Nike Inc. has launched an all-out legal pursuit of Olympic hopeful Boris Berian to prevent the athlete from moving on to its competitor New Balance Athletes Inc.
A suit filed in April accuses Berian of attempting to unlawfully exit a contract signed in June 2015. Nike alleges that its first contract expired at the end of 2015, but that it was entitled to match any third-party offer received by Berian during a certain period immediately after.
However, a motion for a temporary restraining order has been made to the U.S. District Court of Oregon seeking an order to prevent Berian from continuing to violate his contractual obligations by wearing the New Balance shoes. Berian has already been seen wearing New Balance sneakers in a series of high-profile athletics events including the IAAF World Indoor Championships where he won the gold medal.
“Berian’s actions are causing and will continue to cause Nike irreparable harm. The defendant is slated to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in July and is a favorite to qualify for and compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August,” said Nike in its request to the court.