Michael Phelps in hot water over Louis Vuitton ad campaign

(CBS News) Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has found himself in hot water, as he confronts a conflict with the International Olympic Committee over his new high fashion ad campaign.

Louis Vuitton officially launched the campaign on Thursday, August 16th, but photos from the campaign were leaked on August 13th, during the last days of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The photos were leaked while the IOC's controversial Rule 40 -- which bans Olympic athletes from participating in any non-official advertising during the games -- was still in effect.

Phelps' agent: Leaked pics not a violation

Many Olympic athletes have spoken out against the rule, including the USA track and field team who staged a twitter protest against it. The athletes who came out against the rule claim that they should be allowed to determine how their own likeness is used during the games, and that Rule 40 hurts those athletes without big endorsement deals. The IOC claims that they need to limit advertising in order to protect their sponsors, who make the Games possible. The regulation was just introduced this year.

Phelps and his team deny leaking the pictures, shot by famed photographer Annie Leibowitz. The leaked photos include snaps of the swimming star in goggles in a bathtub and alongside former Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina.

The IOC has yet to rule, but if it determines Phelps to be in violation of Rule 40, he could face "wide-ranging sanctions," including fines or the loss of some of his 22 Olympic medals.


Comments

Follow Us

The Newsroom