Speedo, Ralph Lauren among 4 companies to drop Ryan Lochte sponsorships

Going for the Gold 2016
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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 12: Ryan Lochte of the United States attends a press conference in the Main Press Center on Day 7 of the Rio Olympics on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)

Monday has not been kind to Team USA Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, as he lost his only four endorsements following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Speedo USA announced they have ended their sponsorship of Team USA Olympic swimmer, Ryan Lochte.
 
“As a part of this decision, Speedo USA will donate a $50,000 portion og 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.
Speedo went on to say they enjoyed their “winning relationship” with Lochte, who they’ve partnered with for over a decade. However, they cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values the brand stands for.
 
“We appreciated his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience,” the statement concluded.

After the news broke, Lochte released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter:
 
“I respect Speedo’s decision and am grateful for the opportunities that our partnership has offered me over the years. I am prod of the accomplishments that we have achieved together.”

Clothing giant Ralph Lauren followed suit, telling ESPN’s Darren Rovell they would not renew his sponsorship. Monday afternoon, Syneron Candela, the company in which Lochte promoted men’s hair removal, released a statement to E! News saying they are also ending their partnership with the athlete. 

AirWeave, a mattress company, released a statement in regards to Lochte and the future of their partnership:
“AirWeave is a proud sponsor of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams and our dedication to the athletic achievement is unwavering. Our endorsement agreement with Ryan Lochte was in support of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. After careful consideration, we have made the decision to end our partnership with Ryan Lochte. We remain committed to supporting Team USA and the athletes preparing for the Paralympic Games.”
 
On Friday, Lochte issued an apology, via Instagram, for his actions in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, during the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. 
 
Lochte took to the social media site to express regret for his behavior and for taking the focus away from the Olympic athletes who were still competing in the games.
 
 

A photo posted by Ryanlochte (@ryanlochte) on


“I was to apologize for my behavior last weekend — for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dream of participating in the Olympics, the statement read. “I waited to share these thoughts until it was confirmed that the legal situation was addressed and it was clear that my teammates would be arriving home safely.”
 
“It’s traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country – with a language barrier – and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave, but regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night, I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself and for that I am sorry to my teammates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors, and the hosts of this great event. I am very proud to represent my country in Olympic competition and this was a situation that could and should have been avoided. I accept responsibility for my role in this happening and have learned some valuable lessons.”
 
“I am grateful for my USA Swimming teammates and the USOC, and appreciate all of the efforts of the IOC, the Rio ’16 Host Committee, an the people of Brazil who welcomed us to Rio and worked so hard to make sure that these Olympic Games provided a lifetime of great new memories. There has already been too much said and too many valuable resources dedicated to what happened last weekend, so I hope we spend our time celebrating the great stories and performances of these Games and look ahead to celebrating future successes.”

Lochte also conducted an exclusive interview with The Today Show over the weekend.
 
On Friday, Team USA Olympic swimmers Jack Conger and Gunnar Brentz were allowed to return back to the states following interviews with Brazilian authorities concerning claims the pair, plus Ryan Lochte and James Feigen, had been victims of a Sunday morning aggravated robbery while in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Olympic Games.
 
During a press conference on Thursday, officials confirmed the story, reportedly spearheaded by Lochte, was a lie.
 
Lochte claimed he, along with Brentz, Conger and Feigen, were victims of an armed robbery after their taxi was stopped by people impersonating police officers while en route to the Olympic Village following a party. Lochte claimed the individuals demanded their money and other personal belongings.
 
CONFLICTING REPORTS
 
Since then, conflicting reports have surfaced in regard to charges allegedly brought against Lochte and Feigen.
 
According to Globo News, Lochte and Feigen were indicted on charges of false reporting of a crime. Later on Thursday, NBC Nightly News tweeted the pair had not been indicted, after all.
 
Feigen’s lawyer said his client would pay $10,800. He left Rio on Friday.
 
SUSPICIOUS EVIDENCE
 
On Wednesday, after growing suspicious of the situation, Brazilian authorities went to the Olympic Village to speak with Lochte and Feigen. They were also planning to collect their passports in order to secure further testimony. When police arrived, the swim team had already moved out of the village following the end of their competition.
 
“As part of our standard security protocol, we do not make athlete travel plans public and therefore cannot confirm the athletes’ current location,” Patrick Sandusky, spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee, said in a statement.
 
Conger and Bentz were detained by Brazilian authorities Wednesday night as they boarded a plane back to the United States. They were then released with the understanding they would continue their discussion concerning the incident on Thursday.
 
“The three U.S. Olympic swimmers (Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen) are cooperating with authorities and in the process of scheduling a time and place today to provide further statements to the Brazilian authorities,” Sandusky said Thursday morning following the news of their detainment. “All are represented by counsel and being appropriately supported by the USOC and the U.S. Consulate in Rio.”
 
Lochte, who’s already back in the United States, conducted an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer on Wednesday reiterating everything he had initially claimed about the robbery, except for a few details.
 
Originally, Lochte stated they had been pulled over by people posing as police. In the latest interview, he said they had stopped at a gas station to use the restroom. Also in his first account, he said the alleged robber cocked a gun and put it to his head. He later told Lauer the gun was “pointed in his general direction.”
 
Authorities have asked that Lochte be brought back to Brazil.
 
THE INVESTIGATION
 
During the press conference, speaking Portuguese, officials began by saying they wanted to explain the timeline of events from when police were made aware of the initial incident to what transpired on Thursday.
 
“The police’s work was made very difficult by the lack of information we were able to obtain from the supposed victims or other sources,” the official said. “It was contradictory form the very beginning. Information began to clarify how the facts indeed occurred.”
 
Police say they were made aware of a cab driver who drove two young women. The women claimed they had “relations” with Team USA swimmers. The driver then called the information in to police, possibly providing a motive for the fabricated story. Officials believe the motive could stem from one or more athletes not wanting a Rio relationship publicized.
 
“Several measures were taken when we looked for images from closed circuit cameras at the gas station and their arrival at the Olympic Village,” the official continued. “We sought people who had the real version of what happened, but some citizens were reluctant because they were afraid of retaliation because they are international athletes.” 
 
Officials went on to say, based on the testimony given by the gas station security guard and other witnesses, they began to build a factual account of what happened.
 
“The driver who drove the athletes appeared at the unit (police station) and has been interviewed,” authorities stated. “He confirmed the version the police thought was probable. At this exact moment, police can confirm there was no robbery in the way it was reported by the victims. They were not victims of what they described. Since there are still ongoing investigations, we don’t have the complete picture.”
 
One or more than one of the swimmers committed acts of vandalism in the gas station bathroom, according to police, including the breaking of mirrors and other equipment. Police say this led to the confusion of the store’s employees. Security video also shows the athletes trying to get back in their cab to leave the location.
 
At that time, police say the store’s security guard tried to convince their cab driver to wait until police could get to the scene. However, the athletes did not want to wait for the police. The security guard then drew his firearm in an attempt to detain swimmers until police could arrive.
 
A citizen tried to act as an interpreter for the guard and the athletes, while attempting to explain to the Team USA members what they did while at the gas station. He told them they vandalized the establishment and needed to pay for their damages. Police say the swimmers paid 100 Reais (Brazilian currency) and thew in a $20 in American currency to compensate the store. The athletes then left the gas station.
 
“The images at the gas station confirmed this version, which also confirms what witnesses said,” authorities stated.
 
Officials say no violence was committed at any time toward the athletes that would lead someone to believe they were being robbed.
 
“A gun was brandished,” officials said. “According to the security guard, one of the athletes was very upset. So, the use of an arm (gun) was used to detain them. It was never fired.”
 
Police said one of the Team USA swimmers being interviewed on Thursday confessed and confirmed the witness accounts that a robbery never occurred. The swimmer said one of the athletes (Lochte) was more aggravated and upset than the others. He told police the actions of the security guard were not excessive. Authorities say the swimmer who admitted the false story to them never lied because this was his first comment about the incident. The athlete also told officials which swimmer was lying. 
 
The USOC released a statement to People Magazine following the press conference apologizing for the actions of the swimmers:
 
“Two U.S. Olympic swimmers (Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger) have given statements to local authorities today regarding the incident first reported on Sunday, August 14, 2016. Their passports have been released and they recently departed Rio. 
 
After providing a statement earlier in the week, a third (James Feigen) provided a revised statement this evening with the hope of securing the release of his passport as soon as possible. 
 
Working in collaboration with the U.S. Consulate in Rio, we have coordinated the athletes’ cooperation with local authorities and ensured their safety throughout the process, but we have not seen the full statements provided by Bentz and Conger. 
 
However, we understand that they describe the events that many have seen on surveillance video made publicly available today. As we understand it, the four athletes (Bentz, Conger, Feigen and Ryan Lochte) left France House early in the morning of August 14 in a taxi headed to the Olympic Village. They stopped at a gas station to use the restroom, where one of the athletes committed an act of vandalism. An argument ensued between the athletes and two armed gas station security staff, who displayed their weapons, ordered the athletes from their vehicle and demanded the athletes provide a monetary payment. Once the security officials received money from the athletes, the athletes were allowed to leave. 
 
The behavior of these athletes is not acceptable, nor does it represent the values of Team USA or the conduct of the vast majority of its members. We will further review the matter, and any potential consequences for the athletes, when we return to the United States. 
 
On behalf of the United States Olympic Committee, we apologize to our hosts in Rio and the people of Brazil for this distracting ordeal in the midst of what should rightly be a celebration of excellence. 
 
With three days remaining in the Olympic Games, our primary focus will remain on supporting the athletes who are still competing and celebrating the achievements of those who have finished.”
 

 

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