Michael Phelps Could Be in Hot Water for Louis Vuitton Photos

Michael Phelps Could Be in Hot Water for Louis Vuitton Photos

Some photos of Olympic sensation Michael Phelps have risen online that could land the swimmer in hot water. The photos by Annie Leibovitz for Louis Vuitton were leaked on the Internet late last week, violating the International Olympic Committee's controversial Rule 40, which states athletes can't promote any non-Olympic sponsors from July 18 to August 15. Phelps could stand to lose his medals.

The ad campaign was set to go live August 16th in order to comply with those stringent rules, but someone must have jumped the gun because the photos appeared on a wide variety of websites starting on the second Tuesday of the Olympics.

Louis Vuitton denies releasing the photographs, as does Phelps' people.

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." That means Phelps could lose the medals he won in London.

However, the odds of that happening don't seem to be that high, unless the international olympics committee can prove that the photos were released early on purpose. Odds are they will let this slide and attribute the leak to a single rogue individual without consent from either party.

[Via Auburn Pub]

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Mike Oreo's picture

Olympic female gymnast was on the Kellogg's box weeks ago, nothing being said about that and yes she was a medalist.

Kellogg's is an Olympic Sponsor.

So basically it's just a question of protecting some monopoly over advertising during the olympics... So just by being athletes, they loose their freedom to endorse any product or the right to work for anyone they want.

Fucking circus.... ridiculous...

Sponsors pay millions of dollars to the Olympics in order to be associated with it, it's only fair that they only be allowed to advertise for sponsors.

They'll let it slide.  If they don't, Mike needs to Sue Louis Vuitton for hundreds of millions of dollars.  It would be their fault, not his.  =)

Harrison's picture

Kellogg is a different case if they are a sponsor since the rule applies to those whom are non-sponsors.

 Photos were released and published on the Louis Vuitton official facebook page.  lately phelps also posted photos of him promoting a cereal too

Prashant Max Steel's picture

I have seen some Indian Athletes on Ads and am not sure they are the sponsors...
Damn! in any case India has won paltry 6 medals. Damn if we loose it :-P

Is it me or is there an Olympic sized fart bubble coming up? 

It was the first thing I saw. Was wondering if it was just me. 

Richard Grebby's picture

It just shows how commercial and anti sport the olympic commitee actually is, i mean really whats the damage?

mouse potato's picture

A non issue , issue. Just for the sake of writing a story.  

JimmySchaefer's picture

The Olympics and its committee is just a big fucked up mess like the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, any huge league.... I sure Michael logged onto his PC, took all the images and leaked them online so he could ruin his career yet once again...  What's different this time is he had no control over the situation that occurred last olympics. He and his manager pry went to the company that wanted to use him as a sponsor signed a contract that said "images where not to be released until this (   ) date", then the company has a insider, (who should be fired) who leaked the photo and now all this shit happens..... I would say to the Olympic committee  to go ahead strip Michael of all his medals, like he fucking needs them, there is no other man or woman on this earth who can compete with Michael... If I was him at the olympic ceremony I would just be handing out my medals to the crowds people and show no respect to anyone in charge of the olympics... who wants all that extra weight on their necks anyways! p.s USA Swimming 4 Life!

Vincent Bazil Venter's picture

If he has won the medals fair and square, why not? let him have his medals, he deserves it.

It is an absurd rule. It just doesn't make sense, he is a star athlete. Its not like 
Louis Vuitton
 created a special costume with the brands name and was using the Olympics to promote it. whatever... I think the Olympics could use some exposure through a proper brand ... I don't even watch the Olympics...I think they have better things to waste their time on than a swimmer in a well made suit.

Jens Marklund's picture

Nothing is going to happen. /thread

Jacce Pappa's picture

Mitallit pois 

Pascal Goudkuil's picture

yesterday on RTL-Boulevard in the Netherlands!
Sure nice pictures tough!

Why is the rule text "he or it" not "he or she"? I realise the "it" may refer to the team, but it looks odd to omit the "she" part from the rule. Unless the ladies get special treatment!