Speedo and Others Drop Sponsorship of Ryan Lochte

Speedo was first and others followed in announcing on Monday that it ended its sponsorship of Ryan Lochte the U.S. swimmer who was caught up in a fabricated story of robbery with three other Olympians.

Before the day was over, three other companies said they too had cut their sponsorships with the swimmer. The decision to end their relationships come following a saga that led to Lochte and his three fellow swimmers being questioned by authorities in Rio after Lochte had alleged the four had been held up at gunpoint.

Ralph Lauren as well as a company that specializes in laser hair removal made the announcement that they would sever sponsorship relationships with the swimmer, who is 32.

Speedo USA in a prepared statement said that while the company enjoyed its winning relationship with Lochte for more than a decade and that he has been an important part of the team, we do not condone behavior that does not follow the values the brand has stood for, for so long.

Ralph Lauren supplied Team USA with their outfits for both the opening as well as closing ceremonies in Rio. The company said it was not renewing the current deal it has with Lochte.

Syneron-Candela is the parent company for Gentle Hair Removal the company in which Lochte acted as it spokesperson. It confirmed that it too cut its ties with Lochte.

Late Monday night, Airweave, a company that sells mattresses said it too had ended its relationship with Lochte.

Speedo said the company would donate part of Lochte’s fee of $50,000 to Save The Children a global charity.

Lochte originally said that he and three other swimmers from the U.S. Gunnar Bentz, Jimmy Feigen and Jack Conger were in a taxi and pulled over by men that were wearing badges on August 14.

He said they had been robbed at gunpoint, but the account was doubted by some and began to unravel last Wednesday when a judge ordered all four to remain in Brazil.

Lochte returned to the U.S. before the judge’s order while the other three did not. They were questioned and admitted to vandalizing a convenience store bathroom and made payments for its repair.

Lochte then over the weekend said he over exaggerated some details but says he had a gun pointed at both he and the others.

Experts in sports marketing and sponsorships had expected this type of fallout from those who sponsored Lochte.

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David Glass

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