In 1972, Spitz was accused of product placement during the medal ceremony. Following the 200-meter freestyle race Spitz arrived to obtain his gold medal barefoot and carrying his shoes. He put them down when the American national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner" was played. After the anthem played, he picked up his shoes and waved to the crowd. The Soviets saw this as product placement. When questioned by the IOC, Spitz explained that the gesture was innocent, the shoes were old and he was not paid. The IOC cleared him of any wrongdoing.