Last major sponsor Airweave drops Ryan Lochte after Rio incident

By REUTERS
August 23, 2016 01:59

US swimmer Ryan Lochte lost the last of his four major sponsors, Japanese mattress maker Airweave, days after he admitted to exaggerating his story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio during the Olympics.

The incident embarrassed the host city, angered the local police and government and dominated news coverage of South America's first Olympics, leading the US Olympic Committee to issue an apology.

Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist, apologized on Saturday in an interview to Brazil's largest broadcaster, Globo TV. "I wasn't lying to a certain extent," he said. "I over-exaggerated what was happening to me."

Within hours of the Games coming to a close, Speedo USA issued a statement saying it would drop Lochte as one of its endorsers, while Ralph Lauren Corp said it would not be renewing its contract with the swimmer.

Hair removal company Syneron Candela also ended its partnership with Lochte, four months after naming him its global brand ambassador for one of its products.

Sponsorship and endorsement deals typically include "morals clauses" that allow sponsors to terminate deals early if they feel the athlete has behaved poorly in public.


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