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Do athletes gain or lose from stripping off for the cameras?

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Amanda BeardMore and more athletes are baring all for the cameras, something which can help give them more marketing clout in a competitive marketplace and perhaps help fund their careers while they are on the field, in the pool, and afterwards.

With the Olympics underway U.S. swimmer Amanda Beard, high jumper Amy Acuff and figure skater Katarina Witt are all appearing in a special Olympic spread in the August edition of Playboy. American swimmer Dara Torres is featured in men’s mag Maxim and Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice in FHM.

Sports fans hardly bat an eyelid now at seeing athletes who are in peak physical condition stripping off for the cameras — but does this enhance or negatively impact on their image?

PHOTO: Swimmer Amanda Beard of the U.S. holds an anti-fur poster in which she appears nude on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) outside the Beijing 2008 Olympic National Aquatics Center August 6, 2008. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

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