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Georgia Bulldog Gunnar Bentz releases statement on Rio incident

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Swimming: Phillips 66 National Championships Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

This evening University of Georgia swimmer Gunnar Bentz issued a statement through the University regarding the incident involving Bentz, three other US swimmers, and a Rio de Janeiro gas station last weekend.

Bentz’s statement is significantly longer than one issued earlier today by Ryan Lochte, and provides additional details regarding that fateful evening. Bentz confirmed that he and fellow swimmer Jack Conger were never suspects, but instead witnesses to the incident. He also reiterated that guns were drawn on the Americans, and that the surveillance footage making the rounds appears to have edited out some events.

Bentz thanks the people of Brazil for hosting the 31st Olympiad. He admits some relatively unflattering details, but explains the events of the early morning of August 14th.But perhaps the most important part of the statement is the first sentence.

"I want to offer a sincere apology to the United States Olympic Committee, USA Swimming, the extraordinary women and men of Team USA, and the University of Georgia.

If Bentz rather than Ryan Lochte had been the public face of this scandal from the beginning, I think it's possible that it never would have become the teapot tempest we've witnessed. Which is why you never send a Gator to do a Bulldog’s work.