Report: Nike Wins Restraining Order Against Berian

800 meter world indoor champion Boris Berian is legally barred from competing in New Balance footwear and apparel for the next fourteen days, thanks to the judge in ​Nike v. Berian ​granting Nike its request for a temporary restraining order.

The Orange Country Register's Scott Reid and LetsRun first reported the news.​

Oral arguments about the potential restraining order were heard on Tuesday. The restraining order is not posted, but publicly available court documents shed some light on the dispute that led the judge to grant the order.

New Balance general manager John Evans submitted a written statement aimed at rebutting Nike's claim that "[t]o date, Mr. Berian has never provided Nike with any evidence suggesting that the full contractual terms proposed by New Balance did not include such industry-standard reductions."

His affidavit states that New Balance's term sheet "did not include 'reduction' provision—a provision allowing New Balance to reduce Mr. Berian's compensation in the event he did not meet a specified level of performance—because New Balance had no intention of including one...New Balance does not, as a standard business practice, demand reduction provisions in its contracts with runners."

Here is the critical claim that Nike made in its response:

"Nike wrote Defendant’s agent, stating “Nike matches the New Balance Offer” as set forth in the term sheet provided on January 20. The letter also included a copy  [Merhawi Keflizighi] of the term sheet with “Nike” inserted in lieu of “New Balance” to confirm the match. And while the letter noted that the New Balance offer was silent on reductions and sought clarification of whether any material terms were omitted from the offer, it in no way indicated that Nike was not matching any such terms."

In other words: Hawi emailed Nike with the New Balance contract. Nike emailed him back the exact same document with the word "Nike" substituted for each use of "New Balance," but said "hey, where are the reductions?"

Nike claims that this constitutes matching, and therefore Berian is a Nike athlete. More worryingly for Berian's case, Nike writes in its filing that:

"In his Opposition, Defendant [Berian] spends much of the time arguing the merits, claiming that Nike failed to match the New Balance offer because Nike somehow included reductions in its response even though the matching term sheet it provided to Defendant on January 22, 2016 did not contain any reductions. But what is more astonishing is that while raising this defense, Defendant argues that Nike should not be permitted any document discovery whatsoever to explore its merits...Nike is therefore entitled to limited discovery to determine what exactly New Balance offered."

This restraining order likely exists to let Nike conduct discovery on Berian's offer from New Balance.

61 Returning All-Americans Currently Are Not Qualified In 2020

With just one weekend left to qualify for the 2020 DI NCAA Indoor Championships a staggering 61 track and field All-Americans from last year have yet to achieve a top-16 mark in 2020.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Yulimar Rojas Sets Indoor Triple Jump World Record In Madrid

Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas set the women’s indoor triple jump world record on Friday in Madrid with a 15.43m leap. With it, the 24-year-old eclipsed Tatyana Lebedeva’s 15.36m mark that had stood since 2004.

Ababel Yeshaneh, Not Brigid Kosgei, Sets Half Marathon World Record

What was expected to be a coronation of marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei as the half marathon queen instead turned into an introduction of a worthy counterpart as Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh stunned the Kenyan on Friday morning (Thursday night in the U.S.) at the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon by setting a 64:31 world record.

The 10 Best Performances From The Weekend

Between more Mondo Duplantis' theatrics in Glasgow, a ridiculous road 5k world record in Monaco and plenty of excitement stateside, there was a lot to get excited about this past weekend in track and field.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Don't Look Now... The NAU Lumberjacks Could Win NCAA Indoors

With just two weeks left to qualify for NCAAs a majority of the top-16 fields are coming into form on the distance side. The NAU men are currently slated to qualify ten entries across three distance events.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Joshua Cheptegei Smashes Road 5k World Record In 12:51

A little over a month after Rhonex Kipruto took down Joshua Cheptegei’s road 10k world record, the Ugandan has answered back in a big way by running 12:51 on Sunday in Monaco to smash Kipruto’s 5k world record. Cheptegei cut a whopping 27 seconds off the 13:18 that the Kenyan ran on Jan. 12, a run that came en route to Kipruto’s 26:24 10k record.

Mondo Does It Again, Breaks Pole Vault World Record


Mondo Duplantis is ushering in a new era of the pole vault, one centimeter at a time. Just a week removed from his world record clearance of 6.17m, the 20-year-old vaulted 6.18m at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow.

U.S. Indoor Women's Preview: Can Purrier Chase Down Houlihan?

The most interesting match-up of the indoor season materialized quickly. Last Saturday evening at the Millrose Games, Elinor Purrier dropped a stunning 4:16.85 mile to break the American record and dispatch a stacked field in a race that turned into a festival of personal bests and national records. It was a career-defining race for Purrier. A run fast enough to legitimately raise the question if she could beat America’s best mid-distance runner, Shelby Houlihan. This weekend at the US Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, Purrier will have two chances (the 3000m on Friday and the 1500m on Saturday) to pull it off. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

2020 High School Track & Field State Championships Central

2020 High School Indoor Track & Field State Championships:

Weekend Watch Guide: Simpson, Jones Chase Fast 5k At BU

One of the busiest weekends of the 2020 indoor track season is upon us, and FloTrack has you covered with several live events across the country. Boston will once again host some of the top professional and collegiate distance runners in the U.S., including Jenny Simpson, Dani Jones and Tyler Day.