The International Olympic Committee is to relax regulations barring athletes from promoting non-official sponsors during the Olympics following an outcry over attempts to enforce the rule at the London 2012 Games, a spokesman said.
Mark Adams, the IOC’s director of communications, said the body planned to tweak existing rules next year which would “allow generic non-Olympic advertising during the period of the Games, which hasn’t been allowed until now.”
The change would need to be approved at a meeting of the full IOC in Kuala Lumpur next July, a month before the Rio Games.
The IOC’s executive board, meeting in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, agreed to amend the existing Rule 40, which was targeted by disgruntled athletes in London three years ago.
The rule bars athletes from using their image or likeness in non-Olympic advertising for a window encompassing each Games.
Anyone in violation risked disciplinary action including stripping of medals or expulsion from the Games.