What started out as a humorous story about Ryan Lochte and three U.S. Swimming teammates lying about a robbery to cover up their drunken antics at the Rio Olympics has turned much more serious, as Lochte and Jimmy Feigen have now been indicted for falsely filing a police report.
The official charge, according to Brazilian officials, is falsely reporting a crime, and while it’s a harsh lesson in honesty, the penalties are not that serious. The charge does not come with jail time, according to Yahoo, and if convicted, Lochte and Feigen would have to pay a fine.
It’s a tale as old as time: the cover-up is always worse than the crime — or in this case, the cover-up is the crime, and the act covered up probably would have gone away. Feigen was one of the swimmers detained in Brazil, but Lochte had already left the country by the time his tale started to unravel. Now that he’s been very publicly charged with a crime, it will be fascinating to see how he handles the next steps. Does his lawyer, who has publicly claimed cooperation at every stage, try to negotiate a middle ground, or does he return to Rio as a show of public good faith?
Of course, there’s one more option for the champion swimmer, straight out of the Arrested Development playbook: