Nick Symmonds has been left off the United States team for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing due to a sponsor dispute.
Symmonds is sponsored by Brooks, and he refused to sign a contract declaring all USA Track and Field (USATF) athletes are required to wear Nike during the event.
Nike is USATF’s official sponsor.
The 31-year-old was a silver medallist in the men’s 800 metres final in Moscow in 2013 – his first world championship medal.
“I don’t think USATF is bluffing,” Symmonds said via Yahoo Sports.
“I think they’re dumb enough to leave me home.”
It seems as though Symmonds was prepared for this outcome that will certainly lose him prizemoney, and could cost USA in the medal tally. But he views this issue as something worth fighting for.
“You just can’t give a monopoly to a company and expect there to be a healthy, viable sport,” Symmonds added.
“It’s never going to change unless someone makes a stand. It’s unfortunate that’s going to have to be me. It’s unfortunate it might leave me off the team to Beijing. But it’s time to wrestle some of our power back from USATF, because they’ve taken a lot of it.”