Jack Conger Issues Statement on Rio Incident

Jack Conger, one of four USA swimmers involved with incident in Rio that has dominated headlines the past week, has issued a press release clarifying his involvement in the situation.

News accounts of the incident began on Sunday with reports that Ryan Lochte had been robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning.  Details emerged that Lochte had been with fellow swimmers Conger, Jimmy Feigen, and Gunnar Bentz out late at a party, but Rio police disputed Lochte’s account of an armed robbery.  Eventually, after a number of different accusations and clarifications, Conger and Bentz were pulled off a plane to provide testimony, Feigen had to pay a fine related to early statements he’d made, and the IOC is convening a committee to investigate further.

Conger’s statement came shortly after Bentz also released statement that was very similar in both tone and content.

Here is the full text of Conger’s statement:

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 USASwimming 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.

Conger and Bentz, are both college swimmers and first-time Olympians.  They earned gold medals for swimming in the preliminary heat of the 4×200 free relay.  Lochte, a four-time Olympian, earned gold in the same event.  Feigen earned a gold medal by competing in the preliminaries of the 4×100 free relay for his second Olympic Games.

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6 years ago

“A Brazilian judge says police might have been hasty in determining the security guards, by how they dealt with the swimmers, did not commit a robbery. A lawyer who has practiced in Brazil for 25 years says she does not think the actions of Lochte and teammate Jimmy Feigen constitute the filing of a false police report as defined under Brazilian law.”

6 years ago

Finally one that tells the truth. They offer their apologies but as a Brazilian I don’t accept them and I wish they’d never been here in the first place. From their first version where their taxi was pulled over by police officers on a road who cocked guns to their heads and took their wallets to this one we can see them going from victims to vandals. Then trying to sneak out of the country without giving a clarifying statement just to cover his buddy’s ass never worrying about leaving the other visitors on the Olympic Games even more suspicious and mistrusting of the already fragile host city security reputation. Shame on him.

6 years ago

Fact of the matter is if this wasn’t immediately sent to the media and handled through the proper chain of command, none of this would have escalated to the magnitude it has– also why is everyone forgetting these guys are really really lucky to be alive with a gun pointed at them and not know why!!

6 years ago

USA Swimming and the IOC both could sanction Lochte. IOC member Anita DeFrantz of the U.S. said it’s possible that Olympic officials could simply decide to let the USOC handle the matter.

DeFrantz made no effort to hide her disdain for the incident.

They have forever put themselves on the kind of list that you don’t want to be remembered for,” she told The Associated Press. “I wish I could feel sorry for them. Instead I feel that they should have been honest from the beginning. What they did was wrong, but what was even more wrong, it was ridiculous that they didn’t stand up and tell the truth.

“Who would have it hurt to tell the truth? No one.… Read more »

6 years ago
6 years ago

just for all those scoffing at the peeing in public angle (and i’m not disagreeing it’s a minor, petty crime if at all) and acting outraged about a ‘3rd world banana republic’ over-reacting… is holland MI part of a banana republic too?


Reply to  HulkSwim
6 years ago

This guy was arrested for fondling himself in a hotel hot tub, not peeing in a back alley.

Grandma\'s rock
6 years ago

Maybe Lochte told a big fib to his mommy who believes everything her little champion says and then she went and blabbed to the press. Trying to save face, he digs further in to his foggy, drunken memory sensationalizing it all the more in that beachside interview rather than coming clean & admitting that it was just a story he told his mom. I’m sure the journalist would understand.

6 years ago

11000 is not asked to pay for the possible bathroom damage or the poster, it is to cover for the expenses incurred by police, detectives, clerks, judges to investigate this incident because of Ryan Lochte’s self-service distortion of the truth on national TV and false statement to police. Oh, btw, I forgot that to many of you on this forum, Brazilian workers’ time and services shouldn’t cost a thing because they are all worthless third world liars, and Americans never lie, right?

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