Saturday 25 February 2017

Paralympic swimmer disqualified from European Championships over Olympic rings tattoo

Mark Staniforth

Josef Craig has been disqualified from a race at the IPC European Championships in Madeira for failing to cover up his tattoo of the Olympic rings.
Josef Craig has been disqualified from a race at the IPC European Championships in Madeira for failing to cover up his tattoo of the Olympic rings.
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 04: A general view of the Olympic rings during training ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center on February 4, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Paralympic champion Josef Craig has been disqualified from a race at the IPC European Championships in Madeira for failing to cover up his tattoo of the Olympic rings.

The Jarrow teenager made it through the first heat of the men's S8 100 metres but was prevented from competing in the final because the tattoo - on the left side of his chest - breached regulations related to advertising.

An IPC spokesman said: "Body advertising is not allowed in any way whatsoever and that includes the Olympic rings. The athlete did not wear a cover and was therefore disqualified.

"All teams are informed of the advertising policy at a technical meeting prior to competition so it wasn't as if they had not been reminded about the rules."

Craig, who has cerebral palsy, won two gold medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, where he set two new world records at the age of 15.

He has subsequently returned to the pool in Madeira wearing a cover over the offending tattoo, and is still due to compete in 50m and 400m events this week.

Press Association

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