The agent for history’s most decorated Olympian Michael Phelps says his client is not as risk of losing his Olympic medals from this summer’s London Games after photos for a new Louis Vuitton ad campaign leaked early. Athletes were barred from plugging goods for companies that are not Olympic sponsors from July 18 until August 15.
These ads for luxury designer Louis Vuitton leaked online before their August 16 release date while the games were still ongoing. The wording of the International Olympic Committee rule was laid out by the San Francisco Chronicle:
Rule 40 states ”a competitor or a team may lose the benefit of any ranking obtained in relation to other events at the Olympic Games at which he or it was disqualified or excluded; in such case the medals and diplomas won by him or it shall be returned to the IOC.” In other words, Phelps could theoretically be stripped of his medals from London.
The Washington Post has the response Phelps’ agent gave to the speculation that his client could lose his medals for this:
“He didn’t violate Rule 40, it’s as simple as that,” Carlisle said in a telephone interview. “All that matters is whether the athlete permitted that use. That’s all he can control. In this case, Michael did not authorize that use. The images hadn’t even been reviewed, much less approved. It’s as simple as that. An athlete can’t control unauthorized uses any more than you can guarantee someone isn’t going to break into your house.”