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USATF announces new revenue distribution plan for athletes

Olympic team qualifiers will make $10,000. Winning a gold medal can earn another $25,000. 
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U.S.A. Track & Field and the Athletes Advisory Committee have announced a new plan to distribute an additional $9 million to athlete funding over the next five years.

USATF currently spends more than $15 million annually on athlete programs, including more than $5 million in cash directly to athletes.

Each athlete that has qualified for a world championship or Olympic roster spot will be awarded $10,000. A gold medal victory would be a $25,000 bonus. A silver and bronze medal would earn $15,000 and $10,000, respectively. 

USATF has also clarified its funding for different tiered athletes. 

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A top athlete that wins a national title and makes the team without winning a world championship or Olympic medal could earn approximately $35,000. Factor in a gold medal, and USATF support can increase up to $60,000. In total, the athlete could make over $100,000, and that would not include prize money from other meets, the Diamond League circuit or other sponsorships.

”To give an equal stipend to everyone on the team provides the opportunity for a No. 50 world-ranked athlete to receive the same baseline revenue as a No. 1 world-ranked athlete, regardless of event group,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “The medal-bonus structure provides the additional upside incentive and reward.”

Siegel is also reviewing the statement of conditions that previously required USATF athletes to wear Nike apparel at all team functions. Two-time Olympian Nick Symmonds, who is not sponsored by Nike and has a deal with Brooks Running, won the U.S. national title in the 800-meters but refused to sign the statement. Symmonds was left off the team headed to the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing.

The new agreement is slated to be finalized at the USATF annual meeting, which is scheduled to take place this December in Houston.

- Christopher Chavez