A Dutch sex toy company’s attempt to reach fans of the wholesome sport of curling led some broadcasters to cancel their livestream of a tournament that will determine the final spots in the Beijing Olympics.

The organizers of the Olympic Qualification Event (Netherlands) claimed that they received instructions from the U.S. government not to use the EasyToys logo and name on ice advertisements. According to Dutch media, the Japanese livestream was also cancelled.

“I’m not the right man to have an opinion what is normal in which country,” promoter Dagmar van Stiphout told The Associated Press. “I think they’re also surprised, but it’s best to ask them.”

USA Curling tweeted on Sunday that video of the Americans’ opening-round match was not available due to “an unforeseen sponsorship conflict with the local organizing committee.” The national governing body said NBC was working with organizers on a solution.

A question asking for an explanation of the decision was not answered by an NBC spokesperson. EasyToys, a sexual paraphernalia website that bills itself as “the market leader in the Netherlands and Belgium,” could not be reached for comment.

While the bulk of the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles Olympic curling fields have already been filled, the tournament to determine the final spots in Beijing began on Sunday in Leeuwarden, about 90 minutes north of Amsterdam. The final two coed spots in the Winter Games were up for grabs by 14 teams including Vicky Persinger’s American team of Chris Plys & Vicky Persinger.

But Americans seeking the livestream on the World Curling Federation website instead found a message that the broadcasts were suspended due to “an ongoing sponsor rights issue.” In videos tweeted by the WCF and elsewhere, the EasyToys ads could be seen in four spots on the playing surface, and its name was printed along the hog line that determines where curlers must let go of the stone.

Van Stiphout stated to the AP, that WCF organizers had informed them of their sponsorship agreements a few week ago.

“We informed them which sponsors there are. We spoke with them about the position” of the ads, he said. “I can imagine they are surprised about the reaction, but not surprised about the sponsors we have.”

WCF spokesman Christopher Hamilton told the AP on Monday that organizers were investigating “a number of solutions to resolve our broadcast partner policy complications surrounding sponsor agreements and usage.” USA Curling President Jeff Plush did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Persinger and Plys both won the first three rounds of the round-robin, and tied South Korea at the top of the group standings. Thursday will be the last day of the mixed doubles tournament. The final two teams are guaranteed a place in Beijing.

“Of course it’s a pity that it’s happening now,” van Stiphout said. “We will go on with the tournament. For the athletes, we do it. We’ll carry on with the event.”


Source: HuffPost.com.

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