Expressen ditches athletics deal after Klüft boycott

A row between tabloid Expressen and Swedish athletes Carolina Klüft and Patrik Kristiansson has led to the newspaper pulling the plug on its sponsorship of the Swedish atheletics team.

The row flared after Expressen published an article by columnist Mats Olsson in which he wrote that Klüft’s “greatest injury is called Patrik Kristiansson”.

This led to the Olympic heptathlon champion and her pole vaulter boyfriend Kristiansson saying that they would not wear Expressen’s logo at the IAAF World Athletics Championships, which start in Helsinki on Saturday.

The pair were supported by their trainers Agne Bergvall and Miro Zalar. Expressen’s marketing director, Mats Löthén, says that the support given to the pair means that the Swedish Athletic Association is guilty of breach of contract.

“They obviously can’t tell the difference between journalism and marketing,” he said.

“Our sponsorship of the national athletics team should not mean that we allow its stars and leaders to direct our editorial. But in out conversations with the Swedish Athletics Association it has become clear that a continued partnership will not be possible.”