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CrossFit can sue over error in paper it claims cost the brand millions

Retraction Watch - October 11, 2016

Cohen Seglias Partner Paul Thaler was interviewed by Trevor L. Stokes for the Retraction Watch article "CrossFit can sue over error in paper it claims cost the brand millions". The full article is available on the Retraction Watch website.

By: Trevor L. Stokes

A California court ruled that fitness empire CrossFit can proceed to trial with its lawsuit against a competitor, alleging it published falsified data that hurt the company’s reputation, according to recently released court documents.

The case pits the popular for-profit CrossFit brand against the non-profit National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), which published the 2013 study in question.

CrossFit claims it lost upwards of $8 million afer researchers concluded that 16 percent of CrossFit participants in a small study left the exercise program because of injury. However, in a 2015 erratum, the authors – led by Steven T. Devor, director of the Exercise Science Laboratory at The Ohio State University — noted that follow up showed only 2 participants out of the 11 drop-outs mentioned their health as a reason.

The study appeared in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, published by CrossFit competitor NSCA, which also promotes fitness programs.  CrossFit claims the results in the paper cost it revenues from people paying for seminars at CrossFit, Inc. affiliate gyms.

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