Gunnar Bentz's Apology Implicates Ryan Lochte

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
In a statement posted on the University of Georgia's athletics site Friday, Team USA swimmer and UGA alum Gunnar Bentz apologized for his involvement in last Sunday's alleged armed robbery in Rio that has captured international attention, NBC News reports.

Bentz was one of the three other Team USA swimmers, along with Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen, who was with Ryan Lochte when he previously claimed that the group had been pulled over and robbed on the way back to the Olympic Village after a night of partying. This is the first time Bentz has spoken out about the incident and in his detailed account of what went down during the wee hours in Rio, Bentz maintained that he and Jack Conger were bystanders to Lochte's initial altercation and later fabrication of events.

"On the way back to the Olympic Village, we pulled into a convenience store to use the restroom," Bentz said in his statement. "There was no restroom inside, so we foolishly relieved ourselves on the backside of the building, behind some bushes."

From there, Bentz implicates Lochte as the sole person involved in an act of vandalism.

"I am unsure why, but while we were in that area, Ryan pulled to the ground a framed metal advertisement that was loosely anchored to the brick wall," Bentz said.

After two security guards approached the swimmers' taxi and instructed them to get out, Bentz says Lochte lost his temper.

"Again, I cannot speak to his actions, but Ryan stood up and began to yell at the guards," Bentz said. "After Jack and I both tugged at him in an attempt to get him to sit back down, Ryan and the security guards had a heated verbal exchange, but no physical contact was made. "

Ryan Lochte also posted mea culpa on his Twitter and Instagram Friday, stating, “I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend — for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning, and for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics."

Bentz and Jack Conger were detained by Brazilian authorities on their way back to the United States and have since been allowed to go home. Conger has yet to issue any statement. Meanwhile, gold medalist Jimmy Feigen brokered a deal to donate $11,000 to a Brazilian kids' sports academy in exchange for being allowed to return home to the United States.

"I regret this situation has drawn attention away from the Olympics, which have been hosted so incredibly well by Brazil and its citizens," Bentz said after directly apologizing to the United States Olympic Committee, his alma mater, and fellow Team USA competitors. Still, neither he nor Lochte have extended an apology to the people of Rio.
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