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'Don't say 2016' – how Olympics Rule 40 works

Jess Ennis-Hill

Athletes must break ties with sponsors who are not official partners of the Olympics from today until three days after Rio 2016 – or face sanctions.

An Olympic Charter bye-law states only approved sponsors may reference “Olympic-related terms” from 27 July until midnight on 24 August.

That includes words such as “victory”, “performance”, “effort” and “2016”.

Nor are companies such as kit suppliers allowed to retweet athletes, or pass on messages of good luck for the Games.

Athletes found to be in breach of rules could face sanctions, including having their medals taken away – although a reprimand would be the more likely punishment.

National Olympic committees are responsible for enforcing regulations, and Team GB published a guide detailing the restrictions