Corporate sponsors are dropping Ryan Lochte like a hot coal as the scandal of him lying about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio continues to unfold.
The 32-year-old 12-time Olympic medalist landed himself in hot water after his claim of being robbed by fake policemen during a night out with three other Team USA swimmers, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen, got exposed.
Witnesses and security footage suggested that there’s no robbery.
Instead, after a night of drinking, the swimmers had stopped by a gas station and then vandalised its bathroom.
Updates say that no guns were drawn (Lochte had said that he had a gun pointed at his forehead). The swimmers were simply confronted by the gas station’s armed guards who asked for payment for the damages.
A Brazilian local media, as translated by Google, even reported that the swimmers had peed on the side wall instead of using the bathroom.
Speedo USA announced on Monday that it’s parting ways with Lochte after decades of working together.
The swimwear company posted a statement on its Twitter saying it is ending its sponsorship of the swimmer and will also be donating a $50,000, a portion of Lochte’s fee, to a charity that helps Brazilian children.
‘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 company wrote.
The official response regarding our sponsorship of Ryan Lochte. pic.twitter.com/0DdP2RyceD
— Speedo USA (@SpeedoUSA) August 22, 2016
Ralph Lauren is another major sponsor breaking up with Lochte.
Samantha Critchell, a spokeswoman for Ralph Lauren, clarified that the company’s endorsement agreement with the swimmer was only for this Olympics, and that the contract would not be renewed.
Mattress company Airweave also posted on Twitter, announcing the brand has decided to end their partnership with Lochte after ‘careful consideration.’
airweave’s official statement regarding sponsorship of Ryan Lochte. pic.twitter.com/pFGzMSxnTR
— airweave USA (@airweaveUSA) August 22, 2016
Syneron Candela, a company specialising in hair-removal, ended its relationship with the swimmer with the following statement:
‘We hold our employees to high standards, and we expect the same of our business partners. We wish Ryan well on his future endeavors and thank him for the time he spent supporting our brand.’
Lochte was the face of the company’s Gentle Hair Removal brand, and his photos are still up on the website as of press time.
CNN Money reports that the brand signed the swimmer back in April.
In the promotional video below, Lochte said that Gentle Hair Removal’s laser treatment ‘was the best thing that’s ever happened’ to him.
‘I don’t have to worry about shaving anymore,’ he remarked. ‘I always feel like a rocket going off, so, I’m just ready.’
The swimmer added that the treatment helped him with time management as he used to spend ‘at least five to six hours trying to shave.’
— Gentle Hair Removal (@GentleHairRemov) August 17, 2016
Over the weekend, departmental store Macy’s had also removed advertisements featuring Lochte from its stores.
Though, in a statement on Monday, the company said the move was actually a scheduled marketing change.
‘As scheduled, we are transitioning out all Olympic visual as the games ended yesterday, and we are moving into our fall fashion message,’ Macy’s said.