Remember When Nick Symmonds, Run Gum Tried To Sue USATF And USOC

Remember When Nick Symmonds, Run Gum Tried To Sue USATF And USOC
Photo: Image of Sport
On January 20, Run Gum, Nick Symmonds' caffeinated gum company, filed an antitrust lawsuit against USA Track & Field and the U.S. Olympic Committee. The company claimed that rules forbidding athletes to showcase their sponsors during the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials limited free competition in the marketplace.

Watch Nick Symmonds explain the Run Gum lawsuit in an exclusive interview:

Run Gum sponsored 20 non-apparel sponsored athletes at the 2015 USATF Championships. The deal included uniforms and travel funds to compete in Eugene, Oregon. The Olympic Trials, however, have different restrictions under IOC and USOC regulations, and non-apparel companies are not able to advertise on athletes clothing.

The USOC and USATF moved to dismiss the suit in February, claiming that the 1978 Federal Amateur Sports Act gives them complete control over any commercial business that has to do with Olympic-related activities.

The lawsuit was officially dismissed in May, when U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane ruled that the USOC and USATF have "an implied grant of immunity" due to the Sherman Act of 1978.

Symmonds had to pull out of the Olympic Trials just days before competition with an injury, and it was a shame. Symmonds has been a monster athlete in the 800m since making his first U.S. team in 2007. Dennis Young wrote a great post about Symmonds' career and all of the things he did OUTSIDE of running, this lawsuit included. He has not announced retirement yet--so who knows what 2017 will bring for Symmonds--and Run Gum!
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