Jimmy Feigen signed a statement for Rio police in which he omitted key facts about an early morning incident at a gas station involving U.S. swimming teammate Ryan Lochte and two others during the Olympics earlier this month.
"I omitted the facts that we urinated behind the building and that Ryan Lochte pulled a poster off the wall," Feigen said in a statement posted on his attorney's website. "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 realize that I made a mistake by omitting these facts. I was trying to protect my teammates and for this I apologize."
Feigen said he included those facts in a follow-up statement to the police while his passport was being held to prevent his return to the U.S. during the investigation.Eventually, Feigen stated, he was allowed to leave Brazil after paying a fine of 35,000 reals, about $11,000 U.S., to charity.
But it could have been much worse.
"I was eventually given two options," Feigen stated. "Option one was to remain in Brazil while the police continued the investigation. This process was estimated to take at least a month and I would be required to remain in Brazil. Option two was pay a fine of R$100,000.00 ($31,250.00 USD) for the return of my passport and perform fifteen days of community service. I called my American attorneys to discuss what to do. We decided that this amount was unreasonable and due to safety concerns, this offer was also rejected. The prosecutor's response was to increase the fine to R$150,000.00 ($46,875.00 USD).
"Finally, all parties agreed to a R$35,000.00 ($10,800.00 USD) fine."
Feigen stated that the four swimmers never went into the gas station bathroom and that a gun was pointed at them. He also joined his teammates in apologizing for an incident that became one of the major stories to come out of the Rio Games.
"I would like to apologize for the serious distractions from the Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, and Team USA," Feigen stated. "It was never my intent to draw attention away from the tradition of athletic competition and the symbolic cooperation of countries participating in the Olympic games."