LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Olympic athletes have been urged to negotiate with national officials directly over gaining freedoms to promote their personal sponsors during Summer and Winter Games.
IOC President Thomas Bach’s comments to an invited audience of athletes on Sunday confirmed the Olympic body will not extend worldwide the concessions won by German athletes in a recent federal government ruling.
The German anti-trust office described the Olympic Charter’s Rule 40 — limiting athletes’ commercial rights during official games periods — as “too far-reaching ... abusive conduct.”
The rule protects exclusivity for Olympic sponsors and drives up the IOC’s billion-dollar revenues. The IOC helps fund games organizers, national Olympic committees and sports governing bodies though it has resisted calls to pay athletes directly.
Asked by a Canadian delegate on Sunday about changing Rule 40, Bach says: “There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.”
Bach says athletes should negotiate at national level to “establish a fair balance between giving and taking.”
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