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Ryan Lochte Comeback Begins ... Locks Down 1st New Sponsor

8/25/2016 12:00 PM PDT

Ryan Lochte's Comeback Begins, Locks Down 1st New Sponsor

EXCLUSIVE

Ryan Lochte's endorsement comeback is underway ... he just signed a brand new deal with a throat drop company ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

Lochte will team up with the Pine Brothers throat lozenge company, a rep confirms -- to be the face of a campaign that promotes the drops as "Forgiving On Your Throat."

Lochte will appear in print ads and a commercial. 

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

We're guessing the campaign will include some comical references to Lochte's Brazil drama -- you know, since he's asking the public to forgive him for that whole thing. 

Of course, Lochte lost all of his major sponsors after Brazilian officials say he lied about an alleged gas station robbery -- but when 1 (or 4) door closes ... 

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