Speedo, Ralph Lauren and other two sponsors have dropped Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte following Rio Olympics scandal.
They were followed by announcements from skin care company Syneron-Candela and Japanese mattress maker Airweave.
The move comes after Ryan Lochte, 32, lied about being robbed at gunpoint by a policeman after a night out during the Rio Olympics.
Ryan Lochte, a 12-time Olympic gold medalist, has earned millions of dollars through endorsements.
Speedo, the biggest sponsor of the four, said: “We cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for.”
Ryan Lochte said he respected Speedo’s decision, and thanked the company.
“I am grateful for the opportunities that our partnership has afforded me over the years,” the swimmer said.
Ralph Lauren, which has removed some of Ryan Lochte’s images from its website, said its sponsorship of the swimmer had been only for the Rio Games and would not be renewed.
Airweave and Ralph Lauren both stressed that they would continue their support of the US Olympic and Paralympic teams.
Syneron-Candela said: “We hold our employees to high standards, and we expect the same of our business partners.”
Speedo said it would donate a $50,000 portion of Ryan Lochte’s sponsorship fee to the charity Save The Children’s Brazilian operation.
The value of Ryan Lochte’s Speedo sponsorship has not been disclosed. The contract reportedly expires this year after 10 years.
Forbes magazine calculated that in the year of the 2012 London Olympics, Ryan Lochte earned about $2 million in sponsorships from companies such as Gillette, Nissan, AT&T and Gatorade.
Ryan Lochte’s performance at Rio did not reach the heights of his London triumph, but Forbes estimated the athlete’s endorsements would still have been between $1 million-$2 million.
The saga started when Ryan Lochte and three team-mates returned to the Olympic village after a late night out in Rio.
They tried, unsuccessfully, to use the locked toilet at a garage and urinated outside instead.
After first claiming that Ryan Lochte and his three team-mates had been robbed by bogus policemen, Lochte back-tracked and admitted he had, while still drunk, “left details out” and “over-exaggerated some parts of the story”.
Despite the evidence against him, including CCTV footage, he has however denied that he actually lied in his initial account to Brazilian police.
Ryan Lochte’s behavior has been met with disdain in the US and he has been widely pilloried in the US media.
On August 19, the New York Post carried a front-page headline describing him as the “Ugly American”, along with the slogan “Liar, Liar, Speedo on fire”.
Ryan Lochte is one of the most successful swimmers in history, with 12 Olympic medals, and he once had his own reality TV show.
In Rio, Ryan Lochte swam in two events, winning a gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay along with team-mate Jack Conger.
Ryan Lochte has said sorry to Brazilians after “over-exaggerating” claims he was robbed at gunpoint while at the Rio Olympics.
The Olympic swimmer had claimed that he and a group of three other US swimmers had been robbed at a gas station.
However, CCTV footage contradicted Ryan Lochte’s story, showing the men had vandalized the gas station.
Ryan Lochte told Globo TV, Brazil’s largest broadcaster, that he had not lied over what happened.
“I wasn’t lying to a certain extent,” he said.
Photo Globo TV
“I over-exaggerated what was happening to me.”
He added that he was sorry, saying: “Brazil doesn’t deserve that.”
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has set up a disciplinary commission to investigate the incident and the four swimmers’ behavior.
News of the alleged robbery emerged through Ryan Lochte’s mother on August 14.
Ryan Lochte then gave an account of the events, saying he and the other swimmers were returning by cab from a club in the early hours of the morning when they were robbed at gunpoint by men who forced the vehicle to pull over.
However, Brazilian police said a day later that there were inconsistencies in the men’s accounts.
On August 17, two of the swimmers, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were taken off a US-bound plane at Rio de Janeiro airport and questioned by police.
Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger were eventually allowed to leave Brazil. Another swimmer, Jimmy Feigen agreed to pay $11,000 to a Brazilian charity after the incident.
On August 19, Jack Conger said in a statement that Ryan Lochte had pulled a metal advertisement in a frame to the ground, but Conger said he was “unsure why”.
Jack Conger also said Ryan Lochte began yelling at guards for an unknown reason. The men then agreed to pay the guards for the damage.
Rio de Janeiro’s mayor Eduardo Paes had told media he felt nothing but “shame and contempt” towards the athletes for their portrayal of what happened.
In a separate interview with NBC, part of which also aired on August 20, Ryan Lochte said he felt “hurt” watching footage of his team-mates being taken off their plane.
Ryan Lochte had already returned to the US from Brazil.
“I mean, I let my team down and you know, I don’t want them to think I left them out to dry,” he said.
However, Ryan Lochte maintained the men were threatened and made to pay: “Whether you call it a robbery or whether you call it extortion or us just paying for the damages, we don’t know. All we know is that there was a gun pointed in our direction and we were demanded to give money.”
Four Olympic swimmers from Team USA, who said they had been robbed in Rio de Janeiro, were not victims of crime, the head of the city’s civil police has said.
Fernando Veloso told reporters that one or more of the men had committed an act of vandalism at a petrol station and then offered to pay for the damage.
The Americans paid and left after armed security guards intervened, he said.
One guard had drawn his gun after one of the swimmers began behaving erratically, Fernando Veloso added.
Three of the swimmers, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen, remain in Brazil and are being questioned by police. The fourth, gold medalist Ryan Lochte, returned to the United States on August 15.
Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger were taken off a US-bound plane at Rio de Janeiro airport on August 17 and were seen entering a Rio police station for questioning on August 18.
According to police, the swimmers invented a story about a robbery to disguise a dispute over a damaged bathroom door at the petrol station.
The men, who have repeatedly changed their accounts of what happened, could “in theory” face charges of giving false testimony and vandalism, Fernando Veloso said.
“We are dealing with important public figures who influence others and should know how to comport themselves,” he told reporters during a news conference at Rio police HQ.
The people of Rio de Janeiro were unhappy to see the reputation of their city damaged, Fernando Veloso said, adding: “An apology would be welcomed.”
Video from CCTV appears to show the athletes being detained and ordered to sit on the ground.
Ryan Lochte admitted on August 17 to some inaccuracies in his original account of being robbed at gunpoint in the early hours of Sunday, but vehemently denied making the story up.
“I wouldn’t make up a story like this nor would the others – as a matter of fact we all feel it makes us look bad,” he told NBC.
Accounts of what happened to the swimmers have been confusing from the beginning.
News of the incident emerged after Ryan Lochte’s mother told US media about it.
Ryan Lochte himself gave an initial account of the events to NBC on August 14, saying he and the other swimmers had been in a cab returning from a club in the early hours when they were pulled over by men wearing police badges.
He said they had pulled a gun and told the swimmers to get on the ground. “I refused… and then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead…”
Ryan Lochte has since slightly altered his account, telling NBC on August 17 that the cab had not been asked to pull over – they had been robbed while making a stop at a petrol station – and he said the gun had not been pointed directly at his forehead.
He called the inconsistencies a “traumatic mischaracterization” caused by the stress of the incident.
Police and the judge investigating the case found inconsistencies in the men’s accounts.
CCTV footage of their return to the athletes’ village appears to show the swimmers laughing and joking, and handing over their wallets, phones and accreditation, as they go through the security screens. The judge said they had not shown signs of being affected by a robbery.
Ryan Lochte is one of the most successful swimmers in history, with 12 Olympic medals, and he once had his own reality TV show in the US. In Rio, he swam in two events, winning gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
James Feigen won gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
Gunnar Bentz competed in the 4x200m preliminaries, but not the final. He still received a gold medal after the US team’s win.
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