Ryan Lochte.jpg
Ryan Lochte
Photograph: EPA/PATRICK B. KRAEMER

US swimmer Ryan Lochte lost his first major sponsor on Monday after fabricating an account of being robbed at the Rio Olympics.

Swimwear-maker Speedo said it was ending its sponsorship of Lochte, and will donate 50,000 dollars of his fee to the charity Save The Children to help Brazilian children.

"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 cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for," Speedo said in a statement.

"We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience."

Lochte, who won a gold medal in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay, had originally said he was robbed by a group posing as police officers, but that story fell apart as details of a gas station altercation emerged.

In an interview at the weekend with broadcaster NBC, the 12-time Olympic medallist took "full responsibility" for the incident.

He also admitted that what he had initially told Brazilian authorities - that he and fellow teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen had been robbed at gunpoint at a Rio gas station - was an "over exaggeration."

"I over exaggerated that story, and if I'd never done that, we wouldn't be in this mess," Lochte said.

When asked whether he had struck a deal to make sure the story didn't become a bigger incident, Lochte answered: "We just wanted to get out of there."

"There was a gun pointed in our direction, we were all frightened."

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