What's buzzing:

Fourth-Place Medal

Michael Phelps could get in trouble for Louis Vuitton photos

Fourth-Place Medal

Michael Phelps could be in hot water -- not the cold bathtub he appears to be in -- for his recent photo shoot with the French luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton.

Photos of Phelps taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz were leaked on the Internet late last week, violating the International Olympic Committee's controversial Rule 40, which states athletes can't promote any non-Olympic sponsors from July 18 to Aug. 15.

Punishments for the rule range from fines to a stripping of medals.

The campaign was set to begin on Aug. 16 in order to comply with the IOC's campaign against ambush marketing. Someone jumped the gun and the photos appeared on a wide variety of websites starting on the second Tuesday of the Olympics.

Louis Vuitton denies releasing the photographs, as does Phelps' camp.

Rule 40 states "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." In other words, Phelps could theoretically be stripped of his medals from London.

The odds of the that happening are about the same as the swimmer winning six gold medals in women's gymnastics at the Rio 2016 Games. Unless there's a vast conspiracy involving the maker of high-end trunks and the world's greatest swimmer, it seems safe to assume that these photos were leaked by a rogue individual. Pictures that aren't meant for public consumption get leaked all the time. Michael Phelps can attest to that fact.

View photo

.

Then again, one of the leaked ad photos was with former Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina, the woman whose record for most Olympic medals Phelps broke in London. If we were still in Cold War mode, it'd be a legitimate possibility that she leaked them as part of a wide-ranging conspiracy to get back her record.

Related Olympics coverage on Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
FIBA pushing for 3-on-3 basketball to become Olympic sport
Adria Gasol, younger brother of Pau and Marc, will walk-on at UCLA
Ronda Rousey to critics: Let them try to put me back into my place
Y! Autos: The most expensive cars to insure

View Comments (7975)
  • Marcus Mariota signing lures more than 3,400 to Titans camp

    Marcus Mariota signing lures more than 3,400 to Titans camp

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The chance at an autograph from Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota helped the Tennessee Titans lure their biggest crowd to training camp in years, so much so that the rookie quarterback couldn't send everyone away happy. … More »

    AP - Sports - 7 minutes ago
  • NFL-National Football League roundup

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Kyle Williams suffered a season-ending Achilles injury at training camp practice Saturday. Williams, 27, was carted off the practice field after going down awkwardly in punt-return drills. Broncos head coach Gary … More »

    Reuters - 16 minutes ago
  • Mason confident there'll be no drop-off while Gurley rehabs

    Mason confident there'll be no drop-off while Gurley rehabs

    Draft day could not have been a pleasant experience for St. Louis Rams running back Tre Mason. Imagine how jarring it must have been to see his team take Todd Gurley with the 10th overall pick. ''Our approach with Todd is a common-sense … More »

    AP - Sports - 22 minutes ago
  • Buccaneers hungry for success after disappointing season

    Buccaneers hungry for success after disappointing season

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are eager to distance themselves from their worst finish in nearly three decades. In addition to addressing their quarterback woes this offseason, the Bucs brought in help for a porous offensive line and added several … More »

    AP - Sports - 31 minutes ago
  • Merritt, Chappell share lead, Tiger slips back

    Merritt, Chappell share lead, Tiger slips back

    (Reuters) - Americans Troy Merritt and Kevin Chappell, both looking for their first PGA Tour wins, shared a one-shot lead after Saturday's third round of the Quicken Loans National, while tournament host Tiger Woods fell from contention. Merritt … More »

    Reuters - 32 minutes ago