UPDATED: 11:42 a.m., EDT, Aug. 22 — Swimwear giant Speedo USA has officially severed its ties with U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, according to a statement from the company. Lochte admitted Sunday to PEOPLE magazine that the story he told about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio was actually a lie.
The terms of his contract with Speedo was not immediately available.
The still unfolding scandal involving gold medal-winning Olympian Ryan Lochte, three of his fellow U.S. swimming teammates and their collective claims that they were robbed at gunpoint last Sunday in Rio will likely have an effect on all of their future earnings as competitive swimmers. However, none of the world class American athletes involved stand more to lose than Lochte, who has the most name recognition in addition to the most monetary wealth.
Lochte has a net worth of approximately $6 million, according to the Celebrity New Worth website. The bulk of his riches likely have come from his assortment of endorsements from big name companies, including Speedo, the swimwear company that sponsors and outfits the U.S. swimming teams.
The 32-year-old — who is fresh off his latest gold medal in Rio — signed a 10-year contract with Speedo a little more than a decade ago. The terms of that contract were not immediately available, but it was likely in the millions, considering the length of the agreement. Other corporate sponsors of Lochte include Gillette and Ralph Lauren, both of which have been known to pay millions of dollars to athletes they endorse.
All of those high-profile endorsement and others are now at risk of being dissolved following what has become an international sporting scandal, ESPN's Darren Rovell said in a recent video. "This is going to take out, probably, all of his endorsements,” said Rovell, a sports business journalist for the Disney-owned network. "[Lochte] has a big deal with Speedo, a big deal with Ralph Lauren – those are his two biggest deals – he has one with Marriott, one with Airweave, a mattress company."
According to Fortune, as of 2012 Lochte was receiving an annual stipend of $30,000 from USA Swimming. But that was immediately prior to the 2012 London Games, where he was projected to earn $2.3 million, mostly from endorsements. In addition to the aforementioned companies supporting Lochte, Gatorade, Nissan, Mutual of Omaha and AT&T sponsored him. Most of them paid at least $250,000 each. In addition, each company was likely providing Lochte with their products free of charge.
Brazilian authorities have refuted the swimmers' claims that they were robbed at all and released closed circuit video footage of them being confronted by security at a gas station where they apparently inflicted damage to a restroom door there.
Hours after that fateful encounter early Sunday, it was reported that Lochte was robbed at gunpoint. He has since changed his story at least twice and as of Thursday afternoon the other three U.S. swimmers involved were still in Brazil being questioned by authorities. Lochte left the country and was reportedly back in the U.S.
During a press conference Thursday afternoon, the police chief of Rio de Janeiro said the swimmers "in theory" could be charged with giving false testimony and vandalism. It is unclear how those charges could affect the swimmers' standings and ability to compete internationally.