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.