Speedo USA Drops Sponsorship of Ryan Lochte Amid Robbery Scandal
The company announced on Monday (Aug. 22, 2016) that it will no longer sponsor the Olympic swimmer after he fabricated a story about being pulled over and robbed by gunmen posing as police. “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 the behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for,” Speedo USA said in a statement (via ABC News).
Speedo also said it will donate $50,000 “of Lochte’s fee to Save The Children, a global charity partner of Speedo USA’s parent company, for children in Brazil.”
Lochte has admitted he “over-exaggerated” his story about being robbed in Rio and has since apologized to Brazil. He acknowledged it was his “immature behavior” that got him and three teammates into a mess that may jeopardize his career.
Speedo is the first major company to drop its sponsorship of the swimmer.
UPDATE: Three more of Lochte’s sponsorships have now dropped the Olympic champ from their brands. Ralph Lauren, Airweave and Syneron Candela all released statements on Monday, following Speedo’s initial announcement. Read what they say here.