Michael Phelps didn’t violate Olympic rules when photos of the swimmer modeling for a Louis Vuitton advertising campaign were released prematurely, his agent Peter Carlisle said.
One photo showing Phelps lounging in a bathtub with a Louis Vuitton bag on the floor was leaked during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The International Olympic Committee has a rule that bans athletes from promoting non-official sponsors during the games. Punishment for violations can include stripping an Olympian of medals.
“Rule 40 applies to athletes who permit use of name during Games; it doesn’t apply to unauthorized uses (which, unfortunately, are common),” Carlisle said on his Twitter account.
The ad campaign, photographed by Annie Leibovitz, was officially released two days ago.
Besides the bathtub scene, Phelps is also shown in a three-piece suit sitting on a sofa with former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, who held the record for the most medals until the swimmer surpassed it in London.
Phelps won four golds and two silvers in London, retiring with 22 medals.
The IOC didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.