Sponsors distance themselves from Lochte over Rio saga
Speedo has dropped the US swimmer after claims he was robber at gunpoint are questioned, while Ralph Lauren removes mentions from website.
Swimwear maker Speedo USA said on Monday it had decided to end its sponsorship of Ryan Lochte, becoming the first company to officially terminate its endorsement of the U.S. swimmer.
Lochte in an interview to Brazil's largest broadcaster, Globo TV, on Saturday admitted to exaggerating his story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro, but insisted he did not lie.
"We cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for," Nottingham, UK-based Speedo's U.S. unit said in a statement on Monday.
Save the children donation
Speedo USA said it would donate $50,000 of Lochte's fee to Save The Children, a global charity partner of Speedo USA's parent company.
The 12-time Olympic medalist Lochte had said he and three team mates were robbed by gunmen early last week, on their way back to the Athletes' Village from a party. Police denounced this version of events, accusing Lochte and the others of lying.
"The current situation in Brazil regarding Ryan Lochte is an ongoing investigation. As such, we will reserve decisions until we have a more complete understanding of the situation," hair removal company Syneron Candela told Reuters on Sunday.
Syneron Candela named Lochte as global brand ambassador for a product in April.
Lochte's sponsors also include mattress maker Airweave and luxury apparel maker Ralph Lauren Corp. The companies were not immediately available for comment.
Ralph Lauren has taken down any reference to the gold medallist from its website.
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