USATF Responds to Nick Symmonds Public Dispute

Brooks sponsored athlete Nick Symmonds has been in the news recently after his very public dispute with USATF after he refused to sign the athlete contract to be apart of the U.S World Championships Team. Nick has been against signing the contract as it will force him to wear the team branded Nike apparel, which he believes unfair for athletes who are sponsored by other organisations.

USATF Public Affairs Officer Jill Geer made those clarifications after six-time national 800-meter champion Nick Symmonds refused to sign USATF’s “Athlete Statement of Conditions” and was left off the team for Beijing. Symmonds, who is sponsored by Brooks, contended the statement’s requirement that team members wear Nike-branded apparel at official team functions could be interpreted to mean the entirety of an athlete’s time in Beijing.

“Of course Brooks would give me concessions in order to compete at the world championships. But it lessens the return on their investment in me. Brooks shouldn’t have to make that concession,” Symmonds told Newswire before refusing to sign the Statement of Conditions. (The Statement of Conditions does not apply to shoes. Athletes sponsored by companies other than Nike can run in their shoes of choice when on a U.S. team.)

A USATF press release stated that team members needed to wear the official uniform “when they represent the United States in National Team competitions, award ceremonies, official Team press conferences, and other official Team functions tied to these National Team events.”

Geer declined to elaborate on what constitutes “other team functions.”

“Given that Nick has threatened litigation in the matter, it’s not appropriate to get into definitions of a document [the Statement of Conditions] that is being debated,” she told Newswire.

Nonetheless, Geer said, “USATF clearly does not prohibit athletes from wearing personal gear outside of official areas, in their personal time at meets. For example, athletes at every world championships and Olympic Games attend press conferences and receptions at their personal sponsors’ hospitality areas.” In other words, Brooks athletes can wear Brooks gear to Brooks events. She added that the one-page Statement of Conditions “does not restrict what athletes pack or wear on personal time away from team areas and events.”

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Lachlan Rayner
Lachlan is the Founder of Athletics Exclusive. His athletic background is basically made up of distance running, who competes in a range of events, varying from the 400m up to 3000m.

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