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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 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, 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.

On Jan. 13, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Assembly Bill 1582, the “Dietetics and Nutrition Licensing Act,” ushering in a regulatory regime that could imperil the right of CrossFit trainers to share essential information on nutrition and health. CrossFit affiliates should be aware of this potential threat to their free speech on nutrition, as well as their rights under the law. Since the bill’s introduction in 2018, CrossFit, Inc. has worked with New Jersey affiliates to limit the scope of its restrictions through tenacious advocacy with the state legislature. CrossFit, Inc. will continue to monitor the outcome of this specific legislation and advocate on behalf of its affiliates in New Jersey.

Read MoreUpdate on Nutrition-Related Free Speech Issues in New Jersey

“A Federal court in California has ruled in favor of the popular training program CrossFit in its lawsuit against a nonprofit group — a competitor in fitness training — awarding the workout company nearly $4 million in sanctions. Why are you reading about this case on Retraction Watch, you might ask? Well, at the heart of the suit, first filed in 2014, was a now-retracted 2013 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research — published by the NSCA — showing, erroneously, that CrossFit was linked to an increased risk for injuries.”

Read the articleCrossFit Wins $4 Million Sanction in Lawsuit Stemming From Now-Retracted Paper

The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) proclaims itself to be a pro-science, consumer advocacy nonprofit group that exists only to support legitimate science and medicine while debunking “health scares.” However, according to veteran journalist and researcher Carey Gillam, while the name gives ACSH the appearance of being an independent voice on controversial questions of science and public health, internal ACSH records show in reality the organization has relied for years on hefty donations from corporations and foundations whose interests ACSH promotes.

Read More“Consumer Advocacy” Group ACSH Revealed as Front Group for Corporate Interests

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

CrossFit, Inc. has settled a lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) after HHS and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) complied with CrossFit’s FOIA requests and released internal communications, as required by law. When HHS attorneys noticed incriminating content within these emails, however, they attempted to retroactively redact the information. CrossFit publishes these emails here, displaying evidence of the CDC’s internal awareness of its transparency policy with regard to donor records — even those of the organization’s powerful industry donors — and reluctance to make that damning information available to the public.

Read MoreCrossFit Settles Lawsuit With HHS After Agency Releases Emails Showing Continued Efforts to Conceal Donations

For years, CrossFit, Inc. has worked to expose the various levels of corruption compromising the integrity of America’s public health agencies. Last year, CrossFit demonstrated the foundations for the CDC and NIH had failed to disclose donations from corporations including Coca-Cola and Pepsi, leading to a formal reprimand of both agencies by Congress. Most recently, evidence brought to light by CrossFit appeared in a letter several U.S. representatives wrote to the Office of the Inspector General demanding that it conduct an investigation into the Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and NIH’s parent agency, for failing to respond to Congress’ inquiries. The evidence demonstrates the long history of the CDC and NIH’s prioritization of industry partnerships over their charter to protect the American public.

Read MoreMembers of Congress, Aided by CrossFit, Call for Investigation Into Government’s Inaction on Conflicts of Interest at HHS

In 2007, Coca-Cola and its partner, the American College of Sports Medicine, launched Exercise is Medicine (EIM), a referral scheme that encourages physicians to prescribe physical activity to patients, connecting patients with trainers who are willing to work within the bounds of EIM’s physical activity recommendations and limitations on nutrition advice. The companies launched EIM to influence the medical establishment and downplay the importance of proper nutrition in chronic disease prevention. Beyond the tainted history of its founding and ongoing attempts to conceal its true purposes, the Exercise is Medicine scheme is ineffective at best and serves to suppress actually effective fitness training at worst.

Read MoreCoke's Ineffective and Disingenuous Exercise is Medicine Scheme

Coca-Cola and its proxies persistently attempt to influence science to shift the blame for obesity away from bad diets. One such proxy — founded by Coke and its loyal partner the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) — is Exercise is Medicine, an initiative designed to influence the medical establishment, cast doubt on the relationship between nutrition and obesity, and muzzle fitness trainers. To conceal this dubious history, ACSM claims it founded Exercise is Medicine with the American Medical Association, ignoring Coke's founding role. ACSM-affiliated scientists continue to repeat this false claim, despite CrossFit's repeated correction.

Read MoreCrossFit Catches ACSM In Lie And Cover-Up About Exercise Is Medicine

Conflicts of interest run rampant at federal health and science agencies, including the CDC and NIH. Vested interests such as opioid and soda companies divert government attention from their products’ damages. Federal law and policy are supposed to regulate the NIH and CDC’s industry partnerships, but for years the agencies’ leadership and foundations have ignored these guidelines in what increasingly appears to be a deliberate attempt to promote their sponsors’ interests.

Read MoreNIH Maintains Murky Opioid Partnerships Despite Law, Policy, and Scandals

Public-private partnerships, facilitated by a government agency’s affiliated foundation, can compromise the integrity of that agency’s mission, especially in the absence of transparency. The only way to ensure the veracity of the science and research coming from an organization, especially one with such attractive proximity to government influence and authority, is to know who is providing the funding and whether there are any restrictions on its expenditure. The FDA’s Reagan-Udall Foundation, however, which exploits such partnerships, continues to illegally conceal reports on its funding sources and restrictions.

Read MoreFDA’s Reagan-Udall Foundation Continues to Conceal Funding Reports

Though sound nutrition advice is an essential part of a person’s progress from sickness to wellness to health, nutrition licensure laws often prevent professional trainers from sharing such lifesaving information. CrossFit Level 2 Trainer Heather Kokesch Del Castillo was fined and threatened with jail time if she continued to provide nutritional advice in Florida. CrossFit, Inc. supported Del Castillo as she filed a First Amendment lawsuit with the Institute for Justice challenging the restriction of her free speech. A federal court in Florida rejected the suit on tenuous grounds on July 17, 2019. Del Castillo’s attorneys are appealing the decision, with the support of CrossFit, Inc., which remains committed to protecting its affiliates’ and trainers’ rights to speak freely about the foundational elements of the CrossFit methodology and human health.

Read MoreCrossFit Trainer Loses Nutritional Speech Suit; Battle Continues

Jon-Kyle Davis, a PepsiCo employee, has spent six years misrepresenting himself as an unbiased academic on the subject of hydration and other topics in papers published in the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s journals and elsewhere. Despite public correction of this error by CrossFit, Inc. and subsequent errata issued by the NSCA, Davis continues to falsely report his academic affiliation as the University of Montevallo (which he left in 2013 for PepsiCo) and has failed to disclose his significant conflict of interest. Davis’ concealment of his employment by a beverage company under the guise of unconflicted scientific inquiry follows a longstanding pattern of misconduct and concealment by PepsiCo via the Gatorade Sports Science Institute.

Read MorePepsi Employee Caught Masquerading as Unbiased Academic, Sticks to the Act

On June 20, 2019, CrossFit, Inc. filed a renewed motion for terminating sanctions against the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) in the Southern District Court of California. CrossFit’s renewed motion for terminating sanctions, filed after years of litigation and forensic investigation, puts the NSCA’s systemic corruption on full display — corruption that pervades the highest levels of the association’s academic and organizational leadership.

Read MoreCrossFit, Inc.’s Renewed Motion for Terminating Sanctions Against the NSCA

On June 15, 2019, CrossFit sent a correction to the Montreal Gazette in response to Jill Barker’s June 11 article, “Are CrossFit Enthusiasts More Prone to Injury?” Barker’s piece included numerous false statements and factual errors and neglects the context of the false injury data included in the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s since-retracted Devor study.

Read MoreJill Barker Misrepresents CrossFit Injuries and Ignores Fake Injury Data Lawsuit

Many states have laws regulating what individuals can say about food and nutrition. Some states extend this restriction to laws preventing anyone but a dietitian from providing nutritional guidance. An important milestone was reached in Maine this month in the fight against such restrictions: On June 11, LD 364 became law in Maine, affirming an individual’s right to access health care outside the medical establishment. The law protects the right of CrossFit affiliates to share the foundation of CrossFit — nutrition — with its clients.

Read MoreVictory in Maine: CrossFit Affiliates Can Now Speak Freely about Nutrition

Over the years, CrossFit, Inc. has earned a reputation for tirelessly protecting the CrossFit® trademark on behalf of its worldwide community of trainers and affiliates. Nearly every country in the world today recognizes the elevated status of the CrossFit trademark, and their courts consistently rule to protect the mark from CrossFit infringers, thieves, and fraudulent operators. Recent court rulings in Brazil — home to 1,177 CrossFit affiliates — illustrate both the challenges and ultimately the successes that result from CrossFit’s fierce protection of the CrossFit trademark.

Read MoreCrossFit, Inc. Wins Trademark Victory for Brazilian Affiliates

On May 17, 2019, CrossFit, Inc. sent a letter requesting the retraction of a paper recently published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. The paper purportedly compared the likelihood and severity of self-reported injury in CrossFit® training and traditional weightlifting. The letter states that the paper should be retracted because it “is beset with scientific error, cites retracted studies that contained fabricated data and inaccurately cites other studies concerning our CrossFit® brand.” CrossFit, Inc. will continue to respond promptly and decisively to all inaccurate claims regarding the safety and efficacy of the training provided by its licensed affiliates and trainers.

Read MoreCrossFit Requests Retraction of Erroneous Injury Paper