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Speedo and others drop sponsorships of Ryan Lochte over phony robbery claims

Ryan Lochte loses sponsors

Speedo is dropping its sponsorship of 12-time Olympic medal winner Ryan Lochte.

The swimwear maker’s Monday announcement comes amid a scandal that erupted over the U.S. swimmer’s since-refuted claims to having been robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro. 

Speedo, Ralph Lauren cut ties with Ryan Lochte

Lochte apologized for his behavior after other American swimmers challenged his initial story, saying the 32-year-old Lochte was intoxicated and had misrepresented what had occurred after damaging property at a gas station earlier this month.

As part of its decision to end its sponsorship of Lochte, Speedo said it would donate a $50,000 portion of Lochte’s fee to Save The Children, a global charity partner of Speedo USA’s parent company, for children in Brazil. 

“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 said in a statement. “We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience.”  

Lochte released a statement, saying, “I respect Speedo’s decision and am grateful for the opportunities that our partnership has afforded me over the years. I am proud of the accomplishments that we have achieved together.”

Another of Lochte’s sponsors, Ralph Lauren (RL), said Monday that it would not extend its contract with the swimmer after endorsing him for the Rio Olympics.

Syneron-Candela, which makes hair removal and other skin-related products, followed suit, saying it too would be ending its partnership with Lochte. “We hold our employees to high standards, and we expect the same from our business partners, the company said. 

By late Monday afternoon, Airweave followed suit. “After careful consideration, we have made the decision to end our partnership with Ryan Lochte,” the mattress maker said in a statement.

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