Swimmer Feigen apologizes for ‘serious distraction’ in Rio
NEW YORK — U.S. swimmer James Feigen apologized for the “serious distraction” he and three teammates caused at a gas station during the Rio Olympics, saying he omitted facts in his statement to police.
“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 Tuesday on the website of his lawyer in Austin, Texas.
He maintains the group didn’t force their way into a bathroom and a gun was pointed at them.
The 26-year-old Feigen said the group left the French House party around 5 a.m. in a taxi to travel back to the Athlete Village.
“We pulled over to a gas station to use the bathroom but the door was locked,” Feigen’s statement read. “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 he paid the driver the cab fare and “As I walked away, the man with the gun pointed it at me and my teammate and ordered us, in Portuguese, to sit.”
Feigen said it “became apparent that the man with the gun was telling us to pay,” and he and teammate Gunnar Bentz gave the man some money. They took another cab to the village and arrived around 7 a.m.
Feigen, who was pulled off an airplane last week by Brazilian police for more questioning, said he paid a fine of $10,800 for the return of his passport so he could travel back to the U.S.