U.S. swimmer and man-who-eats-protein Michael Phelps swam his way to six more medals at the London Games. But now he faces the embarassment of having those medals stripped—not because of drug abuse, but because he slipped off his clothes for those sultry Louis Vuitton ads.
In one of the ads, which surfaced on Twitter on August 13, a saucy-looking Phelps wears a speedo in a bathtub. That’s absolutely fine. No penalties there! The problem, however, comes in the timing. The International Olympic Committee’s Rule 40 forbid athletes from participating in non-Olympic marketing campaigns from July 18 to August 15, 2012.
Both Louis Vuitton and Phelps’ agent have said that Phelps is innocent of any wrongdoing. The French fashion house said that the two photos were actually unofficial images that someone had “stolen” from the company and leaked online. And Peter Carlisle, Phelps’ rep, said that he did not authorize the release of those images.