Ryan Lochte to be summoned to testify in Brazil over 'robbery cl - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Ryan Lochte to be summoned to testify in Brazil over 'robbery claim'

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(NBC) -

Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte will be summoned to appear before a Brazilian judge in response to the bathroom vandalism case that became an international scandal during the Rio games, officials said Thursday.

Lochte initially claimed he and three other teammates were held up by armed robbers early Aug. 14 at a gas station following a night of drinking and clubbing.

Police, however, said video footage from the Shell station proved otherwise and Lochte gave false statements to them about what had happened. As more questions mounted, he and his teammates later admitted to embellishing their story and leaving out other details to investigators — including that they damaged part of a bathroom.

"I over-exaggerated that story," the 12-time Olympic medalist told TODAY afterposting an apology online.

Police are closing their investigation into the criminal case this week and will hand it over to Rio's public prosecutor, Detective Clemente Braune told NBC News.

Investigators are recommending prosecutors take up the case, and a formal document is expected to be sent to a U.S. court asking for cooperation in summoning the swimmer to Brazil.

Lochte left Rio for the United States as the scandal unfolded and Brazilian authorities say he fabricated the events of what happened.

If he doesn't show up to the hearing, the process will continue without him, officials said.

An attorney for Lochte did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.

Two of the American swimmers, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were pulled off a plane to be interviewed about the incident last week.

The third American, Jimmy Feigen, also cooperated and was allowed to leave Rio after agreeing to donate nearly $11,000 to a local sports charity.

Lochte never publicly mentioned the vandalism or an argument that took place with gas station staff when he first discussed the incident publicly, suggesting that he saw himself as the victim.

But Brazilian authorities revealed that the vandalism and argument preceded security guards — not armed robbers — demanding money from the swimmers for the destruction of the bathroom.

Lochte, who has since lost sponsorship deals in light of the scandal, later apologized for what transpired.

"I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself and for that I am sorry to my teammates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors, and the hosts of this great event," he said in a statement.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau declined to comment Thursday about Lochte's case, but told reporters that "speaking broadly we do encourage U.S. citizens, as always, to cooperate with law enforcement." 

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