Brazilian authorities announced Thursday that they have charged U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte with falsely reporting a crime, and police have recommended to the court that Lochte, 32, be summoned to return to Rio. Although the gold medalist is not required to appear in court, and can choose to send a lawyer in his place, the crime carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison.

The charges come after Rio police falsified Lochte’s version of events that took place at a gas station during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Following an incident at a gas station on August 14, Lochte made claims that, after a night out, he and his teammates had been robbed on their way back to the Olympic village. The swimmer’s initial story, which he told to NBC on the day of the incident, was that he and three teammates had been pulled over in a taxi by men with a police badge, and then robbed at gunpoint. Police say that Lochte made up this story, and video surveillance has since provided evidence that the group of swimmers were instead confronted by security guards after vandalizing a restroom at the gas station.

Lochte admits to “over-exaggerating” his story

Lochte flew back to the U.S. following the incident and has since admitted some wrongdoing on his part. In an interview with Matt Lauer, Lochte apologized to the people of Brazil for “over-exaggerating” his version of events and admitted that he behaved poorly during the altercation, stating: “They put on a great Games. They did everything. And my immature, intoxicated behavior tarnished that a little” (TODAY).

The 12-time medal winner maintains, though, that he and his teammates were held at gunpoint.

Brazil and the United States have a long-standing extradition treaty, which Brazil has often failed to honor, refusing to extradite its citizens to the U.S. when charged. It is unclear whether U.S. authorities will do the same if Lochte chooses not to return to Rio.

Olympic future unclear, at least for now

In the aftermath of the incident, Speedo has ended its endorsement deal with Ryan Lochte, and he has also lost several other sponsors.

The charges also raise questions about his future as an Olympic athlete. The swimmer has indicated that he plans to return to compete in Tokyo at the 2020 Olympic Games. Many in the media have condemned the swimmer’s behavior, saying he let down his country and tarnished a great performance from the rest of the U.S. athletes.

The U.S. Olympic Committee has indicated that Lochte and the other athletes involved will be disciplined, although they have not announced what the consequences will be.

Although it is not clear whether or not Lochte will participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, there have been rumors that he will be a contestant on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars.

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