US swimmer Lochte loses 4 major sponsors
UNITED States Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte lost all four of his major sponsors on Monday, including Speedo USA and Ralph Lauren, following his apology for an "exaggerated" story about being robbed at gunpoint at the Rio Games.
His version of the incident embarrassed the host city, angered local officials and further revelations about it - casting doubt on Lochte's story - dominated news coverage of South America's first Olympics.
The US Olympic Committee issued an apology on Thursday. Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medallist, made his own apology on Saturday in an interview with Brazil's largest broadcaster, Globo TV.
Within hours of the Games coming to a close on Sunday night, swimwear maker Speedo USA issued a statement saying it would drop him as one of its endorsers.
Luxury retailer Ralph Lauren said it would not be renewing its contract with the swimmer.
Japanese mattress maker Airweave, which last week had said it would stand by Lochte, on Monday said it had decided it would not renew the endorsement, which had been made for the Rio Games.
Nottingham, Britain-based Speedo's US unit said on Monday it would donate US$50,000 (S$67,500) of Lochte's fee to Save The Children, a global charity partner of the company.
Lochte said in an e-mail that he respected Speedo's decision.
"I was immature and I made a stupid mistake. I'm human. I made a mistake and I definitely learnt from this," he said in an interview on the Today show.
"They (the people of Rio) put on a great Games... And my immature, intoxicated behaviour tarnished that a little," he added.
Endorsement deals typically include clauses that allow for early termination if the athlete has behaved poorly.