Lochte handed sponsor lifeline

2016-08-26 13:01
Ryan Lochte (Getty Images)

Los Angeles - A California company has thrown Ryan Lochte a lifeline after a slew of top sponsors abandoned the star following his fabricated tale of a gunpoint robbery during the Olympics, a statement said on Thursday.

Lochte - who was charged by police in Brazil on Thursday for making a false statement - has been signed by a sore throat drop company for an upcoming campaign.

Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops said a series of ads featuring Lochte would carry the slogan: "Forgiving on Your Throat."

"We all make mistakes, but they're rarely given front-page scrutiny," Pine Bros. chief executive Rider McDowell said.

"He's a great guy who has done incredible work with charities. I'm confident that Pine Bros. fans will support our decision to give Ryan a second chance."

The decision comes after four companies, including swimwear giant Speedo, ended their relationships with Lochte following the controversy.

He drew widespread criticism after claiming during a television interview that he and three other swimmers were pulled over and robbed at gunpoint during a night of partying in Rio.

The authorities later challenged his version of events, saying the only confrontation occurred after the swimmers had vandalized a gas station.

Lochte later apologised, saying he had "exaggerated" the incident.

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