(NEW YORK) — Swimming champion Michael Phelps might be in hot water with the International Olympic Committee after photos of him posing in a bathtub for part of a Louis Vuitton ad campaign were leaked on the Internet.
Phelps was photographed for the campaign in a bathing suit and goggles in a bathtub reportedly by photographer Annie Leibovitz. The photos were released during a time when Olympic athletes are banned from participating in marketing campaigns.
The regulation was introduced this year by the Olympic Committee and is known as Rule 40, prohibiting athletes from participating in advertising from July 18 to Aug. 15, which included periods before and after the Olympic Games.
The photo of Phelps in the bathtub next to a Louis Vuitton bag, however, popped up on the Internet in early August, appearing on The Daily Mail’s website Aug. 13.
Athletes who break Rule 40 can face sanctions, including financial penalties and disqualification from games, which can mean a loss of medals, as outlined in the Olympic Committee’s guidebook.
The U.S. International Olympic Committee and Louis Vuitton declined to comment. Representatives for Leibovitz did not immediately return calls from ABC News.
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Jethro Mullen Ivana Kottasova and Patrick Gillespie, CNN
Kristen Shanahan, KFOR