A number of Olympics athletes have broken ranks over the onerous sponsorship conditions placed upon them by claiming that they unfairly disadvantage those without lucrative deals.
They have estavlished a Twitter movement under the hashtag ‘WeDemandChange2012’ to campaign for looser rules on what Olympians can promote and on the use of athletes names and likenesses for advertising.
One of the groups members, Sanya Richards-Ross, told a news conference: “I've been very fortunate to do very well around the Olympics, but so many of my peers struggle in this sport. And I just think it's unjust.”
Richard-Ross estimates that only 2% of the 10,500 athletes at the Games can tweet about their sponsors because they have been accredited by the USOC or IOC.
Defending its policies the IOC said that only it reinvested sponsorship money back into sport, with spokesman Mark Jones saying: “For one month, we ask them not to endorse products not related to the Olympics that don't actually give money back to the movement."