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Jimmy Feigen Apologizes for Rio Incident, Says Brazilian Police Tried to Fine Him $46K To Leave Rio

by Zach Seemayer 6:11 PM PDT, August 24, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

U.S. Olympic swimmer Jimmy Feigen is breaking his silence on the gas station vandalism dispute that took place during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 14 -- alongside fellow swimmers Ryan Lochte, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger -- and his subsequent detainment by Brazilian authorities.

Feigen issued an apology for the "serious distractions from the Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, and Team USA" that the incident caused.

"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," Feigen said in a statement released by his legal representatives. "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."

MORE: 2016 Rio Olympics: The 9 Biggest and Most Scandalous Moments

The 26-year-old gold medalist, who was the last of the four swimmers involved to address the incident, additionally apologized for "the delay in this statement," explaining that he didn't arrive back home until Aug. 21.

Lochte originally claimed that he and his three teammates were coming home after a night of partying when their taxi was pulled over by men pretending to be Rio police. He said that one of the robbers pointed a gun at his forehead and stole their money.

Later, Lochte altered his story, saying that the group wasn't pulled over but instead, they were robbed at a gas station after having the taxi pull over so they could use the restroom.

Rio police officials claim that the swimmers vandalized the bathroom at the gas station and urinated on the building. According to their report, two gas station security guards were the ones who pointed their gun at the swimmers, demanding monetary payment for the damages.

In his statement, Feigen admitted to urinating in the grass behind the station as the door to the bathroom was locked, and recounted Lochte pulling a poster out of a metal frame off a wall. These were facts he omitted in his official report to the Rio police.

"I realize that I made a mistake by omitting these facts," he wrote. "I was trying to protect my teammates and for this I apologize."

RELATED: U.S. Swimmer Gunnar Bentz Apologizes, Shares His Version of Events in Rio Robbery Claim

Feigen says he was later informed that authorities were investigating their report, and was asked to provide a follow-up statement, "I provided the statement at the police station, which included the previous omissions," he explained.

The swimmer says he was asked to stay in the country and to give up his passport, adding, "I voluntarily provided my passport to the police and waited while the matter was investigated."

"I was eventually given two options. Option one was to remain in Brazil while the police continued the investigation," Feigen recounted. "This process was estimated to take at least a month and I would be required to remain in Brazil."

RELATED: Olympic Swimmer James Feigen to Pay Nearly $11,000 to Leave Brazil

"Option two was pay a fine of [$31,250] for the return of my passport and perform fifteen days of community service," he continued. "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 [$46,875]."

Eventually, Feigen said that "all parties agreed to a [$10,800] fine," which he was required to pay within three days. Contacting his family and legal counsel in America, he was able to "satisfy the payment of the fine the next day," at which point his passport was returned, and he was allowed to fly home.

"I am so sorry for the drama this has caused in everyone’s lives," Feigen concluded. "I am very thankful to be home in the United States with my family and that this ordeal has come to an end."

WATCH: Speedo and Ralph Lauren Drop Ryan Lochte Sponsorships After Rio Olympics Scandal

Lochte, who was the first to go public with the story of being robbed at gunpoint, took to Instagram on Friday morning to issue an apology.

"I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend," the 31-year-old swimmer wrote. "For not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and for my role in taking away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics." Check out the video below to hear more about the Olympian's mea culpa.

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