A company co-owned by U.S. Olympian Nick Symmonds and the team behind the Ed O'Bannon and NCAA lawsuit have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Track & Field, he announced on Wednesday.
The lawsuit by Run Gum, a caffeinated gum company co-owned and started by Symmonds, claims the USOC and USATF violate the Sherman Antitrust Act by restricting sponsor advertising at the U.S. Olympic Trials set for July in Eugene, Ore.
"We are simply looking to level the playing field," Symmonds said in a press release. "It is completely illogical and unfair to allow a very small sector of the market to have total control over the advertising space on an athlete's competition uniform."
Symmonds is a two-time Olympian and six-time U.S. 800-meter champion, who was left off the U.S. national team's roster for the 2015 world track and field championships after failing to sign a mandatory athlete statement of conditions that requires him to wear Nike gear for all team functions. In Jan. 2014, Symmonds signed a contract to run for Brooks Running after a seven-year relationship with Nike. Symmonds believes that by signing the statement of conditions, he would violate his contract with Brooks.
Editor's note: When Nick Symmonds gave up his position for the 2015 World Championships team, hard won, I had mixed feelings. As a former coach, I realize how hard won the position Nick had on the 800 meter team and I thought he could medal. I am still convinced that he would have been in the medal battle in Beijing.
Nick felt, and feels that he had something more to stand for, and he made his point.
How will his lawsuit go? Well, many will be watching this suit, and his legal team has had success on challenging the NCAA in court. Nice piece by Chris Chavez and commentary by Tim Layden.