BONN, Germany (AP) — In a win for athletes over Olympic restrictions, a German federal agency says “abusive” limits on games-time promotional activities should be relaxed.
The Federal Cartel Office says the Olympic Charter’s rules are “too far-reaching and thus constitute abusive conduct.”
International athletes have long been frustrated by Rule 40, which states that “no competitor … may allow his person, name, picture or sports performances to be used for advertising purposes during the Olympic Games” without an exemption from the IOC executive board.
The IOC’s position is that it is protecting the exclusivity and value of its sponsor deals that helps fund the games, athlete training and sports bodies worldwide.
The judgment means the national Olympic committee and IOC agree to let athletes in Germany use some Olympic images and languages, and use social media more freely, including to thank sponsors.
The IOC says it welcomes the German office recognizing that stopping ambush marketing is a legitimate aim.