Michael Phelps May Incur Wrath of IOC Over Louis Vuitton Ads
While no official word has handed down by the International Olympic Committee regarding Michael Phelps' appearance in leaked photos of a Louis Vuitton ad inside the Rule 40 window barring appearance in non-Olympic sponsor ads between July 17 and August 15, the media has its panties in a bunch over the kerfuffle.
The ads, shot by Annie Liebowitz, feature Phelps in a bathtub wearing a Speedo and swim goggles and on a couch sitting next to Russian Olympian Larissa Latynina whose medal winning record Phelps just broke.
At issue is whether or not Phelps broke Rule 40 which "limits athletes competing in the Olympic Games from appearing in advertising during and shortly before the Games." If the IOC feels an Olympian has crossed the rule, they can be issued "...wide ranging sanctions..." Though unlikely, some have said these sanctions could include being stripped of medals.
Many, including track Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross, claim the rule forces "hard working Olympians to leave the games with no financial support while $6 billion is earned around the games."