Michael Phelps could be forced to give up all of the six medals he earned at the 2012 London Olympics, thanks to some leaked photos of him promoting Louis Vuitton apparel. But it's not likely.
The photos are apparently a big no-no due to the International Olympic Committee's rule that athletes can't promote non-Olympics sponsors between July 18 and Aug. 15, according to complex.com. The photos, which LV claims were intended to surface after the Olympics, were unintentionally leaked last week.
Nobody expects that Phelps will actually end up surrendering any medals, but a fine is possible under the following IOC rule:
"A competitor or a team may lose the benefit of any ranking obtained in relation to other events at the Olympic Games at which he or it was disqualified or excluded; in such case the medals and diplomas won by him or it shall be returned to the IOC.”
Phelps' agent Peter Carlisle also came to the strong defense of his client on the subject of the leaked photos, which came out sooner than intended.
"I can't count on every hand in this office the number of unauthorized 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."