Speedo USA said today that it has decided to terminate its sponsorship of U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte after he admitted to exaggerating his story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio.
The company said in a statement it will donate a $50,000 portion of Lochte’s fee to Save The Children… for children in Brazil”
Speedo says “we cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for”.
The following is the statement Speedo USA posted on its Facebook page:
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. 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.
Later in the day Ralph Lauren also announced it would not renew its contract with Lochte. The company says it’s sponsorship deal with the swimmer was for the Rio Olympics, and it won’t be renewing that contract.
Initially the 32 year old said he and three teammates had been pulled over in their taxi by gunmen posing as police who then robbed them. But then police in Rio accused Lochte of making the story up to cover up vandalism at a gas station washroom.
Lochte has since apologised to Olympics host Brazil, blaming his immaturity.
The International Olympic Committee plans to start a disciplinary inquiry into the incident.