Bobby England, star of the USA ultra running team, has had his gold medal taken away for failing to mention one of his sponsors in a celebratory tweet.
Soon after his epic win in the Missime 100-mile trail race – actually 101.361 miles according to his leading brand satellite watch – he posted a picture of him biting the medal and quoting “Over the moon, years of sacrifice paid off. This is for you Mum, could not have done this without you!”
David Chalmers of ToeMax socks was outraged. “See those socks he is wearing?” he angrily told The Runion. “I posted them to him personally on the condition that he mentioned them in every tweet. Also if he were to win he was to say he could not have done it without those socks. Fuck his mum.”
A spokesman for the Missime race said, “I can confirm the committee has removed the gold medal from Mr England. We have a zero-tolerance policy on social media protocol breaks, and this one is extremely serious. The committee voted unanimously.”
Mr Chalmers added: “He’s lost his gold, but worse he’s lost the trucker hat with our brand on we were going to send his as part of our ambassador bonus scheme.”
Jenny Willows from the Australian women’s team had similar issues with her main sponsor.
“I signed the contract with AwesomeHat, took delivery of their multi-purpose headwear sheath, and was then told I had to mention them at my wedding.
“When I answered the ‘Do you take Stefan to…’ bit, I was contractually obliged to respond ‘I #doawesomely’.”
Willows added: “Annoying, the piece of kit they gave me fell out of my pocket at mile 4.”
Mike Stewart, a brand ambassador for Brandix, who are brand consultants for branding agencies, said: “The Olympics and other major sporting events just would not work without brands and sponsorship. The whole point is to get people to buy kit while they watch sport, who fool themselves into believing they’ll actually go out and do sport. Then two weeks later the show ends and we’re back to 10 million people watching celebrities baking cakes in sportswear.
“By then they are too distracted by the number of ‘sleeps ’til Christmas’.”