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Major Sponsors Drop Rio Olympic Medallist

Swimwear maker Speedo and luxury retailer Ralph Lauren Corp have ended their sponsorship contracts with Ryan Lochte, days after the US swimmer 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 medallist, apologised 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 said it would not be renewing its contract with the swimmer - saying its agreement was specifically for the Rio Games.

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.

Nottingham, UK-based Speedo's US unit said on Monday it would donate $50,000 ($A65,755) of Lochte's fee to Save The Children, a global charity partner of Speedo.

Lochte said in an email 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 learned from this," Lochte 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."

Another sponsor, Japanese mattress maker Airweave, had said on Friday that it would continue to monitor the investigation but could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Lochte, 32, won one gold medal at the Rio Olympics after being the breakout star of the 2012 London Olympics.


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