February 13 - A luger from the South Pacific island of Tonga has got a bad name for himself at the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (FIBT) World Championships in Altenburg – because it is the name of his sponsor.
Bruno Banani (pictured) was born Fuahea Semi but changed his name to that of a German underwear maker as he seeks to become his nation's first winter Olympian at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.
His move angered International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president Thomas Bach, who called it a "perverse marketing idea".
"It is of bad taste to change your name to that of a sponsor," Bach added.
"That is too much for me.
"This has nothing to do with proper marketing."
Bach said, however, that should the Tongan qualify for Sochi 2014 there would be nothing the IOC could do to stop him from competing under that name.
"I do not think that we can react to this if that is the name in his passport," Bach said.
The IOC is extremely sensitive to ambush marketing tactics during Olympic Games as it seeks to protect its sponsors who have paid hundreds of millions for the rights to advertise.
Earlier a Tongan official told reporters the move was to raise money as the country seeks to send their first athlete to the Winter Games.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]