UPDATED: Ryan Lochte has lost three of his biggest sponsors.
Speedo has dropped the U.S. swimmer after he admitted to “over-exaggerating” a story about being robbed at gunpoint during the Rio Olympics.
“While we have enjoyed a winning relationship with Ryan for over a decade and he has been an important member of the Speedo team, we cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for,” the company announced Monday on Twitter. “We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience.”
The athletic swimwear maker will be donating $50,000 of Lochte’s fee to Save the Children to benefit children in Brazil. Lochte reportedly signed a 10-year deal with Speedo in 2006 that was set to expire this year.
Lochte responded to the Speedo’s pulled endorsement on Monday.
“I respect Speedo’s decision and am grateful for the opportunities that our partnership has afforded me over the years,” he said in a statement. “I am proud of the accomplishments that we have achieved together.”
Ralph Lauren annouced that it’s cutting ties with the 12-time Olympic medalist soon after the Speedo news.
“Ralph Lauren continues to proudly sponsor the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team and the values that its athletes embody,” the company said. “Ralph Lauren’s endorsement agreement with Ryan Lochte was specifically in support of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the company will not be renewing his contract.”
A third sponsor — skincare line Syneron Candela — also ended its relationship with the embattled swimmer. “We hold our employees to high standards, and we expect the same of our business partners,” the company said. “We wish Ryan well on his future endeavors and thank him for the time he spent supporting our brand.”
Lochte had initially claimed that he and three teammates — James Feigen, Jack Conger, and Gunnar Bentz — were robbed in a taxi by two men with guns and badges while heading to the Olympic Village on the morning of Aug. 14. But Brazilian police said the swimmers had instead vandalized a gas station bathroom and confronted by armed security guards.
He first apologized for the incident on Friday, saying he was sorry “for not being more careful and candid” when explaining what happened during the alleged robbery, then offered a full mea culpa in an interview with “Today” that aired Saturday night and Monday morning.
“I’m taking full responsibility for it,” he told Matt Lauer. “I over-exaggerated that story. If I’d never done that, we wouldn’t be in this mess. … It was my immature behavior.”
He stopped short, however, of saying that he lied.
Asked point-blank by Lauer if he was robbed, Lochte responded, “I can’t answer that because I don’t know. … I was intoxicated, so all I know is there was gun pointed at us, and we were demanded to give money.”
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