EXCLUSIVE: Nick Symmonds’ track and field manifesto

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Few current athletes are as keen to stick their head above the parapet as world 800m silver medallist Nick Symmonds. The US middle-distance star tells SPIKES his big ideas to improve the sport he loves: from alcohol to advertising; and what athletics can learn from the likes of Nascar and tennis.

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Athletics’ big thinker looks to rugby and cricket for inspiration

US 2004 Olympic shot put champion Adam Nelson is one of the sport’s great thinkers, and the vice president of the Track & Field Athletes Association. He believes the sport needs major structural reform.

“The problem with change is it usually means someone has to give up something – privacy, marketing rights, comfort – in order for the change to take place.  Allowing the media and fans greater access to the athletes during warm-up or in the call room requires the athletes to change the way they prepare.

"Opening the rules on athlete sponsorship requires a change in the dynamic between sponsors, agents, and athletes. New advances in drug testing are often accompanied by massive invasions of privacy. Changes to competitive rules usually require some acclimation. It doesn’t matter what you change, someone’s going to get frustrated with it.

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