It was reported yesterday – yes, by MacTrast too – that Olympic athletes competing in the Sochi Winter Olympics would be required to cover up the logo on their personal smartphones if they aren’t a Samsung product. Today, the International Olympic Committee is saying they are not required to do so.
In an email exchange with MacRumors today, an IOC spokesperson was asked about athletes being asked to cover non-Samsung logos on mobile devices.
The spokesperson’s reply:
No it is not true. Athletes can use any device they wish during the Opening Ceremony. The normal rules apply just as per previous Games.
The Samsung Note 3 that were distributed are a gift to the athletes, so they can capture and share their experiences at the Games, and the phones also contain important competition and logistical information for competing athletes.
As explained yesterday, Olympic athletes are banned from mentioning any non-sponsor products during their time at the Olympics, including on social media and clothing. Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter, which covers the mentioning of non-sponsors, has a specific exemption for logos, (on clothing and equipment), that cover less than 10% of the product in question.
So, while Samsung may have requested that the athletes cover up their non-Samsung logos, they will not be penalized for using non-Samsung phones to record events such as the opening ceremonies.