Michael Phelps may be stripped of his Olympic medals after pictures of him stripping for Louis Vuitton were leaked on the internet.
Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps may not be the most decorated Olympian for long. During the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Phelps took over the title of the most decorated Olympian after finishing on the competitions with 22 medals. Phelps also holds the record for the most amount of gold medals ever won in a single Games with 18- double that of the next highest gold medalist.
His success, however, may not be enough to keep him out of trouble water with the Olympics board after pictures of the swimmer were leaked last week.
Phelps agreed to pose for Louis Vuitton for an advertisement. The pictures reveal Phelps wearing nothing but a Speedo and his goggles while he glares seductively at the camera from a tub of water.
While the picture is far from risqué, the time of its release is in violation with regulations introduced by the International Olympic Committee earlier this year. The law stipulated that Olympic athletes are not permitted to pose for non-Olympic ads from July 18 to Aug. 15, 2012, according to Entertainment Wise.
The photo of Phelps was leaked on Twitter on Aug. 13.
Phelps may be in the clear if Vuitton can prove that the photos, snapped by famed photographer Anne Leibovitz- someone who also brought controversy to Miley Cyrus- were leaked by an outside individual and not intended to be released until Aug. 16. However, if the company intentionally leaked the photos, then Phelps may have a date with the Olympics committee, and this time it won't be in his honor.
''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,' the official IOC rule states.
Thus far, the company, the photographer, and Phelp's management team have all denied leaking the photos. Vuitton has insisted that the images were in fact "stolen."