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Jimmy Feigen Apologizes for Rio Gas Station Scandal: ‘I Was Trying to Protect My Teammates’

Jimmy Feigen has apologized for his part in the Rio gas station scandal. The Olympic swimmer revealed that he initially didn’t tell police everything that happened in order to protect his teammate Ryan Lochte.

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Feigen’s written statement was obtained by NBC News on Wednesday, August 24. “I omitted the facts that we urinated behind the building and that Ryan Lochte pulled a poster off the wall,” the 26-year-old said. “I realize I made a mistake by omitting these facts. I was trying to protect my teammates and for this I apologize. 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.”

Jimmy Feigen
Jimmy Feigen during day eight of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials.

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As previously reported, Lochte, 32, claimed on Sunday, August 14, that the two men, along with Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro. Feigen later stood by the story in an interview with his local paper San Antonio Express-News on August 18.

Ryan Lochte
Ryan Lochte at a press conference during 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Lochte’s story would later crumble, however, when Brazilian officials said in a press conference that there was no robbery and that the team USA athletes had actually vandalized the property. The 12-time medalist apologized for “overexaggerating” what really happened during a sit-down interview with the Today show’s Matt Lauer over the weekend.

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Amid the controversy, Feigen, Bentz, 20, and Conger, 21, were briefly detained at a Rio airport. Feigen was allowed to return home after agreeing to pay roughly $11,000 to a Brazilian charity called Reaction Institute.

In his remarks on Wednesday, Feigen shined more of a light on what happened while he was in custody. He claims that he was asked to sign a statement while being questioned by police, even though it was not translated from Portuguese to English. Additionally, he says he was initially asked to pay $31,250 and complete 15 days of community service.

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