UPDATE, 12:35 p.m. ET: In response to Speedo USA’s decision to end the company’s sponsorship of Ryan Lochte, the Olympian swimming champ issued a statement to Us Weekly on Monday, August 22.
“I respect Speedo’s decision and am grateful for the opportunities that our partnership has afforded me over the years,” the athlete tells Us. “I am proud of the accomplishments that we have achieved together.”
Original story below:
The first sponsorship to swim away. Speedo USA announced its decision to end the company’s relationship with Ryan Lochte on Monday, August 22, after the 32-year-old Olympian admitted to “overexaggerating” his story about being held at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro.
“Speedo USA today announces the decision to end its sponsorship of Ryan Lochte. As part of this decision, Speedo USA will 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,” the swimsuit brand said in a statement on Monday.
“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. We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience,” the company added.
“I left details out, and that’s why I’m in this mess,” the gold medalist told NBC’s Billy Bush on August 20 in his first televised interview since the incident. Lochte also said that he was “still intoxicated” when he made the false claims. The decorated swimmer added: “I’m just really sorry and I hope [the people of Rio] can accept my apology.”
As previously reported, Lochte caused a media firestorm last week after he alleged that he and teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen were robbed at gunpoint at a Rio gas station. Authorities later said the athletes had “fabricated” the story to cover up their involvement in vandalizing the station.
Days after Lochte explained multiple — and inconsistent — accounts of #Lochtegate, Rio police revealed on Thursday, August 18, that the four athletes were simply asked by gas station security guards to pay for the damage they left in the bathroom.
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