CrossFit Inc. is suing the National Strength and Conditioning Association for intentionally publishing a fraudulent study about CrossFit. You can read CrossFit’s filing here.
CrossFit 614, the affiliate where corresponding author Steven Devor conducted his fraudulent study, already sued Devor and the NSCA. Unfortunately, the NSCA’s corrupted science didn’t just harm CrossFit 614. The NSCA also falsely besmirched the reputation of all CrossFit affiliates, and spread the lie that they are practicing dangerous training.
The NSCA could have avoided this. I personally emailed their board a year ago, after publishing this investigation into the Devor study. The NSCA did not respond.
In October 2013, I spoke to William Kraemer, an ACSM fellow and Editor in Chief of the NSCA’s Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. I informed Kraemer of his investigation’s conclusions: the researchers claimed the subjects cited “overuse or injury” without speaking to the subjects. In other words, Devor and Co. made it up. And I could prove it.
Kraemer casually dismissed my concerns. Surely, Kraemer argued, the peer review process was sufficient and there was no need to investigate the allegation of fraud. The next month, the NSCA’s JSCR published the Devor study.
The NSCA has retracted other papers before. In 2009 they retracted a study “for reasons related to oversights by the author that made the information not completely accurate and representative of the subject.”
When I informed the NSCA of my finding, ethics and consistency mandated that they investigate them, and retract the paper accordingly. Devor’s misconduct deserved a retraction even more than the flawed 2009 study. He committed scientific fraud, not merely an “oversight.”
And yet, the NSCA failed to retract flawed research when concerned CrossFit. Now they’ll have to admit it.