An athlete on Wednesday put himself up for auction on online gianteBay in a desperate attempt to attract sponsors in the run up to London’s 2012 Olympic Games.
The eventual winner will earn the right to emblazon its brand on sprinter James Ellington’s kit at training and press events before and after next year’s Games.
“We’re putting myself on eBay up for auction to gain sponsorship,” he explained to AFP.
“Currently I have no commercial sponsorship so we looked at different ways to get myself out there and gathering interest from outside companies.”
Ellington, 26, has been on the track to recovery after four years of serious injury and has clocked this season’s fastest 200m time by a British athlete at a non-altitude venue (20.52 seconds).
Sponsors have been put off by Ellington’s catalogue of injuries and the sprinter, who also competes in the 100m and relay, now says he needs £30,000 ($46,800, 34,900 euros) to cover living and training expenses or face being left behind by his rivals for an Olympic spot.
“I’m injury free now, a year before the Olympics and probably one of the biggest sprint hopes for the country next year,” he said.
“If I want to train full time for the Olympics, I can’t get a normal job,” he added. “I haven’t got a lot of money at all.”
The lot went online at 0000 GMT with an initial reserve price of £30,000.