On Thursday, November 29, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) voluntarily withdrew their defamation suit against CrossFit.
“The NSCA continues to believe that it was defamed and its reputation harmed by false published statements made by [CrossFit]”, said NSCA Executive Director Michael Massik.
In a statement provided to Morning Chalk Up, CrossFit founder and chairman Greg Glassman described the move to withdraw as “cowardly” and an attempt to “conceal evidence that the NSCA has tried to hide from CrossFit, the court, and the public.”
“There’s no way we will let the NSCA run and hide from the fact that its case never had any merit, especially after the NSCA personally attacked CrossFit, two of its employees, and me,” Glassman said. “We will show that this was always a malicious prosecution intended to prevent CrossFit from revealing the full scope of the NSCA’s misconduct and financial ties to broader organizations also trying to harm CrossFit. Because for us, this has always been about shining a light on the truth and the NSCA’s unlawful behavior, not about money.”
The NSCA has been locked in a years-long legal battle with CrossFit. It all started with the now famous 2013 study which published false and misleading information concluding, in short, that CrossFit was dangerous. That erroneous conclusion thrust CrossFit HQ into a multi-year battle to re-educate the public and press that CrossFit was, in fact, not dangerous.
Then in 2016, the court found that “the NSCA fabricated the injury data and published them in [the Journal of Strength and Conditioning]…with the intention of protecting its market share in the fitness industry and diminishing the burgeoning popularity of the CrossFit program.”
Yep. I remember now. So what’s changed?
Specifically, the cost of this legal fight.
For starters, they failed to comply with court orders on multiple occasions. After failing to turn over documents they had to pay “7 figures” to hire a forensic accounting firm to ensure they fully complied with the request.
Then in May 2017, the court awarded CrossFit $400,00 in attorneys’ fees.
Once again, due to numerous failures to comply with the court’s orders, another outside agency was hired. This and other failures forced their own insurance agency to, in turn, sue the NSCA so they’d no longer be liable to pay damage. That suit is still being reviewed.
The case isn’t dismissed yet. The judge will have the final say as to whether that will happen.