*US swimmer Ryan Lochte used social media Friday morning to apologize for not being “more careful and candid” in how he described events Sunday, which led to a Brazilian police probe into what they say was a fabricated story of armed robbery.
Lochte and three U.S. swimmers – Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen – said they were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday by men posing as police, but cops found their story to be fabricated. Surveillance video at a gas station showed the foursome being held at gunpoint by security guards demanding they pay for the restroom door they broke down and the mirror they cracked inside.
Lochte accepted responsibility for his role in “taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics.”
“It’s traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country — with a language barrier — and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave, but regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night, I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself and for that am sorry to my teammates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors, and the hosts of this great event,” he wrote.
Read Lochte’s full apology below:
In the latest development, Feigen reached a deal to donate almost $11,000 to a sports academy for kids in order to leave Brazil, his lawyer said Friday.
“After a long deliberation, this agreement was reached … he will donate 35,000 real [approximately $10,800] to an institute, and with that the case is resolved,” Feigen’s lawyer Breno Melaragno told reporters.
He added: “After this donation is done, his passport will be given back to him, and he will be free to return home.”
The money will go to Instituto Reacao, a judo academy for low-income kids and teens who want to learn the sport, Melaragno said. Rafaela Silva, who grew up in Rio’s slums and became Brazil’s first gold medalist of the Rio Olympics, trained there.
The other two swimmers, Bentz and Conger, were removed from a flight Wednesday as they tried to leave, but they eventually departed Thursday night after their attorney insisted they had nothing to do with Lochte’s story. They arrived in Miami at 6:30 a.m. Friday.