As the fallout continues over U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s apparently false description of an armed robbery while in Rio de Janeiro, an announcement by one of his key sponsors on Monday revealed significant financial repercussions for the gold medalist.
Speedo USA released a statement on Twitter regarding its business relationship with Lochte, confirming the company has decided to end its sponsorship.
At least a portion of the money Lochte would have received through the partnership is now slated to help fund a charity in 2016 Olympic host country Brazil.
“As part of this decision,” the company announced, “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.”
While Speedo described its work with the swimmer up to this point as “a winning relationship,” the company concluded it “cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for.”
The move earned Speedo some social-media praise from users disappointed in Lochte.
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Good move, @SpeedoUSA!
— Eric Haywood (@EricHaywood) August 22, 2016
— sheri allain (@sheriallain) August 22, 2016
Ralph Lauren followed suit with its own statement announcing its “endorsement agreement with Ryan Lochte was specifically in support of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the company will not be renewing his contract.”
As Western Journalism reported last week, Lochte was one of two Team USA swimmer indicted on suspicion of filing a false report with Brazilian authorities.
Until additional evidence surfaced casting doubt on his initial statement, Lochte claimed he and three other team members were robbed by armed men displaying a police badge.
His account of the evening’s events have since changed, prompted by an anonymous source who claimed not only that the swimmers were not robbed, but they were responsible for causing extensive damage to a gas station restroom.
Bob Williams, head of Burns Entertainment and Sports Marketing, predicted the controversy would cost Lochte money as the loss of the Speedo endorsement already has.
He predicted the swimmer’s actions will “virtually eliminate him from future endorsements.” (For more from the author of “Ryan Lochte Loses Major Endorsement Over Robbery Report Flak” please click HERE)