Nick Symmonds to miss World Championships over kit row

Symmonds celebrates his 800 metre win at the 2015 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in June. Photo: Getty Images

American 800m runner Nick Symmonds has been excluded from the US squad for the World Championships after refusing to sign a mandatory USA Track and Field (USATF) contract forbidding athletes from wearing anything but Nike kit.

On Sunday Symmonds tweeted, 'I just received word from USATF that I have been left off the Beijing team.'

And later, '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.'

A Brooks sponsored athlete, the 31-year-old believes that by signing the USATF's statement of conditions, he would violate his contract with Brooks.

In 2014, USATF signed a sponsorship contract with Nike extending to 2040 that is believed to be worth $500 million.

In a statement Symmonds hinted he may take legal action over the issue.

'You just can't give a monopoly to a company and expect there to be a healthy, viable sport,' he said. '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. If I'm not on the team, I'm going to sit down and have a chat with my lawyer.'

In a blog published on the Huffington Post, Symmonds also called for the USATF to rewrite its Statement of Conditions in order to better protect the rights of all parties involved and increase revenue sharing with athletes to at least 50 per cent.

In response, the USATF said it respects his decision but stated that the Statement of Conditions has been in place for a number of years.