Ryan Lochte signs endorsement deal for cough drops

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 25, 2016 4:40 PM

(Reuters) - Days after losing all his major sponsors, American swimmer Ryan Lochte signed an endorsement deal with a company that made light of the scandal involving the U.S. Olympic athlete at the Rio Games.

Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops, which makes cough drops, said it had signed Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist, for a television commercial and print ads.

Lochte lost all four of his major sponsors on Monday, including Speedo USA and Ralph Lauren Corp, following his apology for an "exaggerated" story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio.

Lochte's version of the incident embarrassed the host city, angered local officials and further revelations about it - casting doubt on Lochte's story - dominated news coverage of South America's first Olympics.

"We all make mistakes, but they're rarely given front page scrutiny," Pine Bros Chief Executive Rider McDowell said in a statement on Thursday.

"I'm confident that Pine Bros fans will support our decision to give Ryan a second chance," he said.

Lochte, 32, won one gold medal at the Rio Olympics. He was the breakout star of the 2012 London Olympics, landing a short-lived reality TV series called "What Would Ryan Lochte Do?" and appearing, as himself, on top shows such as "30 Rock" and "90210".

In a tweet on Thursday, Lochte said: "Thanks to all the folks at Pine Bros for your confidence in me. I look forward to making you proud."

(Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru and Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Alan Crosby)