Barnes biathlon sisters’ Guinness ad brings to mind Rule 40

Lanny Barnes, Tracy Barnes
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An interesting ad about biathlon twin sisters Lanny and Tracy Barnes reminded everyone of a rule that goes into effect before every Olympics.

Tracy gave up her spot on the U.S. Olympic Team, knowing it would go to Lanny, who was too ill to compete in the final Olympic qualifying races earlier this month.

It was an admirable gesture that gained well deserved headlines.

Guinness joined the mix this week, publishing this spot on the Barnes sisters.

The ad must come down by Thursday, though, due to Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter, which is detailed here. The rule prohibits Olympians from promoting non-official Olympic sponsors during and around the Games.

Except as permitted by the IOC Executive Board, no competitor, coach, trainer or official who participates in the Olympic Games may allow his person, name, picture or sports performances to be used for advertising purposes during the Olympic Games.

A blackout period runs from Jan. 30-Feb. 26.

Rule 40 does allow exceptions, waivers granted by the U.S. Olympic Committee, but they are usually reserved for USOC sponsors. Guinness is not a USOC sponsor.

Olympians should be aware of this rule. It appears many are:

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