United States swimmer Ryan Lochte appears set to receive a hefty fine from Brazilian authorities after a request for his case to be dropped was rejected.
Brazilian judge Juliana Leal de Melo refused the attempt for proceedings against the six-time Olympic gold medal winner to be ended and forwarded her verdict to the prosecutor.
They now have 15 days to return the case to court.
Lochte was among four US swimmers that initially claimed they had been robbed at gunpoint when returning to the Olympic Village during the Rio 2016 Games in August, before closed circuit television footage emerged of the men vandalizing a petrol station following a night out.
The incident provoked outrage in Brazil, as well as negative reactions across the world.
Lochte, who was seen as the instigator of the confrontation, has already been suspended for 10 months by USA Swimming.
Team-mates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen have each been given fourth month suspensions.
According to Globo, Lochte’s lawyers argued the swimmer had shown “atypical conduct… since it would not have reported the occurrence of crime to the police, which would have started the office of investigations, from news published in the media”.
But this has been rejected by Judge de Melo.
“I note that, as he sat under Brazilian law the possibility of investigative action of the police authority be triggered by the media news published,” she said in her verdict.
“The criminis notitia serves so that the police authority start the research process, and once gathered sufficient evidence can be triggered criminal action.”
It is thought a fine could be handed-out in excess of the $11,000 already paid in a charitable donation by Fiegen who, unlike Lochte, was unable to leave Brazil before being questioned.
A verdict is thought likely next week.
By Nick Butler
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.