Speedo and Ralph Lauren End Ryan Lochte Endorsement Deals Amid Rio Scandal
"Speedo USA will donate a $50,000 portion of Lochte's fee to Save The Children, a global charity partner of Speedo USA's parent company, for children in Brazil," the company said in a statement
Speedo USA announced on Monday that the company has decided to end its sponsorship of Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte following his controversial incident at a gas station in Rio. Shortly after the announcement, Ralph Lauren also issued a statement saying that the company will not be renewing Lochte’s contract.
“Speedo USA today announces the decision to ends its sponsorship of Ryan Lochte. As part of this decision, Speedo USA will donate a $50,000 portion of Lochte’s fee to Save The Children, a global charity partner of Speedo USA’s parent company, for children in Brazil,” Speedo USA said in a statement.
“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. We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience,” the company added.
Lochte responded to Speedo’s decision to end their sponsorship in a statement. “I respect Speedo’s decision and am grateful for the opportunities that our partnership has afforded me over the years,” he said. “I am proud of the accomplishments that we have achieved together.”
Ralph Lauren also revealed that they will not be renewing their endorsement deal with the athlete.
“Ralph Lauren continues 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,” the statement read.
The 12-time Olympian originally told NBC’s Billy Bush that he and three other Team USA swimmers were robbed at gunpoint in Rio. Later, he backed off on many of the details after Brazilian police alleged that he had vandalized a gas station bathroom – and that a security guard was simply trying to recoup their losses.
In an exclusive interview with the athlete on Sunday, Lochte tells PEOPLE he was still under the influence of alcohol after a night of partying when he gave that statement and called the incident “robbery.”
“I made that up,” Lochte tells PEOPLE. “The part I made up was saying that it was a robbery. I think the word ‘robbery’ shocked a lot of people, and the story went viral after that. A gun was pulled, and we had to give them cash. If I didn’t say ‘robbery,’ none of this would have happened.”
The athlete tells PEOPLE his actions were “immature” and “stupid.” After the incident occurred, he publicly apologized to his teammates that were involved and subsequently held in Brazil for questioning – Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and James Feigen.
“I reached out to them and apologized, he says. “I told them, ‘My immature behavior was stupid, and I’m sorry that I got you guys in this mess,’ They were like, ‘Of course. We just hope this blows over soon.’ “