United States Olympic Swimmer Loses Endorsements After False Robbery Claims In Rio
The trouble began when media reports emerged on Aug. 14 that Lochte and three other U.S. swimmers — Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen — were robbed at gunpoint when their cab was pulled over by men posing as police. The incident caused a furor in Rio, where street crime was a major issue heading into the games.
Feigen wound up donating just under $11,000 to a Brazilian nonprofit sports organization to settle any potential legal action. Bentz issued a statement saying Lochte tore a sign off a wall at the gas station and got into a heated exchange with the security officers, though Bentz denied the swimmers did any damage to a locked bathroom as authorities alleged.
Lochte, in an initial interview to NBC, said
“these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over. They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn’t do anything wrong, so I’m not getting down on the ground.”
He went on to say he was robbed of money and his wallet.
Ryan Lochte lost three major sponsors as swimsuit company Speedo USA, clothing giant Ralph Lauren and skin-care firm Syneron-Candela announced in quick succession on Monday they were dumping the swimmer over a drunken incident during the Rio Olympics that he initially described as an armed robbery.
Speedo USA also said it would donate $50,000 of Lochte’s fee to Save The Children to benefit needy youngsters in Brazil.