Michael Phelps became the most decorated athlete in Olympic history this year, but, due to a recent Louis Vuitton ad, he may have to give some of his hardware back.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not made any suggestions about taking medals away from Phelps, but the SF Gate notes that the Olympic swimmer may have violated an IOC rule which could result in the loss of a medal or two.
Phelps posed for a Louis Vuitton Ad last week, which violates the Olympic Committee’s Rule 40. According to Rule 40, an athlete is not allowed to promote any non-Olympic sponsor until after August 16. Louis Vuitton is not a sponsor. Michael Phelps’ Louis Vuitton ad hit the internet before August 16.
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.”
But here’s the thing. The ad was never officially released by Louis Vuitton. It was never officially released by Michael Phelps. According to the SF Gate, Louis Vuitton was holding onto the ad until after August 16 to comply with the IOC’s rules. The photograph was leaked online early, however, and now Phelps is in danger of losing some of his medals.
Do you think Michael Phelps should lose his medals because of a leaked photo? Should the Olympic swimmer have known better? Should he have waited until after August 16 to shoot the ad?
Prior to Phelps’ Louis Vuitton ad, several athletes took issue with rule 40.
Track star Dawn Harper wrote:
— Dawn Harper (@DHarp100mH) July 29, 2012
You can see Michael Phelps Louis Vuitton ad here.