Michael Phelps won four gold medals and two silvers in what was his swan song as an Olympian. The next time you'll see him in water is in a bathtub as part of a new ad campaign by Louis Vuitton shot by Annie Leibovitz.
Photos of the ads were leaked during the Olympics, with the most provocative showing Phelps in a black swimsuit in the tub with a Louis Vuitton bad on the floor Another shows him in a suit on a couch with former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, whose record for total medals Phelps broke this year.
There has been some speculation that Phelps could be in trouble for running afoul of Rule 40, set by the International Olympic Committee, which prohibits Olympians from promoting non-sponsors during a window around the Games. Sanctions could include stripping of medals.
Phelps' agent Peter Carlisle said Phelps did nothing wrong, since the Louis Vuitton photos were leaked by someone now affiliated with the swimmer.
"He didn't violate Rule 40, it's as simple as that," Carlisle told the Associated Press. "All that matters is whether the athlete permitted that use. That's all he can control. In this case, Michael did not authorize that use. The images hadn't even been reviewed, much less approved. It's as simple as that. An athlete can't control unauthorized uses any more than you can guarantee someone isn't going to break into your house."
The IOC won't -- and shouldn't -- do anything to Phelps. As Outsports contributor Ryan Quinn wrote, Rule 40 is unfair to athletes and should be done away with.
Phelps looks terrific in the tub, though he does look a tad cramped trying to squeeze his 6-4 frame into it: