USA Track and Field (USATF) has announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its Athletes Advisory Committee concerning its new revenue distribution plan, which is set to deliver an additional $9 million (£5.9 million/€8 million) to athletes over the next five years.
As part of the new model, which was revealed in September, the USATF is due to provide roughly $1.8 million (£1.2 million/€1.6 million) per year in additional cash funds, distributed to its elite level athletes.
Around 75 per cent of this increased financing will be given to those who qualify for and compete at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships or Olympic Games, with the remaining quarter given to medallists as part of a tier system.
It will be used as prize money for medals at the Olympics and World Championships, with athletes earning $25,000 (£16,500/€22,000) for gold, $15,000 (£9,900/€13,400) for silver and $10,000 (£6,600/€9,200) for bronze.
The plan will also see each athlete who competes in top-level events earn an additional $10,000 (£7,000/€9,300) per year.
The new funding plan now means athletes who win a national title but do not earn a medal at a major global event will earn a salary of $35,000 (£23,000/€31,000) a year, while those who achieve success at World Championships or Olympic level will see their support increase from $25,000 to $60,000 (£39,000/€53,000).
It comes after 800 metres runner Nick Symmonds had called for athletes to receive more income from USATF following him being replaced in the American team for this year’s World Championships in Beijing for refusing to sign a mandatory USATF contract that instructs athletes to wear Nike gear.
Symmonds, a silver medallist at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, is sponsored by Brooks Running and had claimed that he would only make $13,000 (£8,600/€11,200) this year from USATF.
This was disputed by USATF chief public affairs officer Jill Geer, who insisted Symmonds would earn at least $25,000 (£16,600/€23,000) including bonuses.
A particular bone of contention from the 31-year-old, who competed at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 and in London four years later, came after a new 23-year contract was signed with Nike, reportedly worth around $20 million (£13.2 million/€18.4 million) a year to USATF, which led to Symmonds calling for a bigger portion of this to be distributed to American athletes.
"Athletes have called for cash support for decades, and we are thrilled to be able to move forward together as the 2016 Olympic Games approach," USATF chief executive Max Siegel said.
"The model we are establishing is the first step in what will be a continuing evolution."
September 2015: USA Track and Field reveals new revenue distribution plan
July 2015: USA Track & Field name head coaches for Rio 2016
April 2014: Nike and USA Track & Field sign multi-million dollar deal through to 2040
April 2012: USA Track and Field appoints former top music official as new chief executive