Lochte told NBC last Saturday. "All we know is that there was a gun pointed in our direction and we were demanded to give money."
Lochte later admitted to the network that he understood that money was being asked to pay the damage or the police would be called. He also noted that he had "too much to drink that night and I was very intoxicated."
"That's why I'm taking full responsibility for it, because I over-exaggerated the story," Lochte told NBC. "If I had never done that, we wouldn't be in this mess."