London 2012: Egypt Olympic Committee urges Nike to sue agent over fake kit
Egypt's Olympic chairman Mahmoud Ali admits Egyptian athletes received counterfeit clothing but denies the committee knew; calls on Nike to investigate the country's vendor
Eslam Omar, Wednesday 25 Jul 2012
Egypt Olympic Committee head Mahmoud Ahmed Ali
Egypt's Olympic Committee (EOC) confirmed to Ahram Online, Wednesday, that the Nike sportswear they bought for the delegation members was counterfeit, following earlier media speculation that the Egyptian athletics kit was fake.
“We bought the clothing from a Nike agent. You can never tell the difference between the original and the fake ones,” EOC Chairman General Mahmoud Ahmed Ali told Ahram Online. “All Nike products in the Egyptian Market are made in China. They all have the same logo. How can you know?"
After rumours spread via social media last week, on Sunday, a 20-year-old synchronised swimming team member Yomna Khallaf confirmed via her Twitter account that the outfits were, in fact, counterfeit.
"The bags for example have big Nike logo in the front and the zippers are Addidas [sic]," Khallaf wrote, "It’s so frustrating that we had to pay extra 2000 pounds to have other proper stuff to wear so that we can look okay not even good.”
On Tuesday a spokesman from Nike told the Daily Telegraph that, "Nike’s authorised distributor in Egypt has sent two official communications to the EOC on this issue and no response has been received. On July 20, 2012, Nike also sent a written communication to the EOC requesting the committee to take immediate action. To date, we have not received a response."
However, the spokesperson confirmed that it is likely to be an isolated incident adding, "Nike consistently acts to protect its brand and actively engages with law enforcement agencies and customs authorities to stop counterfeit product reaching consumers and athletes."
For his part, EOC chief Ali urged the US-based company to trace the agent who sold them the counterfeit clothing and to "sue him."
“It’s like if somebody created false coins and you happened to possess them. Is it your fault then?” Ali said in his defence.
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