After he “over-exaggerated” a story about being robbed in Rio, Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte lost three of his endorsement deals this Monday. Speedo, Ralph Lauren, and Gentle Hair Removal all dropped Lochte after his scandal of half-truths became too large to ignore.
“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,” Speedo said in a statement to the Washington Post. “We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience.”
In a statement on their website, Ralph Lauren said they continue to “proudly sponsor the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team and the values that its athletes embody. 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.”
Syneron-Candela, the parent company of Gentle Hair Removal, said in a statement that it holds its employees “to high standards, and we expect the same of our business partners.”
In response to the lost sponsorships, Lochte issued a statement of his own, specifically referencing Speedo’s decision:
I respect Speedo’s decision and am grateful for the opportunities that our partnership has afforded me over the years. I am proud of the accomplishments that we have achieved together.
According to the Washington Post, Lochte’s last remaining endorsement is with a Japanese air mattress manufacturer, which has promised to stand by him.
“I respect the athletic performance of Ryan, and as long as he is a respectable athlete, he will remain the U.S. ambassador for Airweave as long as our partnership agreement remains effective,” Airweave founder Motokuni Takaoka told Bloomberg. “We are focused on supporting Team USA and our support to them will remain the same.”
Ryan Lochte's name & image has been taken off the Olympic endorser page on Ralph Lauren's website pic.twitter.com/NKZhTm8peU
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 21, 2016
From the Washington Post:
Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist, already had seen his endorsement opportunities plummet ahead of the Rio Games. He had deals with Gillette, Mutual of Omaha, Nissan, AT&T and Gatorade ahead of the London Olympics in 2012 —bringing in a reported $2.3 million annually — but those deals all expired. And, given his advanced age for an Olympic athlete (32), future deals seem unlikely to materialize, especially in the wake of the Rio incident.
The scandal began when Lochte claimed he and three members of his team were robbed at gunpoint early on the morning of Aug. 14 after a night of partying. But according to Brazilian police, Lochte and his teammates vandalized a Rio gas station and were held at gunpoint by a security guard as police were called to the scene. The swimmers allegedly gave money to the gas station and were let go.