Jimmy Feigen apologizes for Rio incident, details release negotiations
U.S. Olympic swimmer Jimmy Feigen released a statement Tuesday night apologizing for his role in the gas station dispute in Rio.
Authorities have said that U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte, Feigen and teammates Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger were not robbed as they made their way back to the Olympic Village from a party on Aug. 14, as Lochte initially claimed.
Lochte admitted making up the robbery story after leaving Brazil, and Feigen agreed to pay a fine to a charity to settle his role in the incident.
In his statement, Feigen also detailed negotiations between his lawyers and the Brazilian authorities, which allowed him to leave the country. Feigen said when speaking with Brazilian prosecutors last week, they gave him two options: pay a fine or wait a month as authorities conduct their investigation into what really happened.
Feigen said initially prosecutors wanted $31,500 for the return of his passport which would let him leave Brazil, but when Feigen's lawyer rejected that amount, prosecutors raised the fine to $46,875.
“Finally, all parties agreed to a $10,800.00 fine,” Feigen said. “I was able to contact my family in the United States along with my American attorneys and we were able to satisfy the payment of the fine the next day. My passport was returned to me after payment was received, and I was able to return home.”
Feigen also described what happened after returning from a party that night.
He says the swimmers pulled over to a gas station to use the bathroom but the door was locked.
“We did not force entry into the bathroom, nor did we ever enter the bathroom. We did, however, make the regrettable decision to urinate in the grass behind the building," Feigen said.
"On our way back to the cab, Ryan Lochte pulled a poster in a metal frame off a wall,” Feigen said. “I got back into the cab and waited for the others. One of my teammates told me that a man with a gun was standing outside the cab. The man with the gun spoke with the cab driver, who got out of the cab. We then got out of the cab and I paid the driver the fare. As I walked away, the man with the gun pointed it at me and my teammates and ordered us, in Portuguese, to sit. This was the first time I have ever had a gun pointed at me and I was terrified.
The United States Olympic Committee has said the swimmers will face discipline, but has not announced any punishment.
- Scooby Axson