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Culture > Entertainment

U.S. Olympic Swimmer Will Pay Nearly $11,000 to Leave Rio After Fake Robbery Scandal

You’ve been told that lying is bad ever since you were in preschool. Unfortunately, the group of U.S. Olympic swimmers that lied about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio is still working on that concept. As a result, Jimmy Feigen, who won gold in the 4×100 freestyle relay, will be allowed to leave Brazil and avoid prosecution after he donates 35,000 reals (roughly $10,800) to the Reaction Institute, a charity that uses sports to educate underprivileged children. Feigen will have his passport returned after he pays up. Due to a Brazilian law that allows donations as payment for minor infractions, the swimmer will avoid prosecution.

The gold medalist is one of three other swimmers caught up in the scandal created by outspoken veteran Olympian Ryan Lochte. Police confronted the group after they vandalized a gas station bathroom. In an attempt to cover up the misdemeanor, Lochte fabricated a story about being robbed at gunpoint.

He eventually apologized for his actions, and in response, Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes graciously accepted Lochte’s apology and said that American toursits are always welcome in Rio. 

But the repurcussions are continuing for Lochte’s teammates, who seem to be having more legal issues than the former reality television star.

Feigen, Lochte’s teammate, will be the last of the accused swimmers to leave Brazil—even though the main fabricator of the story, Lochte, exited the country earlier this week. The other two swimmers, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, also experienced a brief delay but were eventually allowed to leave after their lawyer proved they weren’t involved in Lochte’s story.

The U.S. Olympic Committe also apologized for the actions of their athletes in a formal statement. “We apologize to our hosts in Rio and the people of Brazil for this distracting ordeal in the midst of what should rightly be a celebration of excellence,” said chief Scott Blackmun. 

The whole fiasco has put a black smudge on an otherwise impressive Olympic run for the U.S. swim team, but hopefully all of the incredible athletic accomplishments in Rio will trump this debacle.

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Reilly Tuccinard

South Carolina

Reilly Tuccinard is a University of South Carolina graduate with a love of writing, reading and learning. After spending two years as the Beauty Editor for Her Campus Media and the Editor-in-Chief of HC South Carolina, she is focusing on a career in creative strategy. Friends will tell you she's a a self-proclaimed Grey's Anatomy addict, she can't just watch a movie once and she is a firm believer in anything and everything chocolate.