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Published: Tue, August 23, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Speedo drops Lochte after Rio scandal


In April, the company had named the Olympic swimmer as the global brand ambassador for its Gentle Laser Hair Removal system. Lochte fabricated a tale that he was robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics.

A subsidiary of United Kingdom -based Pentland Brands Limited, Speedo announced it would donate a $50,000 portion of Lochte's pay to a charity that works with poor children in Brazil.

"While we have enjoyed a winning relationship with Ryan for over a decade and he has been an important member of the Speedo team, we can not condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for", the company said in a statement.

"We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience", the company said in a statement. Lochte's fourth and final endorser, Gentle Hair Removal, also announced it was ending its partnership, according to ESPN.

Lochte said in an email that he respected Speedo's decision.

In his only interview about the scandal so far, Lochte told NBC's Matt Lauer he took "full responsibility" for "over-exaggerating" his claims that the taxi he shared with his teammates, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, and James Feigen, was pulled over by men posing as police officers while headed to the Olympic Village. In an interview on NBC on Saturday, Lochte said "I over-exaggerated that story and if I had never done that we wouldn't be in this mess". "I am proud of the accomplishments that we have achieved together".

The incident embarrassed the host city, angered the local police and government and dominated news coverage of South America's first Olympics, leading the U.S. Olympic Committee to issue an apology. It made a decision to end its partnership with Lochte "after careful consideration", but will continue supporting Team USA, according to a statement on its Twitter account.

"The current situation in Brazil regarding Ryan Lochte is an ongoing investigation". In a span of 15 hours, politician Donald Trump and Lochte both coughed up carefully crafted words of contrition, each without fully owning up to exactly what he'd done wrong.

"I wasn't lying to a certain extent", he said.

After winning a gold medal in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay to add to his tally, Lochte's 12 medals make him the second-most decorated male swimmer of all-time, second only to Michael Phelps.

The rejection isn't new for Lochte: Several of his deals with Gillette, Gatorade, AT&T, and other brands expired before the London Olympics in 2012.

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