CrossFit Inc. Battles [For Health]: A Timeline

CrossFit’s bold positions on health and fitness have brought us into conflict with the entrenched interests of the fitness, nutrition, and food and beverage industries. These entities include the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as well as their partners at The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo/Gatorade, The Kellen Company, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

They have launched and funded numerous efforts to restrain and regulate CrossFit Affiliates. They have engaged in repeated scientific misconduct and fraud, lobbied for legislation that would criminalize the daily practices of CrossFit Affiliates and trainers, and covered up the corporate partnerships that fund their work, at times in contravention of federal law.

CrossFit has successfully fought back, calling out their corruption of the sports, health, and nutrition sciences, suing them for their lies and misconduct, informing policymakers of their schemes, and advocating against their proposed legislation. While our adversaries’ agenda is covert, our mission in these CrossFit Battles could not be clearer: to keep fitness legal.

Here, those battles are laid out in the context of CrossFit’s exponential growth to provide a deeper understanding of the past, present and future.

May 2005
CrossFit Inc. is first to disclose that inappropriate use of intensity can lead to catastrophic physical trauma known as rhabdomyolysis, introduces Uncle Rhabdo.

Oct. 1, 2005
CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman repeats rhabdo warning for 2nd consecutive month in CrossFit Journal, says exertional rhabdo can “disable, maim and even kill.”

Dec. 27, 2005
Greg Glassman notes ACSM Fellow Francis O’Connor’s casual remarks on rampant hyponatremia, injury and death in marathons: “Were CrossFit to present the same risk factor as the marathon, we’d be burying people every SINGLE week.”

2007
ACSM launches Exercise Is Medicine scheme. Founding partner: The Coca-Cola Co.

July 12, 2008
ACSM spokeswoman and University of Massachusetts kinesiology professor Priscilla Clarkson supports lawsuit against CrossFit affiliate, claimsCrossFit can result in rhabdo.

2009
ACSM increases lobbying budget 250%.

2010
ACSM reveals its vested interest in personal-trainer licensure at the state level.

Sept. 13-14, 2010
Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP) hosts workshop for military doctors, fitness-industry professionals to talk about high-intensity training; e.g., CrossFit.

July 2011
ACSM publishes report on rhabdo incidents in University of Iowa football program. Author cites a CrossFit Journal article on rhabdo, says team can learn from CrossFit.

November 2011
CHAMP publishes consensus paper circulated throughout Pentagon. CrossFit Chief Scientist Jeff Glassman calls it ”unscientific, manufactured hit piece.”

April 2012
Greg Glassman, other CrossFit representatives have tense meeting with CHAMP consensus paper authors. Glassman vows to reveal truth of their malicious intentions.

Sept. 8, 2012
CrossFit Journal publishes Jeff Glassman’s line-by-line critique of CHAMP paper.

Sept. 9, 2012
Under alias “Sports Doc,” CHAMP paper author Francis O’Connor comments on Jeff Glassman’s critique to say paper’s intent was never to be “evidence based document.”

Sept. 20, 2012
Jeff Glassman dismantles O’Connor’s remarks via now-famous Comment No. 44.

February 2013
NSCA Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (JSCR) publishes ahead of print fraudulent study on CrossFit that includes falsified injury data.

Feb. 28, 2013
Washington, D.C., City Council introduces personal-trainer licensure. Nine states do the same. ACSM, NSCA and ACE—under moniker CREPS—lobby for the regulation.

April 23, 2013
CrossFit representative contacts Steven Devor to note inaccuracies with the JSCR study that claims 16% of participants dropped out because of “overuse or injury.”

May 23, 2013
CrossFit representative emails NSCA to note falsities in Devor study that was done in partnership with CrossFit 614. NSCA does not respond.

October 2013
CrossFit representative calls JSCR editor and CHAMP paper author William Kraemer to explain errors in Devor study. Kraemer says peer review is “good enough.”

November 2013
JSCR publishes sham Devor study. Outside Magazine, Military Times among media organizations that point to study as evidence CrossFit is dangerous.

Feb. 10, 2014
ESPN publishes “CrossFit Debate Not Going Away.” It questions methodology’s safety, citing Kevin Ogar’s paralysis at non-CrossFit event.

Feb. 14, 2014
Washington, D.C., City Council passes personal-trainer licensure legislation.

Feb. 19, 2014
Greg Glassman spotlights corruption in exercise science, calls for action: “It’s time to drive Big Soda out of fitness and by extension, the health sciences.”

March 26, 2014
CrossFit 614 owner Mitch Potterf sues Devor study authors and publisher for fraud, misrepresentation, false light invasion of privacy, defamation.

May 12, 2014
CrossFit sues NSCA for false advertising, unfair competition, declaratory relief.

July 27, 2014
ESPN says CrossFit is dangerous, then tries to bolster claim via interview with CrossFit critic Mark Rippetoe, who cannot accurately defineCrossFit’s methodology and intent.

Aug. 6, 2014
Greg Glassman on personal-trainer licensure: “A hail mary effort to achieve exactly what can no longer be achieved in the marketplace—keep the truth about diet and exercise hidden.”

August 2014
ACSM/PepsiCo-owned Gatorade advice to drink as much as tolerable kills 2 high-school football players. They are among more than 12 who die of hyponatremia.

December 2014
JSCR publishes study relating “recent emergence of intensive training protocols” to increased rhabdo cases without a shred of evidence.

Feb. 20, 2015
CrossFit hosts hyponatremia conference; 16 top scientists bust long-standing hydration lies.

Feb. 24, 2015
Potterf sues Ohio State University, Devor for academic misconduct.

Spring 2015
CrossFit campaign forces Gatorade to revise hydration guidelines: Drink when you’re thirsty, don’t when you’re not. ACSM later clarifiesguidelines, downplays hyponatremia.

June 29, 2015
Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine publishes consensus paper from 16 top scientists who busted hydration myths at CrossFit’s hyponatremia conference.

July 17, 2015
Greg Glassman unearths more Big Soda corruption of health sciences, points to Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN)—a collaboration between Coca-Cola and ACSM.

Aug. 9, 2015
The New York Times publishes “Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets.”

Aug. 14, 2015
The New York Times Editorial Board notes GEBN is “latest effort to put a ‘science based’ gloss on industry positions.”

Oct. 29, 2015
JSCR issues nonsensical erratum on Devor study; says injury rate should not be considered factor, change “does not affect the overall conclusion of the article.”

Nov. 8-19, 2015
Greg Glassman rallies 9 California affiliates to support state warning label on sugary drinks that would expose Big Soda corruption, including licensure lobbying.

Mid-November 2015
After mounting pressure from CrossFit and affiliates, Washington, D.C., City Council scraps personal-trainer licensure.

Nov. 30, 2015
GEBN abruptly announces immediate end to operations.

May 2, 2016
NSCA sues CrossFit, Founder Greg Glassman and two employees, alleging trade libel, defamation, use of unfair business practices.

Sept. 21, 2016
Federal judge rules CrossFit can proceed to trial with NSCA lawsuit.

Oct. 18, 2016
Ohio Court of Claims judge signs settlement between Ohio State University and Potterf, awarding him $145,000.

May 26, 2017
Federal judge imposes sanctions on NSCA—including forensic analysis of its servers—after it provides documents in California case it withheld in federal suit.

July 31, 2017
JSCR retracts Devor study, relenting after federal judge rules the injury data was false.

Jan. 18, 2018
In unprecedented ruling, state judge forces NSCA to reveal to CrossFit names of Devor study’s peer reviewers.

May 17, 2018
State court awards CrossFit attorneys’ fees, expenses based on NSCA misconduct. It also orders NSCA to pay for forensic analysis of its servers.

June 14, 2018
In yet another blow to the NSCA, its insurer, National Casualty Co., sues to dodge coverage in both suits.

Oct. 4, 2018
CrossFit sues U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over donations CDC, NIH foundations receive.

Nov. 29, 2018
NSCA asks court to dismiss its defamation suit against CrossFit, calling it a “business decision” and citing “unusual and extraordinary” expenses related to court sanctions.

From: CrossFit

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