Ryan Lochte could be stuck in the US forever if he doesn't go back to Brazil and give a sworn statement to police, authorities have warned.
Officials are asking the Olympic swimmer to give a truthful statement in court. If Lochte refuses, he risks being put on trial in his absence, reports ESPN Brazil.
If found guilty, the harshest penalty is six months in prison.
Brazilian authorities have told US officials they do not want to give Lochte the option of making a statement in his home country.
It's unclear how much power Brazil actually has to force Lochte back to the country. Likewise with the prison sentence if he doesn't show up.
But authorities could make life extremely difficult for Lochte by flagging his passport as wanted through Interpol. This will make it hard for him to leave the country.
The swimmer recently lost endorsements from Speedo USA and Ralph Lauren over the robbery scandal.
Speaking about the loss of swimwear brand Speedo, Ryan Lochte said,
I hear about that, and it stinks. Speedo was great to me, they were like a second family throughout my swimming career. I guess it's a new chapter now.
At the time, Lochte also addressed the rumored suspension expected to be handed down by the USOC, saying,
However long my suspension is, that the USOC says, I'm going to get back in that water and keep going. I think I would [continue to] swim just because I love the exercise. I love being in the water, and I would definitely go and start working with kids; teaching them things that I've learned throughout my swimming career.
Let's take a moment to appreciate how this whole thing really got out of hand fast.
Citations: Daily Mail