ATHLETES including Henley’s rowers competing at the Brazil Olympics could be in trouble if they
ATHLETES including Henley’s rowers competing at the Brazil Olympics could be in trouble if they are sent a message of support by a sponsor.
Under a rule enforced by the International Olympic Committee, competitors could face sanctions for interactions with “non-approved” sponsors during the Games, even if it’s just a simple good luck message.
Rule 40 states that athletes must cut ties with unofficial partners until three days after the Rio Games finish on August 24.
In addition, non-approved sponsors are barred from using “Olympic-related terms” in reference to competitors, including “2016”, “victory” and “effort”, meaning they may not even be able to retweet their sporting clients.
Punishments include athletes losing medals, although a reprimand is the most likely outcome for offenders.
The regulations were designed to stop non-approved sponsors hijacking publicity off the back of the Olympics while protecting the investment of the official sponsors.
Since London 2012 the rule has been partially relaxed, so that athletes can appear in marketing for their sponsors if they have been given special dispensation.
Leader Club captain Alex Gregory, who is competing in the men’s coxless four, got around the rule neatly by tweeting a thank-you to all his sponsors on the day before the rule came into force.