IAC’s Ben DeJarnette writes on USATF ban of Nick Symmonds

DeJarnette is a former UO journalism student, UO runner, and member of the UO Senate’s IAC. Nick Symmonds is a runner who qualified for the upcoming 2015 World Championships, but has since been banned by the US Track and Field authorities. His special crime? Not performance enhancing drugs. The famously corrupt IAAF, which has sold the 2021 championships to Eugene, would have been fine with that.

Symmonds has been kicked off the team for refusing to wear Nike 24/7. DeJarnette’s story is in Men’s Journal, here:

Among other terms, the statement of conditions requires athletes to wear Nike’s team-issued clothing and gear during all official functions at the world championships. Symmonds had no reason to challenge the agreement during his seven years with Nike, from 2006 to 2013, but now he’s sponsored by Brooks, and in Beijing he wants the right to wear Brooks apparel whenever he’s not competing. Without that freedom, Symmonds says companies like Brooks, Saucony, and Adidas are less inclined to sponsor elite runners, strengthening Nike’s near-monopoly and undercutting athletes’ already tenuous bargaining power.

“I want athletes who come after me to have a fair and profitable playing field,” he says. “My golden rule is to leave the campsite better than you found it, and right now the campsite is full of dog shit.”

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