Sponsors drop Ryan Lochte after Rio fiasco | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 22.08.2016
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Sponsors drop Ryan Lochte after Rio fiasco

Speedo USA, Ralph Lauren, skin-care firm Syneron-Candela and mattress maker Airweave all pull the plug on sponsorship deals with Lochte, as the swimmer continues to pay for his mistake in Rio.

Embattled American swimmer Ryan Lochte lost four major sponsors when swimsuit company Speedo USA, clothing giant Ralph Lauren, skin-care firm Syneron-Candela and Japanese mattress company Airweave announced in quick succession Monday they were dumping the athlete over an incident during the Rio Olympics that he initially described as an armed robbery.

Speedo USA also said it would donate $50,000 of Lochte's fee to Save The Children to benefit needy youngsters 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 prominent swimsuit company said in a brief statement.

"We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience."

Shortly after Speedo USA made its announcement, Ralph Lauren, Airweave and Syneron-Candela followed suit.

Brasilien Olympische Spiele Rio 2016 Schwimmen Ryan Lochte entschuldigt sich

Lochte made a TV appearance to apologize.

"Ralph Lauren continues to proudly sponsor the US Olympic and Paralympic Team and the values that its athletes embody," said Ralph Lauren, which provided the Polo-branded attire worn by the American team at the opening and closing ceremonies.

"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."

Airweave said on Twitter it was ending its partnership with Lochte, which was also limited to the Rio Games.

Syneron-Candela offers a line of skin-treatment products that deal with body contouring, wrinkle reduction, acne and vein care, as well as tattoo removal.

"We hold our employees to high standards, and we expect the same of our business partners," the company said. "We wish Ryan well on his future endeavors and thank him for the time he spent supporting our brand."

Lochte issued a brief statement through his public relations firm addressing his long relationship with Speedo.

"I respect Speedo's decision and am grateful for the opportunities that our partnership has afforded me over the years," he said. "I am proud of the accomplishments that we have achieved together."

Initially, Lochte said he and three swimming teammates were robbed after their taxi was pulled over by armed men posing as police the night after the swimming competition ended in Rio de Janeiro.

He has since apologized for embellishing his version of events.

mds/lsb (ap)