Cheltenham Festival urine row: Bristol City's Luke Ayling 'devastated'

Cheltenham races Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The four-day Cheltenham Festival is one of the highlights of the horse racing season

A Bristol City defender has apologised after being photographed with two other footballers who were seen urinating into a glass at Cheltenham Festival.

Luke Ayling was pictured with MK Dons midfielder Samir Carruthers and Northampton Town's on-loan striker James Collins, relieving themselves on a racecourse balcony.

In a statement Ayling apologised for any embarrassment caused to his club.

He said: "I'm devastated it ended up in the media and causing offence."

"Looking at the pictures in the cold light of day I regret, firstly, that I put myself in that situation and, secondly, that I didn't remove myself from it earlier," he said.

"We were on a sanctioned team day out and I'm devastated it ended up in the national media and causing offence."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Samir Carruthers said his actions at the racecourse were a "silly mistake"

He added he was "grateful" for the thorough investigation made by the club, which had "cleared my name of any indecent behaviour".

On Tuesday, Collins apologised, saying it had "emphasised the negative stereotype of the modern footballer", while Carruthers told Sky Sports News he had "let everyone down".

'Disgusting, and thoughtless act'

The incident on Tuesday led to a group being banned from the second day of racing. It is not known whether the same group was due to attend.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Collins was reprimanded by both Northampton Town and Shrewsbury Town

Cheltenham director Ian Renton said the incident was "totally out of place on this racecourse".

The four-day Cheltenham Festival is one of the highlights of the horse racing season, with the Queen's granddaughter Zara Tindall and the Countess of Wessex among the guests at this year's event.

Gloucestershire Police said it was made aware of the "disgusting and thoughtless act" and no police action would be taken.

The balcony was over a lawn and not easily visible, it added.

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