US swimmer Ryan Lochte charged over false robbery claim

Police have accused athlete of fabricating story to cover up vandalising a petrol station toilet

Ryan Lochte

Image: Martin Meissner/AP/Press Association Images

US swimmer Ryan Lochte has been charged with making a false statement during the Olympics in Rio, say police in Brazil.

Lochte is to be informed in the US so he can decide whether to introduce a defence in Brazil, according to a police statement.

The indictment will also be sent to the International Olympic Committee's ethics commission.

The 32-year-old had initially said he and three teammates - Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen - had been pulled over in their taxi by gunmen posing as police who then robbed them.

However, the group faced an angry backlash after police accused Lochte of fabricating the story to cover up vandalising a petrol station toilet.

Lochte has since apologised to Olympics host Brazil, saying he was 110% sorry and blaming his immaturity for causing "all this ruckus".

He lost a number of sponsorship deals following the incident, reportedly worth around $1m.