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CrossFit Responds to Scott Panchik Injury He Said Was Caused by Rope at Syndicate Crown

Photo Credit: Instagram @baconandprs
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CrossFit GM of Sport Justin Bergh released an official statement on the injury Scott Panchik said caused him to pull out of the Syndicate Crown semifinal over the weekend in Knoxville, TN.

What happened: Panchik posted to Instagram on Saturday after Event 3 of the competition—the first event of day two—called “2014 Regional Event 5” which is ten rounds for time: 1 legless rope climb and a 170 foot run.

“At 7:30am we were briefed on the day’s events,” he wrote. “After seeing the amount of rope left laying on the competition floor I verbally expressed concerns I had for athletes safety in an event as fast as this one.”

Panchik continued that he felt he “presented a strong case” as to why this was unsafe.

“There have been multiple noted injuries in the past at events like this. I also mentioned that the Torian Pro had done this event already and the rope was cut keeping all the ropes off the ground. I was told nothing could be done to change the ropes and this is what was provided to be used.”

Panchik then said he landed on his “good knee” and felt a “pop”, however was able to finish the event and ended up coming 14th with a time of 3:02.95, only hundredths of a second behind Jayson Hopper and Griffin Roelle. Prior to Event 3, Panchik was sitting in 4th place overall. Moments before his heat was due on the competition floor in Event 4, “I made the decision to withdraw. Something I have never had to do in this sport,” said Panchik.

Wilson Pak, the event director for Syndicate Crown, issued a written statement to Morning Chalk Up concerning the situation.

“Ensuring athlete safety is of utmost priority and it is devastating to see any athlete injured in a competition. In the months leading up to the Syndicate Crown, I worked closely with CrossFit to ensure that the standardized workout and accompanying equipment were safe for the event. Going forward, we have cut the ropes for the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge to a specific length, approved by CrossFit, to ensure that this incident will not happen to another athlete.”

CrossFit has now also issued a statement concerning the issue, which is below in its entirety.

“Scott is a remarkable athlete, person, and ambassador for the sport, and we are deeply saddened about his injury. As soon as we were notified, our team reached out to Scott and the event director to determine what happened.

Unfortunately, Scott’s concerns about the rope climb did not reach CrossFit HQ prior to the event. Ensuring a real-time channel of dialogue and escalation for athletes during events was the reason we created the new Competition Liaison position this season, but clearly there was a breakdown in this situation, and we need to better educate both athletes and event officials on when and how to engage with the Competition Liaison.

The Competition Liaison position was announced in the Hopper that was sent on May 18: ‘Competing athletes may request the Competition Liaison to assist with communication with event organizers. Issues may include appeals, schedule discrepancies, warm-up area requests, safety issues, and concerns about competition fairness.’

Going forward, we have relayed the issues around rope length to upcoming event organizers and instructed them to shorten the ropes if needed for safety. We are also working to ensure both organizers and athletes contact the Competition Liaison whenever they need to address future issues of this kind.”

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