The iconic swimmer found himself in trouble after he promoted the non-official sponsors within the timeframe surrounding the London Olympic Games, which according to a rule by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), is prohibited.
He could have been stripped of the medals. But Phelps is unlikely to lose his medals, a report in the Washington Post quoted the swimmer’s agent Peter Carlisle as saying: “He didn’t violate Rule 40, it’s as simple as that. All that matters is whether the athlete permitted that use.
“That’s all he can control. In this case, Michael did not authorise that use. The images hadn’t even been reviewed, much less approved. An athlete can’t control unauthorised uses any more than you can guarantee someone isn’t going to break into your house,” Carlisle said.
“I can’t count on every hand in this office the number of unauthorised uses that happen during the games period,” Carlisle said. “We uncover them by the dozens. Some are by companies we don’t even know. It happens constantly,” the agent said.
The ad campaign of the legendary swimmer began on Thursday, a day after the IOC embargo ended. In one of the pictures, Phelps is shown in a bathtub wearing only goggles and skimpy briefs.
Another ad has him sitting on a sofa, wearing a three-piece suit and chatting with former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, whose four-decade-long record for overall medals was broken by Phelps at the London Games.