By Bobby Pollier, EnStarz | Aug 17, 2012 01:52 PM EDT
Gold medalist Michael Phelps may have jumped into waters even too rough for him to handle. Last week, the United States swimmer posed in a series of photographs for a new Louis Vuitton advertisement.
However, the revealing photos of the scantily clad star laying in a water-filled bathtub - taken by famous photographer Annie Leibovitz - were allegedly leaked onto the Web before its official press date, according to Yahoo!
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According to the site, an unknown individual may have acted in hast, unlawfully leaking the pictures on a plethora of sites during the second week of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
It was reported that the shots had broken the International Olympic Committee's Rule 40: Phelps was not allowed to be promoted by any non-Olympic sponsors from July 18 until Aug. 15.
According to the Inquistr, Rule 40 officially states the following:
"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."
It is said that the punishment for the respective violation could range from fines to the stripping of the athlete's medals.
Louis Vuitton's campaign pictures were supposed to go public on Aug. 16 in order to meet the IOC regulation.
Both Michael Phelps' team and the Louis Vuitton brand deny posting the photographs before the restriction's end.
CLICK HERE to view Michael Phelps' Luis Vuitton photos.
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