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US swimmer Conger regrets ‘trouble and embarrassment’ over incident in Rio

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(RIO DE JANEIRO) — Jack Conger, one of four U.S. Olympic swimmers caught up in a scandal over a claim of a robbery during the games in Rio de Janeiro, issued a statement Saturday saying he regrets “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.”

Conger also said that he has been truthful in his statements to officials on what happened in the early morning hours of Aug. 14.

“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,” the statement said. “In fact, the Brazilian authorities made clear to me from the very beginning that I was being considered only a witness, not a suspect.”

The U.S. swimmer’s statement provided “a summary of what I believe happened that night.”

Conger said that early on Sunday morning he was celebrating with his teammates at the French House in Rio.

“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,” Conger’s statement said. “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.”

Conger continued, “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,” he said. “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.”

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