Leave.EU had posted a video montage on Twitter featuring all of Team GB’s medal winners alongside the tagline: “We may be small, but we truly are Great Britain.”
The 30-second video uses pictures of Team GB’s medal-winning athletes such as cyclist Jason Kenny and gymnast Max Whitlock and the country’s second position on the medal table.
However Skinner, from Edinburgh, who won a gold medal in the men’s team sprint and a silver in the men’s sprint, has taken exception to the video and responded via Twitter from Rio. He has been backed by the British Olympic Association (BOA) who has written to the group telling them to remove its “intellectual property” from their social media accounts by 5pm yesterday – this includes the Team GB logo and images of athletes.
However Leave.EU has defiantly claimed it will “continue to publish stories that showcase how Britain is thriving as we Leave the European Union”.
Thanking them for the general message of support Callum Skinner criticised the group for hijacking his image to support its agenda.
The 23-year-old tweeted: “Thanks for the support but I wish you wouldn’t use my image to promote your campaign.”
In a statement Leave.EU said: “Throughout the referendum campaign, remaniacs constantly talked Britain down, believing we were too small and too pathetic to succeed outside of the EU.
“We understand they’re still p***** that the majority of people do believe in Britain and want us to succeed as an independent country outside of the crumbling EU, but to try and stop us promoting just how great we’re doing reeks of desperation.”
Meanwhile police in Brazil have arrested the head of the European Olympic Committees, Irishman Patrick Hickey, in Rio over illegal Olympic ticket sales.
Mr Hickey, 71, is suspected of illegally passing on tickets for the Games to be sold on at extortionate prices. He was taken to hospital after his arrest.
Police say the suspect, who also heads the Olympic Council of Ireland, tried to escape when they came for him.
They say he slid his Olympic pass under the door when police came knocking and fled into the adjacent hotel room, where his son had been staying until recently.
A spokesman for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said: “We are aware of an Irish citizen having been arrested in Rio. The department, through its consulate in Rio, is following up and stands ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance.”