Ryan Lochte May Lose Endorsements Over Rio Scandal: 'I Can't Imagine a Worse Scenario for His Career'
Not only is Ryan Lochte's reputation taking a hit following his recent scandal in Rio — his lucrative endorsement deals may swim away as well.
Prior to the gold medalist releasing an apology for his behavior Friday morning, sportscaster Bob Costas told the Today show: "He probably cost himself millions and millions of dollars."
Despite Lochte's mea culpa, well-known sports attorney Lee Steinberg believes the damage has been done.
Steinberg told Inside Edition that other than a serious criminal accusation, “I can’t imagine a worse scenario for... Ryan Lochte’s Career."
Lochte has appeared in Ralph Lauren’s recent Olympic campaign, showing off the fashion giant's new Team USA inspired collection, which the athletes donned at the Rio Opening Ceremonies.
A spokesman for the company says: "We are reviewing the situation."
Swimwear powerhouse Speedo is another sponsor of Lochte. The company has released a statement saying only: "Speedo is following the situation."
There’s also Gatorade, Nissan, Mutual of Omaha and Proctor and Gamble that have also given the gold medalist endorsements.
"I think it's very likely that companies will respond quickly to these events and sever ties with him,” Steinberg said.
Lochte and fellow swimmer Jimmy Feigen claimed they had been held up at gunpoint and robbed while returning to the Olympic village early Sunday.
Their story began to unravel when surveillance footage emerged showing them at a gas station before they were seen returning to the Olympic village in good spirits.
On Thursday afternoon, authorities called a press conference to dispute the team's version of events.
Authorities said the swimmers vandalized a gas station bathroom and were quested by armed guards outside the service area where the Americans eventually paid for the damages they caused.