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Rio 2016: Drug dealers use Olympic logo on Cocaine bags

The Rio Olympics has another controversy surrounding it to add to the already existing ones.

News 27 Jul 2016, 18:55 IST
The Rio 2016 Olympics symbol displayed in Rio

The Olympic Games bring with it a great deal of branding and sponsorship deals. After the popular 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, sponsorship in the Olympics took an upturn. The IOC recognized the value of sponsors and the revenue they could generate from partnerships with other companies. However, things took a turn for the worse at Rio as cocaine packets with the Olympic rings on them were circulated in the city of Rio.

According to Brazillian newspaper O Globo, Rio police seized 93 bags of the substance on Monday and each bag is labeled with the famous five rings symbol and the official "Rio 2016" logo. There is a warning right on the cover saying that the substance is not intended for children. With the games set to start next week, and the substance found only 15 minutes away from the Estádio do Maracanã popularly known as the Maracana stadium, has worried local authorities. 


The IOC is very strict about its sponsorship and copyright policies. About 40% of the revenue for the Olympic Games comes from the various branding and sponsorship deals that the IOC and OCOG (Organising Committee for Olympic Games) and NOC (National Olympic Committee) strike with top brands. Only the primary sponsors i.e., Coca-Cola who are sponsors for the Olympic games since the Amsterdam Olympics in 1928, McDonalds, Visa etc. can display the Olympic rings in their advertisements. 

Any local sponsors who strike deals with the NOC or OCOG can only use the symbol for that particular Olympic games and not the Olympic rings symbol. By circulating cocaine with both the Rio 2016 symbol as well as the Olympic rings, the drug dealers have broken the copyright infringement laws by illegally displaying them. However, that would not be their biggest concern, considering they were dealing with a lethal drug in cocaine.

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