Rio Olympics 2016: Another admission of lying in Ryan Lochte saga

US swimmer James Feigen during a swimming training session prior to the 2016 Olympics. Photo / AP
US swimmer James Feigen during a swimming training session prior to the 2016 Olympics. Photo / AP

James Feigen, one of the four US swimmers who was involved in a notorious gas station incident earlier this month at the Rio Olympics, has apologised for his role in fabricating the story about being robbed by gunmen posing as police.

In a statement posted to his lawyer's website, Feigen apologised to Rio de Janeiro, the Olympic Games and his USA teammates.

"First and foremost I would like to apologise for the serious distractions from the Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, and Team USA. It was never my intent to draw attention away from the tradition of athletic competition and the symbolic co-operation of countries participating in the Olympic Games," the statement read.

"I want to thank the IOC and the people of Rio de Janeiro for their hospitality in hosting these games. I have nothing but respect for the city in undertaking the massive responsibility of hosting the Olympics and I feel their performance was exemplary.

"I also apologise for the delay in this statement as I just arrived back home late Saturday evening. That being said, I would like to take the time to explain my thoughts on the events that began on August 14th."

He provided his account of the night in question and the ensuing days, including details of the negotiations that eventually allowed him to leave Brazil and return home.

He says when investigators showed up the day after the incident, he was the only one of the swimmers available and was told by a USOC official to make a statement - and admitted omitting key parts from his statement.

"In this statement, I omitted the facts that we urinated behind the building and that Ryan Lochte pulled a poster off the wall. This statement was written by the officers in Portuguese, and I was then asked to sign the statement without seeing it translated into English. I realise that I made a mistake by omitting these facts. I was trying to protect my teammates and for this I apologise."

One other interesting part of his statement deals with the fine he paid to get his passport back and ensure his return to the US.

Feigen says he was originally offered the choice of remaining in Rio for the length of the investigation, estimated to last a month or more, or pay a fine of $AUD42,650. He says that when he rejected both options, the fine was increased to $197,000.

His attorneys, he says, then negotiated the fine down to the eventual $14,200, which had to be paid within three days or it would be bumped back up to $197,000.

Through the help of his family and attorneys, he says, the fine was paid and Feigen returned safely. He thanked both in closing his statement.

"The support of my family, friends, and attorneys was paramount in my ability to return home. I am so sorry for the drama this has caused in everyone's lives. I am very thankful to be home in the United States with my family and that this ordeal has come to an end."


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