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Earlier this week, downhiller Aaron Gwin made the shocking announcement that he would leave Trek World Racing (TWR) and race for Specialized. Hours later, TWR issued a statement blasting Gwin, claiming he violated a letter of intent that was signed in August—a letter they believe committed the 2011 and 2012 World Cup series champion to TWR for the next three years.
This morning, Gwin spoke for the first time, via a message on his Hookit sponsorship page, disputing claims he broke a contract with TWR. “My contract expired,” he wrote. Gwin says he signed a letter of intent with TWR, but moved on when the contract that TWR presented in November “was not the deal we had made.” You can read Gwin’s full statement below:
I'm writing this public note to hopefully shed a little light on what's actually going on with my move to Specialized.
Reports that I broke my contract with 23 Degrees/Trek World Racing are false. My contract expired. The one-page letter of intent I signed said there would be a “full length contract” with “precise terms” coming in the future. The 16-page contract that showed up in late November was not signed by me because it was not the deal we had made. I have moved on to a team that gave me the contract I wanted, and these are the facts.
The press reports are inaccurate, unfair, and one-sided. Because 23 Degrees has hired lawyers and threatened to sue me, my lawyers have told me not to say anything for now.
While riding for Trek, I lived up to my contract and gave them my 100% effort and full commitment. I intend on doing the same for Specialized.
As for now, I want to let my fans know that my offseason training has been going great. I love my new bikes and I'm more excited to race this year than I ever have been. Big thanks to the Specialized family for such an amazing opportunity and support.
I hope everyone understands that I cannot talk any further about this at this time, but I felt like I needed to clear the air a bit, without getting too much into the legal stuff.
Thanks to all the fans who have stood behind me.