Olympic Swimmer Jack Conger Issues Statement; Feigen Asked to Pay More And Other Developments

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The following is a statement from Jack Conger regarding the gas station confrontation in Rio involving himself, Ryan Lochte, and two others during the Olympics.

It’s good to be back home in the U.S. Participating in the Olympics was a wonderful experience, and I want to express my appreciation to Brazil and to Rio de Janeiro for being wonderful hosts. I also want to express my gratitude for the support I’ve received from my family and friends, USA Swimming, the US Olympic Committee, and the University of Texas.

Unfortunately, one event has become the focus of attention, and I want to briefly address that event today. First and foremost, I deeply regret the trouble and embarrassment this event has brought to the people of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro, and the distraction it has caused from the achievements of my fellow Olympians. Brazil and Rio have staged a great Games, and it was a privilege to be there and to represent the United States of America. I also want to express my regret for its impact on USA Swimming and the USOC.

Let me begin by emphasizing that I have been completely truthful in my statements throughout this unfortunate situation, including the information I provided to US officials before leaving Brazil. In fact, the Brazilian authorities made clear to me from the very beginning that I was being considered only a witness, not a suspect.

Perhaps it will be helpful to provide a summary of what I believe happened that night:

Early Sunday morning I was with USA swimming teammates celebrating at the French House. Four of us took a taxi back to the Olympic Village, and on the way we pulled into a gas station to use the restroom, but ultimately relieved ourselves outside, for which I apologize. Ryan Lochte removed a poster from a nearby wall, which apparently alerted the gas station employees, leading to our being confronted by two armed security men. Although I cooperated with their requests while there was a heated exchange among others, at one point a weapon was pointed at me. Eventually, a man appeared who was able to translate for us, helping to defuse the situation. We paid some money to compensate them for the torn poster, and returned to the Village in a different taxi.

This has been an unsettling, humbling and frightening experience. It’s a reminder that all of us, when we travel and especially when we represent the US in the Olympics, are ambassadors for our country and should be on our best behavior.

Again, I want to express my appreciation to Brazil and Rio de Janeiro, and my apologies. I appreciate the support I have received from my family and friends, as well as the support I’ve received from my teammates and so many others. Now, I am looking forward to getting back into my normal routine of school and swimming.

 

In other developments:

  • USA Today reported that Brazilian prosecutors want the “Charity Donation” by Jimmy Feigen to be upped from $10,800 USD to $47,000 USD

Rio’s Public Ministry says U.S. swimmer Jimmy Feigen should pay about $50,000 or more than four times what he was ordered to pay by a Brazilian judge.

In a settlement decision, a Brazilian judge ordered Feigen to pay 35,000 Reais (about $11,000) on Friday. The American made the payment to have his passport returned and to avoid charges of filing a false police report. The money was donated to a local charity that supports sports programs.

The Public Ministry, a prosecutorial body, had requested a fine more than four times as high —  150,000 Reais or about $47,000. Feigen’s defense called the higher proposed amount “disproportional” compared to the individual’s financial status.

The Public Ministry said it was appealing the application of the lower settlement amount, objecting that a judge had decided the amount without prosecutors agreeing to it. In a release, the Public Ministry said the lower amount was “insufficient given the gravity and negative repercussion of the fact.”

Feigen was one of four American swimmers who said they were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning. Police say they vandalized a bathroom at a gas station and fabricated a story about a robbery.

  • The International Olympic Committee has formed a disciplinary commission to investigate what happened last Sunday morning.
  • United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun released a statement tonight in regard to the incident from early Sunday morning involving four U.S. Olympic swimmers, including Ryan Lochte.
  • USA Swimming CEO Chuck Wielgus followed that up with a statement of his own.
  • Ryan Lochte Apologizes For Behavior, Says He Should Have Been More ‘Careful and Candid’
  • Connor Bentz Issues Statement on Gas Station Incident
  • Reports: Ryan Lochte Fabricated Robbery Story
45 Comments

45 comments

  1. avatar
    L. Hillaker

    With a national history of extortion why should any sane person give credence to the Brazilin Kidnappers?

    • avatar
      Lee Humphrey

      I agree. This whole incident and its aftermath are simply further examples.

    • avatar
      Alessandra

      Maybe because the US has an even bigger history of corruption and racism? Maybe because the four American clowns have already been proven and admitted to be criminals while the Brazilians have only shown themselves to be law-abiding? Maybe because if these four swimmers had been from Russia or Mexico, and they had pulled off the same debacle in the US, most Americans would be assuming the story was completely different?

      • avatar
        R. Porter

        Are you related to Dumpold Trump?!!! You’re comments make about as much sense!

      • avatar
        Kevin Q

        You are grossly misinformed. Brazil is known for corruption and crime but not the USA. Brazil is the murder capital of the world. This event would have not happened here because what the security guards did would be considered a major crime. Public urination is a small ticket and fine but pointing a gun at someone and asking for money is a capital crime. Also, they extorted $400 dollars from the swimmers but they told the police it was just $50. Many of the athletes were robbed during their stay in Brazil. The shame is on Rio.

      • avatar
        Alessandra

        the US is the most corrupt country in the world. As we can see here:

        The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are
        balanced.

        The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made
        $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up.

        No other country has corruption at this level. Face it, Americans are always the most dishonest (and drunk!) people pointing fingers at others.

      • avatar
        Jim

        Pure BS from you. STFU.

    • avatar
      alvia g rane

      they were upset about that video it was simply a video and a ripped poster big deal all they have to do is donate to clintons foundation and vote for bill and hilary the most honest crooks in history.

      • avatar
        Kevin Quinn

        Are you incapable of making a relevant and intelligent comment?

      • avatar
        Jim

        You’re right. Thank you.

  2. avatar
    LHillaker

    Who does Brazil think they are Hillary Clinton? (See extortion, Murder, Corruption)

    • avatar
      DrJCG

      Idiot!

      • avatar
        Leander

        Obviously, he’s an idiot not to understand how the money flows in and out of the Obama administration. If you want the US to pay random, you go see John Kerry and Barrack Obama, not Hillary Clinton. See, e.g., the $400,000,000 ransom they just paid to Iraq in cash. Hillary is the one that you bribe to get things done. Google, for instance, $25,000,000, Russia and Clinton Foundation. So, Hillary doesn’t pay you, she collects bribes.

  3. avatar
    Nathan

    When I heard about the $11,000 shakedown it made me sick. Isn’t this almost half of what this athlete makes in a whole year? It is not like someone on the basketball team that makes millions got fined that much. Now a corrupt judge is trying to raise an already ridiculous amount even higher to distract their citizens from their governments failures. The US government should have done the reasonable thing and sent seal team 6 in right away to get our boys back.

    • avatar
      Anti

      I can’t agree with you more! This is extortion!! Shame on Brazil!

    • avatar
      Alessandra

      Americans think they don’t have to settle damages and crimes they commit abroad! And now they find out that’s not the case – and provide entertainment to the entire world with the losers they have for athletes.
      Win-win all around!

      • avatar
        3rdWorldBrazil

        Well when we pay for a crime, whether via monetarily or through prison time, the don’t come back later and say yeah we took your 11k but now we want 50k SUCKER. What a pathetic country.

      • avatar
        Kevin Quinn

        You don’t know anything about America. It’s much safer and people don’t look at our tourists as targets to steal or extort money from them. Also, your government should have spent the Olympic money on its poor citizens to try to make their lives better. You need your money to help control the rampant crime that occurs there.

      • avatar
        Alessandra

        No, you’re the one who is completely ignorant about the US. Try pulling the same crimes they committed: vandalism, threatening security, fleeing from police, and most gravely falsely reporting a crime and soiling the reputation of honest and decent people in the US and see if people won’t come after you.
        I don’t recall telling you what country I’m from, btw.

      • avatar
        Jim

        How pathetic that you’re just another US hating loser. Everyone in the world wants America to support them, even those who claim to hate America, like you.

  4. avatar
    L Hillaker

    If an American has to pay kidnap extortion money to Brazil I would suggest no further invitations to future Olympics for any Brazilian until all “B” athletes and those connected w/same have expired. Further, I would close all connection to/from Brazil. They can become The Cuba for the 21st century. I would also send Hillary and Bill Clinton with Barack Hussein Obama and wife with the mother-in-law to live in Brazil without pension or his fund-raising cash. We could also
    send harry Reid without his Mils. of $$ in payoffs. CLEAN-THE-HOUSE.

    • avatar
      DrJCG

      Upon reconsideration, L Hillaker is a TOTAL/Complete idiot!

      • avatar
        Lee Humphrey

        Agreed!

    • avatar
      Kevin Q

      Your comments are off-topic.

    • avatar
      Jim

      No. obama, hilliary and most of their administration associates should be in prison, not retired anywhere else.

  5. avatar
    Richard Martin

    Why did one swimmer get fined and the others did not? Puzzling to me.

    • avatar
      Alessandra

      Lochte ran away from justice – so he is effectively a criminal on the run. Feigen paid, the other two did not commit the crime of reporting a false crime to authorities.

    • avatar
      Siddude

      @richard martin,

      Lochte and Feigen made a false statement about a crime committed against them. That’s a crime so Feigen got hit with a settlement. Conger and Bentz were just witnesses and never made a false statement about a robbery. That’s why they were let go.

  6. avatar
    Lee White

    I appears they did get robbed after all…

  7. avatar
    Hugh D. Knee

    Frankly, I was wondering where Feigen got the money in the first place. Did the US Embassy front the money, USOC, did Chuck Heilgus put it on his Centurion Card (Amex Black)? Or did he call 1-800-Got-Bail?

  8. avatar
    P. Pro

    As representatives of the United States of America, citizens and athletes they should be on their best behavior. Not like spoiled 5 year olds. Why should premadonna athletes not be held to a high standard when they are guests of a foreign country? How do we expect others to act when they visit our country? Let them pay the price and thus be a warning to others to respect our hosts.

  9. avatar
    Johnny_b_good

    It is okay when US boys vandalize, rape, murder, molest children, etc. when they are in other countries. As someone commented earlier, we can send out SEAL team and rescue our criminal boys.

    • avatar
      The Truth

      When did this happen during the olympics.

    • avatar
      Kevin Q

      What the hell are you talking about?

    • avatar
      Jim

      Congratulations. You win the “stupidest comment on the internet” award for today.

  10. avatar
    The Truth

    Alessandra… So what you are saying is by tearing down a poster they are criminals? Really? If you think so badly of the US then why are you here? Why don’t you go live in Brazil and see how it goes. All Brazilians have shown to be law abiding? Another false statement…. good thing your not in Brazil yet because based on your logic you are a criminal your damn self. A liar making false statements. Oh yea we have such loser of athletes… Not according to metal count and do a little research no countries people have donated more to other countries than America. There’s some truth right there for ya.

    • avatar
      Alessandra

      Try tearing down a poster display plus vandalism, threatening security, fleeing from police, and most gravely falsely reporting a crime and soiling the reputation of honest and decent people.

      I meant that all Brazilians involved in the case have shown themselves to be law-abiding.

      • avatar
        D

        A, you miss the fact that security pointed guns at them! Then money was demanded from them! This is not Brazilians acting in a law abiding way! That was extortion!

      • avatar
        Hugh

        They did not flee from police, nor did they threaten security, from what was reported by either side. In fact, the Brazilian police only released that part of the video that embarrassed the swimmers not the one that embarrassed the security guards. That’s quite convenient, isn’t it. Lochte did make a mistake by lying, which the media exaggerated since they like to toy with people in whichever direction the wind blows, to boost their audience. Lochte still is a much nicer person than many. The question is one of proportions, assuming everyone, not only the “liars”, is of good faith, which isn’t granted; would you really believe nothing worse than that happened over the two weeks from the 11,000 athletes there ? and yet that’s the biggest story. It’s also saddening that no one stands for him openly in the USA swimming team, except Rowdy Gaines. I bet they’re all shaking at that thought, including the biggest names. Apparently that was the best USA swimming team ever, well I’m challenging that, for there are more valuable things in life than medal count or parading on the Today Show.

      • avatar
        Alessandra

        How many testimonies did you read? What I read is that Lochte made so much noise tearing down the sign that it called the attention of security. First of all, why was he tearing down a sign? What else did he try to do in terms of vandalism? Not clear. OK, so they are peeing all over the place as well. Why didn’t they use the bathroom? Are they too much pigs to use a bathroom? Did they break down the bathroom door? The bathroom part of the story is also not clear because we are dealing with such louses. In any case, security arrives because of the ruckus. They beg security not to call the police, because they don’t want to get in trouble, but security in fact does call police, since they have vandals wrecking the station. Lochte and another one start leaving and tell the others to leave, to avoid an encounter with police. The guard says nothing doing and tells them to sit down. Lochte does not sit down and starts yelling at police, drunk, and gets into altercation. Security pulls gun. The other two calmer swimmers tell Lochte to shut up and sit down, and he sits. They all start to wait for police but police doesn’t arrive immediately. Then one of them has the idea to offer to pay for the damages in cash right there and asks that they settle the matter which would allow them to leave. Security calls manager who is nice enough to agree and let them go if they pay. Why make a big deal out of four stupid American oafs having done minor damage? So they pay and then hail another taxi and leave. Then Lochte goes on international TV and says what we all know he said. He says they got pulled over by thugs dressed as police and one of them put a gun to his head but he didn’t care and they were robbed.

        The security guards deserve a promotion – they did their job very well given they were dealing with four trashy spoiled jocks who are an embarrassment to their country. Their job is to protect the station and not let people come and vandalize it and then just leave if they feel like it. The translator guy even said he didn’t see any guns pulled, but maybe he arrived on the scene after security had pulled his gun. In any case, I find it quite believable that the guard pulled his gun in the situation described and for a good reason. He was doing his job.

        Americans think they don’t have to settle damages and crimes they commit abroad. But now they find out that’s not the case – and provide entertainment to the entire world with the arrogant stupid jocks they have for athletes.

        Win-win all around!

  11. avatar
    Chris

    SICK OF LOCHTE AND HIS “TANTICS”. He has disrupted the swim world more than enough. GET HIM OFF TV!! Who wants to watch this liar just repeat the same crap. His mother needs a muzzle. That would have solved this whole this from the beginning.

  12. avatar
    Maggie

    Aleessadra you are clueless and have no clue what you are talking about

  13. avatar
    Lili

    If some Brazilian’s were held at gun point by a security guard and asked for money in US, it would be an international incident and it is all justified when it happens in Brazil? Why didn’t the security guard call the police? Since when it is OK for security guard to pull a gun on people? I am sure anyone who has a gun pointed at them and asked for money feels they were rubbed. Lochte’s account of the story is one sided but true his mischief is much less serious to what those people did.
    Brazil was on my list of places to visit, crime is something, but when government supports guards to pull gun on people, that is soemthing else!

  14. avatar
    Butler Buck

    A couple of years ago, we were on the old ‘Love Boat’ cruise down the Pacific coast in Mexico. At one of the ports, part of our group rented jet skis from the locals. Not the approved by the cruise line boys, real locals. When they came back, the locals threatened to call the police if the Americans didn’t pay for ‘damages’. Our group said go ahead—we have pictures. The Mexican locals backed off their threat and they waited for the next group of tourists to try and do the same thing to.

    The swimmers messed up. They were trashed. They didn’t take approved transportation. But in the USA, if anyone other than a cop points a gun at you, that’s robbery. I don’t blame them for being scared. If Lochte doesn’t call his mom, if he doesn’t go on TV about it, they just keep their mouths shut and tell the USOC what happened, this is all over.

    Lochte’s career is close to over. His marketing appeal is waning. All this does is keep him off of TV as a commentator for a couple of years. The other guys will be footnotes in a couple of months and everyone will move on.

    • avatar
      Judy B

      The more that comes out about this the more it sounds like extortion, plain and simple. They have upped the “fee” for Feigen to over $50,000.00 dollars now. He has already paid $11,000.00. If you are condemning their behavior, I agree- it was shameful. What was done to them, however, that night and now? Extortion. Parts of the video are missing, stories are coming out from witnesses that confirm more closely what was originally reported by the swimmers than what was forced from them to get out of Brazil. Very suspicious. I don’t think our four swimmers were the only athletes who experienced this sort of thing while there.

Author: Brent Rutemiller

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