Yohan Blake, Jamaican sports star, might be facing a fine from the International Olympic Association (IOC) after wearing an expensive Richard Mille watch during his races.
The fine could be the result of Blake wearing a watch which is not part of the gear of his country's sponsored apparel.
Tongues have been waging in regards to the estimated cost of the watch which could have a price tag of US$500,000, made by designer Richard Mille.
According to the United States Olympic Committee Athlete Endorsement Guidelines, their athletes may not wear branded apparel or accessories that are not part of the U.S. Olympic Team apparel issued by the USOC.
An athlete, however, has the right to select his or her specialized equipment for use in the Olympic games, but could this watch be considered specialized equipment.
It has been pointed out on ca.sports.yahoo.com that it isn't the first time a major tournament has been sponsored by Mille Tourbillion as some have been sponsored during the French Open and during a PGA event, but let's face it, this is the Olympics.
Gerhard Heiberg, IOC Marketing Commission Chairman has stated that, "The IOC and its partners in the Olympic Movement take the threat of ambush marketing very seriously. We want to protect the integrity of the Olympic rings...".
The IOC Marketing media guide describes ambush marketing as an attempt to unofficially create an association with the Games. This damages the investment of genuine Olympic partners, and risks the Organising Committee's ability to fund the event successfully.
The official watch sponsor for the 2012 London Olympic Games is Omega.
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