Sports

Speedo Fires Ryan Lochte, Donates His Fee To Charity Instead

by Tosten Burks

August 23, 2016
Image via Chan-Fan (cc)

Swimmer Ryan Lochte’s mission to earn sympathy for drunkenly vandalizing a Rio gas station—a story that evolved into strange Olympics crime fanfiction—appears to be failing. Several major sponsors, including Ralph Lauren and Speedo USA, ended their relationships with Lochte this week.

“We cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for,” Speedo said in a statement. The company donated part of Lochte’s would-be fee of $50,000 to a nonprofit Save the Children’s chapter in Brazil. 

Lochte, who won gold two weeks ago in the 4x200 meter freestyle relay, originally claimed four men robbed him and three teammates at gunpoint in Rio after stopping their taxi. Local officials disputed Lochte’s take, and USA Today now reports that the actual situation was a slightly more complicated collision of booze, property destruction, urination, and security guards.

In any case, Lochte’s initial exaggeration and whimpering apology to Matt Lauer apper to be the downfall of his marketability. Hair removal company Synero Candela and mattress company Airweave also terminated their sponsorships of the 12-time Olympic medalist.

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