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Lawmaker supports USOC in Phelps flap

The U.S. Olympic Committee said it had secured the backing of the U.S. government in its fight against a Subway advertisement that shows Olympic star Michael Phelps apparently swimming to the Vancouver Winter Games.
The USOC has accused Subway--which does not sponsor the USOC or International Olympic Committee--of using "ambush marketing," saying it was using the Olympic rings for its own profit and had "crossed the line... and hurt the athletes."
USOC Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Baird read a letter Thursday from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who denounced such "unauthorized marketing" and said "this activity must stop."
(Hatch represents something of a curious supporter of the USOC. He is well-known within the Olympic world for his support of the dietary supplement industry in the United States, which has been under attack from anti-doping and Olympic sources for years for its mislabled and contaminated products. Anti-doping officials are currently pressing for legislation to tighten U.S. government regulation of the industry.)
Subway had defended its use of its Phelps' advertisement in a statement and has continued to air the ads. Subway sponsors Phelps, the 14-time Olympic gold medal winner.
Baird declined to say whether the USOC would take or had taken legal action.
"I would say we're being very vigilant on what they're doing," she said.,

By Amy Shipley  |  February 11, 2010; 4:16 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. Olympic Committee  
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