Olympic Blow: Dealers In Rio Use Logo To Sling Cocaine

Photo: REUTERS/Nacho Doce

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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The white river flows through Rio de Janerio.

Police in Brazil seized over 90 bags of uncut Colombian cocaine just miles away from the Estadio do Maracana, which will host opening ceremonies for the 31st Olympiad. The bags were adorned with the Olympic rings under a “Rio 2016” tagline.

The arrests came in Rio’s Lapa district Monday night, a sprawling den of samba and cheap Brahma beer. Authorities also seized 28 bags of crack and .40 caliber ammunition.

“Not for use near children,” the baggies helpfully advised.

Depravity of the highest order is intrinsic to the games — the International Olympic Committee reports it has furnished 450,000 condoms for the athlete’s use during the two weeks.

Drugs in particular appear to be the preferred vice of the Rio games. A World Anti-Doping Agency probe recently uncovered damning evidence of massive steroid abuse among Russian Olympic athletes, enabled by a state-sponsored interagency steroid task force which encompassed the Russian sports ministry and the FSB, the Russian internal security service. At least 85 members of the 387 man Russian delegation have been banned thus far, and further expulsions may soon follow. The athletes include practically every member of the track and field, crew, swimming, and pentathlon teams.

The dealers also face significant civil liability exposure, as the Olympic seal enjoys trademark protection which has no peer. According to the International Trademark Association (IOC), the insignia is “protected by a statute over and above ordinary trademark protection.” The standard for prevailing in an infringement action is also much lower in Olympic trademark litigation. IOC attorneys need only demonstrate that a retailer’s use of the insignia “tends to confuse, deceive or to falsely suggest a connection” as opposed to the more stringent Trademark Act standard.

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