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Those attending the Prefontaine Classic next weekend at Hayward Field in Eugene might want to pay special attention to the men's 800 meters. The race is scheduled for 1:26 p.m. on Saturday, and World Indoor champion Boris Berian is expected to be on...

Boris Berian and Nike just made the Prefontaine Classic men's 800 very interesting: Oregon track & field rundown

Those attending the Prefontaine Classic next weekend at Hayward Field in Eugene might want to pay special attention to the men's 800 meters. The race is scheduled for 1:26 p.m. on Saturday, and World Indoor champion Boris Berian is expected to be on...

Boris Berian and Nike just made the Prefontaine Classic men's 800 very interesting: Oregon track & field rundown

Those attending the Prefontaine Classic next weekend at Hayward Field in Eugene might want to pay special attention to the men's 800 meters.

The race is scheduled for 1:26 p.m. on Saturday, and World Indoor champion Boris Berian is expected to be on the start line.

And this is where it gets interesting the way the roadside wreckage of an automobile accident is interesting, because a nasty contract squabble between Berian and Nike bubbled into public view at the Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic.

It was at that meet on Friday at Occidental College in Los Angeles where Berian was served with a lawsuit brought by Nike for breach of contract.

The experts at LetsRun.com do a nice job of explaining what is going on, at least as much as anyone can from the information available.

The timing is awkward, because the Prefontaine Classic is Nike's showcase event. Many believe it to be one of the best, if not the best, invitational track meets in the world.

Now, into this celebration of all things Nike comes a reminder of how ugly the business side of the sport can be.

It's hard to know who is right here, and there might not be a clearcut answer. Once the lawyers get involved, right and wrong often become moving targets.

But, I think Nike already has lost the public relations battle. Berian is one of the sport's feel-good stories, a guy so down on his fortunes that two years ago he was sleeping on a friend's couch and flipping burgers to pay the bills.

Nike is a multi-national corporation that reportedly earned more than $31 billion for the calendar year ending in February of this year.

It's a classic little guy vs. the machine story. 

Berian calls the situation "annoying."

I think it will be a migraine for Nike, and the headache could become very real on Saturday in the Prefontaine Classic.

OK, more links:

Team Eaton, track & field's power couple, gears up for Rio.

World Indoor shot camp Tom Walsh updates his status as he prepares for the Prefontaine Classic.

Gwen Berry shatters the U.S. women's hammer record in Tucson.

Berry's torrid season takes a record-breaking turn.

Kenenisa Bekele wins the men's race in the Great Manchester 10k.

Tirunesh Dibaba makes a triumphal return in the Great Manchester Run.

Sally Pearson clocks a fast 100 hurdle time in her return from injury.

Records fall despite difficult conditions in the Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon.

WADA president Craig Reedie is a man with an impossible job.

Bend's Jesse Thomas wins his second Ironman, this one in the Canary Islands.

Stanford-bound Ella Donaghu of Portland's Grant High School wins two more state championships.

Donaghu caps her high school career in style.

Donaghu measures up -- again.

West Linn's Roman Ollar edges Oregon-bound Jackson Mestler in the Oregon Class 6A 1,500 final.

Summit High girls win their 10th consecutive state title, smash the meet points record.

Chris Nilsen, the national prep record-holder in the pole vault, found the event a better option than soccer.

Five Willamette athletes qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships.

The front page for LetsRun.com

The links package from Track & Field News.

The links from Duck Sports Now.

The links from Beaver Sports Now.

-- Ken Goe

kgoe@oregonian.com

503-221-8040 | @KenGoe

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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