Two days after Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte apologized to NBC’s Matt Lauer, Speedo USA announced it has ended its sponsorship of Lochte.
In addition, Ralph Lauren said in a statement Monday, “Ralph Lauren continues to proudly sponsor the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team and the values that its athletes embody. 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.”
Another Lochte sponsor, Airweave, the official mattress supplier for the USOC at the Summer Games, has also nixed its deal with the swimmer.
Speedo tweeted its news Monday, which was first reported by AP. 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.
“While we 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 appreciated his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience,” the Speedo statement read.
An Airweave spokeswoman said Monday, “Airweave is a proud sponsor of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams and our dedication to athletic achievement is unwavering. Our endorsement agreement with Ryan Lochte was in support of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. After careful consideration, we have made the decision to end our partnership with Ryan Lochte. We remain committed to supporting Team USA and the athletes preparing for the Paralympic games.”
The four-time Olympian sparked an international firestorm last week, after claiming that he and three teammates — Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen — were pulled over and robbed by gun-toting men posing as police officers while on their way back to the Olympic Village after a night of drinking. Lochte later offered a different account and Rio de Janeiro police subsequently said he and his three fellow swimmers lied about the incident and allegedly vandalized a restroom in a gas station.
The U.S. Olympic Committee is further investigating the matter. Executives at the USOC did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
In his interview with NBC, Lochte said he was too intoxicated to remember if he may have broken the restroom door while trying to barge in. He also told Lauer that he “overexaggerated” the first account and “if I’d never done that, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
The 12-time medalist also indicated he regretted leaving Rio last week to return to his Gainesville, Fla., home while Bentz, Conger and Feigen were still in Brazil and subsequently faced further questioning. After apologizing to the people of Brazil, Lochte said on-air that he embarrassed himself, his family, the three teammates that were with him, USA Swimming, the whole Olympic Games and everyone who was watching.