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Major Victory for CrossFit: Judge Orders Terminating and Massive Monetary Sanctions Against the NSCA

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On Dec. 4, 2019, Judge Janis L. Sammartino ordered terminating sanctions against the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) in the case of CrossFit, Inc. v. NSCA. With this ruling, the court ordered the NSCA to pay CrossFit $3,997,868.66 as a sanction and then terminated the case in CrossFit’s favor. CrossFit’s experience with the NSCA provides vital insight into the widespread damage that results from bad and outright corrupt science and, as in this case, efforts to conceal the corruption from the public and judicial system. CrossFit, Inc. has remained resolute in the fight to vindicate its affiliates and trainers in the face of the false charges leveled against them and the CrossFit methodology. This ruling marks a major victory in both this fight and CrossFit’s ongoing effort to pursue truth and expose deeply entrenched corruption in the fitness and health sciences.

Read MoreMajor Victory for CrossFit: Judge Orders Terminating and Massive Monetary Sanctions Against the NSCA

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Felix Seraphin
February 15th, 2020 at 9:02 am
Commented on: Major Victory for CrossFit: Judge Orders Terminating and Massive Monetary Sanctions Against the NSCA

Wow! Congrats!!! I wonder if this action by NSCA affected the decisions of the military and other organizations that was looking at CrossFit for programming.

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Jeff Zwally
December 8th, 2019 at 7:51 pm
Commented on: Major Victory for CrossFit: Judge Orders Terminating and Massive Monetary Sanctions Against the NSCA

Great news and great work by the entire CrossFit HQ support and legal teams!

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Dale Saran
December 7th, 2019 at 8:33 pm
Commented on: Major Victory for CrossFit: Judge Orders Terminating and Massive Monetary Sanctions Against the NSCA

Congratulations to CF, Greg, and everyone on the Team. What a slog. It is a lesson in how expensive justice is. But for Coach's perseverance and commitment to the issue, the NSCA would have gotten away with this fraud and its associated frauds (Can anyone say "CHAMP" paper? Pepperidge Farm remembers!). The next phase will set a cost to what the NSCA did in damages to CrossFit and then will come the real accounting. I just hope they don't hide assets, file for bankruptcy, and claim they have no money. Given what we've seen so far, why should anyone expect any different behavior from those reprobates?

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Tyler Hass
December 6th, 2019 at 9:58 pm
Commented on: Major Victory for CrossFit: Judge Orders Terminating and Massive Monetary Sanctions Against the NSCA

This is a great victory for CrossFit, but for exercise science as well. The field has been a tool for corporate interests for too long. That CrossFit has won this case is good, but the transparent way in which they won is amazing. As Emily Kaplan mentioned earlier, CrossFit could have taken money in exchange for silence. Instead, they pursued the truth wherever it led.

Arguably the most respected training organization, the NSCA, was exposed for scientific misconduct and perjury. The biggest name in exercise science, William Kraemer, was exposed as a fraud. This is a major hit against the field, as it calls into question thousands of other studies he published and have been cited by other scientists. It’s hard to read a book on "scientific" training without his name being cited on every third page.

In the early 2000s, the mainstream fitness industry was happy putting people through 3x10 machine circuits and chugging Gatorade. I interviewed a famous exercise scientist in 2003 and he dismissed CrossFit as a type of “survivalist” fitness that wouldn’t make you good at anything. He wasn’t buying it.

CrossFit appeared like a black swan out of nowhere and disrupted the mainstream fitness industry. Exercise scientists couldn’t apply their understanding of the Krebs cycle and muscle physiology to produce something like CrossFit…or really anything useful at all (steroids don’t count). The globo gym owners never could have imagined being overtaken by tens of thousands of small gyms with barbells and gymnastics equipment. Big Soda couldn’t play ball with a company telling people to eat real food.

The Devore study was the mainstream fitness industry’s last ditch effort to stave off CrossFit. I hope for exercise science that this is a wakeup call. Time to start over. Ask better questions. Pursue the truth wherever it leads. Do science.

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Christian Simpson
December 6th, 2019 at 8:37 pm
Commented on: 191206

Did a quick 50:40:30:20 Cal row/Russian kettlebell swing. Increasing weight of KB each round but should be unbroken. Time 15:35.

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Matt Bischel
December 6th, 2019 at 7:52 pm
Commented on: 191206

What a fitting rest day painting for CrossFit’s legal victory! The beast being slain looks to be the Devor article and the sinners in the back suffering, the NSCA Journal of Strength and Conditioning. Not to mention Michael’s excellent opening of the hips looks like what will be a beautiful core-to-extremity expression with the sword. I’m sure the Level 1 team would be proud of it! Congrats to the entire CrossFit ecosystem!

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Evan Saber
December 6th, 2019 at 6:43 pm
Commented on: 191206

Made up the medicine ball clean and medball push press workout.


32:08RX. Took a little while to get use to the medball push presses

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Bengi Goecek
December 6th, 2019 at 4:20 pm
Commented on: 191206

Can we discuss these two articles? I haven't read it all in detail, but is he making a point?


https://keepfitnesslegal.crossfit.com/2015/06/15/the-truth-hurts-part-1/


https://keepfitnesslegal.crossfit.com/2015/06/18/the-truth-hurts-part-2/

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Bruce Warren
December 6th, 2019 at 2:49 pm
Commented on: Major Victory for CrossFit: Judge Orders Terminating and Massive Monetary Sanctions Against the NSCA

First, congrats!! Good to be vindicated. Not sure how many times I've heard "You'll get hurt!" since starting CF two years a go.


Where is this case venued? Never heard of a "terminating order". 40 years litigation behind me.

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Carly Keyes
December 6th, 2019 at 12:39 pm
Commented on: Major Victory for CrossFit: Judge Orders Terminating and Massive Monetary Sanctions Against the NSCA

#justice

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Cesar Ortega
December 6th, 2019 at 12:30 pm
Commented on: 191206

i dont want rest

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Benjamin Gallarda
December 6th, 2019 at 12:27 pm
Commented on: Major Victory for CrossFit: Judge Orders Terminating and Massive Monetary Sanctions Against the NSCA

Reading the entire decision linked at the end of the article was eye-opening. I've followed this story from the initial publication in 2013, both via CrossFit and Retraction Watch (https://retractionwatch.com/2014/07/10/crossfit-to-be-tied-fitness-company-sues-journal-to-retract-sloppy-and-scientifically-unreliable-work/).


It seems that, based on the entire history, the NSCA tried to cover themselves with claims of peer-reviewed credibility, even if errors were made. Yet the Judge's decision describes the NCSA's conduct as "unfair competition and false advertising", even justifying the unmasking of previously anonymous peer reviewers (https://retractionwatch.com/2018/01/19/judge-orders-journal-identify-peer-reviewers-crossfit-lawyer/).


While I hope this case is as exceptional as the Judge's wording makes out, I wonder how much of the published research in exercise science, nutrition, and even medicine is affected by similar conflicts of interest and hidden agendas.

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Emily Kaplan
December 6th, 2019 at 3:43 am
Commented on: Major Victory for CrossFit: Judge Orders Terminating and Massive Monetary Sanctions Against the NSCA

There is a subtle, but substantial, aspect of this win that may go unappreciated, so I’m going to call it out. The pursuit of justice is a natural human desire. We all want to be treated fairly and judged accurately. When that does not happen it boils the blood. But justice is so often usurped by those with the largest bank accounts. Settlements may be considered a resolution to a problem, but I would argue when the disagreement involves a matter of specific importance to the public, settlements are anti-justice. Silence is usually a part of the settlement agreement. Silence means no transparency. No transparency means the public remains ignorant to the very matter that negatively impacts their wellbeing. This essential prevents any positive change or growth. This is not in the best interest of the public. Ever.


What happened here was egregious. It was unthinkable, until it happened. A well respected, peer-review, scientific journal falsified data? Then destroyed evidence. Then lied about it. I mean this is like a movie!


And it might have all been sealed, silenced and stored away, and no one would have known that the leading authority on strength and conditioning was committing fraud—and when caught committing fraud did not try to correct their reporting but instead deleted its files! Were it not for Glassman’s integrity and dogged determination to expose and share these bad deeds openly with everyone, we would not have known this kind of misleading and dangerous behavior was happening.


Another man, another company, might have taken the settlement cash and celebrated. But the goal here must have been bigger than simply righting the wrong that this publication smeared CrossFit. Because by exposing the methods and bias in this so-called scientific publication our eyes are opened to so much more. And in doing that, this case and Glassman’s refusal to settle has done something much bigger and more powerful. In shining a big, bright, unfiltered spotlight on the NSCA and exposing the hypocrisy of an authoritarian organization claiming to be working on behalf of the public good while actually abusing the public‘s trust and wellbeing, CrossFit has reminded all of us that no one and no organization is infallible. That everything must be questioned and that fighting for the truth is worth it.


This is all worth celebrating. The win. The refusal to settle. The judge’s seriousness of purpose. Today justice prevailed. Congrats to all who were involved.


Here are a few of my favorite excerpts from the case:


“The Court also shares CrossFit’s concerns that, “[g]iven the extensive perjury to date, the evidence supplied by the NSCA will also be inherently untrustworthy.” Reply at 10. As the Court previously noted, “[t]here is no point to a lawsuit . . . if it merely applies law to lies.” Neither CrossFit nor the Court nor the public can trust the veracity of further discovery collected from the NSCA. The Court therefore concludes that CrossFit has established that it will suffer prejudice absent termination.”


And


““On June 30, 2017, in response to the Court’s May 27, 2017 Order, Mr. Cinea signed a declaration under penalty of perjury that he “ha[d] not destroyed any servers, information on servers, or documents regarding Crossfit or that [he] underst[oo]d to be relevant to this action.” Between December 2 and 8, 2016, however, prior to signing his declaration of June 30, 2017, Mr. Cinea deleted six presumptively relevant documents whose file names hit on terms such as interval training, high intensity, and power training. On September 5, 2017, only a couple of months after signing his declaration, Mr. Cinea also deleted a pdf entitled “CrossFit_ The Good Fight – YouTube.” ...”

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John Miller
December 6th, 2019 at 3:13 am
Commented on: Major Victory for CrossFit: Judge Orders Terminating and Massive Monetary Sanctions Against the NSCA

Its funny that CrossFit Inc. now says CrossFit is not dangerous. I still have a bumper sticker I purchased from the old CrossFit main page in 2008 that was black with red letters and it reads: “CrossFit is Dangerous.”


Anyone els remember these?

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Brian Mulvaney
December 6th, 2019 at 3:12 pm

I sure don't John, and I stood up the online store in 2008. This is the second time you have mentioned this sticker you have. I want to see it and ask that you share it. It's possible we did something tongue in cheek but I have no recollection of it.

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John Miller
December 7th, 2019 at 1:27 am

How would you like me to post the picture?

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Brian Mulvaney
December 7th, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Please do.

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John Miller
December 8th, 2019 at 10:09 pm

@Brian Mulvaney

Please do what? I can’t post pictures in this section. “How” as in how would you like me to post the picture?

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Katina Thornton
December 6th, 2019 at 2:52 am
Commented on: Major Victory for CrossFit: Judge Orders Terminating and Massive Monetary Sanctions Against the NSCA

Wow. A quarter of a century on the bench, and this bad faith misconduct demonstrated by the NSCA is as egregious as anything Judge Sammartino has ever seen or read. And, guess what? $3,997,868.66 are just the monetary sanctions, they are not the amount of damages to which CrossFit is entitled. In all likelihood, CrossFit will be forced to file a motion for default judgement, as I doubt there will be an agreement between the NSCA and CrossFit concerning the amount of damages that CrossFit is entitled to. It hurts me trying to imagine where CrossFIt would be had the NSCA not committed these abuses. One thing is certain, they picked the wrong man when they crossed Greg Glassman.

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Shakha Gillin
December 6th, 2019 at 2:17 am
Commented on: Major Victory for CrossFit: Judge Orders Terminating and Massive Monetary Sanctions Against the NSCA

CrossFit has unveiled unthinkable willful and malicious acts within this previously highly regarded health institution. Through CrossFit’s perseverance they have brought awareness to the highest levels of corruption.


I read studies everyday. I use the information to make decisions on patient care (including referrals). I never would have imagined this degree of scientific misconduct occurring. Clearly, the health and scientific communities will benefit enormously from this victory. All our patients will benefit.


Thankful that CrossFit is exposing the truth.

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Thomas Moore
December 6th, 2019 at 2:01 am
Commented on: Major Victory for CrossFit: Judge Orders Terminating and Massive Monetary Sanctions Against the NSCA

Congratulations! Way to persist

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