The teenager, from Jarrow, was due to compete in the final of the IPC European Championships S8 100m freestyle, tonight, after making it through the first heat.
However, the 19-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, was disqualified from the event after failing to cover up a part of his tattoo, on the left side of his chest, featuring the Olympic rings.
Josef, was catapulted into the sporting spotlight at the age of 15 after smashing two world records on his way to the top of the podium in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
Since then, the City of Sunderland swimmer, has gone on to break a number of world records and win medals in competitions across the world.
Josef who is competing at the championships in Funchal, Madeira, was unavailable for comment today.
He will still be eligible to compete tomorrow in the S8 400m freestyle.
The Olympic rings are the exclusive property of the International Olympic Committee. They are marked protected around the world and can not be used without the IOC’s prior consent.
The IPC rules state: ‘Body advertisements are not allowed in any way whatsoever (this includes tattoos and symbols)’.
The blow comes just days after Josef achieved a qualifying time for the Paralympic Games in Rio. He is currently waiting to see if he makes the team.