Nick Symmonds, America’s 800-meter national champion, said he was dropped from the U.S. team that will compete in the World Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Beijing, the New York Times reported Monday.
On Sunday night, Symmonds tweeted:
Proud to have stood my ground and fought another battle for athletes' rights. A huge thank you to the media and fans for all your support.— Nick Symmonds (@NickSymmonds) August 10, 2015
Clayton Murphy, a student the University of Akron, tweeted that he'll be taking a spot on the U.S. team instead:
Very blessed with the opportunities I have been given this season. Especially to be able to compete at the World Championships #Beijing2015— Clayton Murphy (@Clayton_Murph) August 10, 2015
Symmonds said that USA Track and Field removed him from the team after he failed to sign a contract mandating that he wear gear made by Nike–the official sponsor of USATF–at official team functions. (Nike sponsored Symmonds for seven years. Symmonds switched to Brooks in 2014.) Symmonds said that it’s not clear what counts as an official function, and he doesn’t want to jeopardize his relationship with Brooks.
"Two years' worth of work to try to win another medal for my country are now down the drain," Symmonds told ESPN. "Is it frustrating? Of course. But no part of me regrets doing this."