Josef Craig DQ’d At IPC European C’ships Due To Olympic Rings Tattoo

The IPC Swimming European Open Championships kicked off in Funchal, Portugal yesterday where over 450 athletes from 50 nations are participating in the meet’s 4th edition. Besides the record-breaking swimming taking place in the pool, another story also took shape yesterday regarding one swimmer who was not able to swim in his final.

After successfully qualifying through heats, British swimmer Josef Craig was due to compete in the S8 100m freestyle final yesterday evening. However, citing the IPC rule stating that ‘body advertisements are not allowed in any way whatsoever (this includes tattoos and symbols)’, Craig was disqualified from the event due to failing to cover up a part of his tattoo.

The graphic, which appears on his chest’s left side, features a lion with the Olympic Rings beneath it. The rings were the piece in specific violation of the meet’s rules, as they are ‘exclusive property of the International Olympic Committee.’ As such, they are a protected mark and cannot be used without the IOC’s prior consent.

19-year-old Craig, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was able to cover up the rings in time for his S8 400m freestyle final and can continue to compete at the meet provided his tattoo remains covered.

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Nick Thoman
6 years ago

Thank you for using my picture in this article. This disqualification is ridiculous and unjust.

ParaParent
6 years ago

The IPC continues to prove that they are far more invested in their rules (regardless of how ill-conceived) than their athletes. They defend a classification system that clearly has flaws since athletes receive different judgements depending upon their classifiers. Lives are made and ruined by the inconsistency of classifiers with no medical background making medical assessments. Certain organizing committees manage to push through questionable athletes while others are deemed “classed out” when they clearly have a well-documented history of disability. And then, of course, we have the old rules and the new rules. There is no level playing field between the two.
Defend your athletes, IPC, like you do your classifiers and your errant rules!
The Olympic rings… Read more »

Swimfan
Reply to  ParaParent
6 years ago

Very well said.

Fiona
Reply to  ParaParent
6 years ago

Very well said Paraparent. However the IPC only follow their rules as and when it suits them to. Let’s DQ over a tattoo but ignore annual review of short statured minors because that makes a whole lot of sense and won’t affect competition in Rio at all for example.

The classification system used is woefully inadequate for neurologically impaired swimmers e.g Cerebral Palsy and Josef Craig himself fell foul of this being classed up from S7 (he was 2012 Paralympic Champion S7 400fr and all the trappings that came it). The thing is, CP doesn’t actually get better, if anything functionality decreases in many over the years. Was the S7 class wrong then or is the S8 wrong? Your… Read more »

Tattooguy
6 years ago

This is pretty ridiculous, shows the IPC gives no support to their athletes. Why not instead of worrying about people with tattoos, they worry about their classification system.

mcmflyguy
6 years ago

sorry for another comment, but anyone know how he “covered” his tat? did he just use permanent marker over it?

mcmflyguy
6 years ago

Wow, US swimmers would be SOL… i think every single one has the oly rings in visible areas. or at least their college symbol, that could be counted as advertising too. this is insanity.

BreaststrokeBen
6 years ago

How has no one been DQ’d for this before if this is a rule?

Tom from Chicago
6 years ago

Some of these swim administrators need to extract their heads from their rear ends. It’s like judges that DQ 6 year olds.

Dan F.
Reply to  Tom from Chicago
6 years ago

That’s a bad analogy. I DQ 6-year-olds so that they can learn and not be DQed when they are 7- and 8- and 9- and 10-year-olds.

mcmflyguy
Reply to  Dan F.
6 years ago

as a former coach, thanks for doing that. i agree with you.

Swimfan
Reply to  Tom from Chicago
6 years ago

I agree, all about the power trip. Dqing a 6 yr old doesn’t change their stroke, their coach does that. It just cheats a 6 yr old working their hardest out of a time.

TooTall79
Reply to  Swimfan
6 years ago

As an official, I also dq six year olds if they don’t swim legally. It is not fair to the six year old who has worked hard to learn to swim breast stroke legally to lose to another six year old who is swimming freestyle in the breast stroke race.

swimfan
Reply to  TooTall79
6 years ago

That’s obviously not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the official who looks for reasons to dq young swimmers. I would expect someone to dq a 6 year old for the doing the wrong stroke, just not having their foot turned a certain way because their body hasn’t quite developed yet. If it gives them an unfair advantage in the race, fair, if not leave them be. They have their whole 7/8 year old career to have their hopes dashed.

White Shirt
Reply to  Swimfan
6 years ago

I don’t think that word (“cheat”) means what you think it means. Your attitude, however, cheats the child through the tyranny of low expectations.

swimfan
Reply to  White Shirt
6 years ago

Ooooh, you got me.

Gina
6 years ago

Which iz why buttocks are the only place for this tat . Noone cares if you’ve been to an Olympics but it might impress someone special some day .

Lane Four
Reply to  Gina
6 years ago

Actually, Gina, people DO care.

Gina
Reply to  Lane Four
6 years ago

Ok
Every mornong I wake up before I put on my make up.

i’ll say a little prayer for all the Olympians who ever were

Forever forever they’ll stay in my heart ,
I will love them Forever Forever ..

Is that enough caring?

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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