CrossFit HQ Rules Nordic’s Viktor Langsved Ineligible, Allows Team to Compete with Alternate
CrossFit HQ ruled that Viktor Langsved, a member of CrossFit Nordic Original’s team, was in violation of Affiliate Cup Eligibility Requirements, and was disqualified from competing June 10 – 12 at the Strength in Depth Semifinal. The ruling concludes a weeks-long investigation pouring through Langsved’s bank statements, voice recordings, videos, social media posts, photos and gym logs.
- “After rigorous investigation, including a thorough review of all materials provided by the athlete and other individuals, it was determined that the athlete in question did not meet the eligibility requirements and would be disqualified from competition. Despite that finding, CrossFit has determined the affiliate team is still eligible to continue to compete in the season with an alternate filling that team member’s position,” said Andrew Weinstein, CrossFit’s head of communications and public policy.
One big thing: CrossFit ultimately decided to rule only Langsved ineligible and not the entire team, and instead allow their alternate, Erik Bjork Rubio, to take Langsved’s place, establishing an important precedent for how situations like this could be handled in the future.
- “Please let us know if you would like to add Erik Bjork Rubio to your team Semifinal roster,” wrote Kurtis Bowler on May 27, the lead investigator for CrossFit in this matter.
Why is he ineligible? The CrossFit Games rulebook outlines specific eligibility requirements created to ensure that all members of a team are active members of that affiliate. The rule was implemented to roll back the creation of super teams during the brief Sanctional season format where athletes from anywhere in the world could compete together on the same team.
- Rulebook section 1.14 requires that members of a team are “active members of the affiliate” and “are regularly training at the affiliate,” and specifically requires that all athletes “live within 100 miles of the CrossFit affiliate they are representing” by January 13, 2022.
- Langsved lives 98.5 miles from CrossFit Nordic according to Google Maps, satisfying that specific requirement.
- CrossFit determined that he is not an “active member”, however, because he could not show “enough verified training days to be considered eligible for the team,” according to a May 26 email from Bowler.
- “We used May 10th as the cutoff date for consistency. He had 30 confirmed days out of 75. If we used May 23rd as the cutoff he would have 35 days out of 83 possible training days. Neither of these get us to the 51%,” Bowler also stated in the same email.
Langsved, in a lengthy Instagram post, voiced his innocence and frustration with the process, writing: “We have provided with everything you have asked for. We sent you a file with more than 1GB worth of evidence. Pictures, clips, bank transactions, parking tickets, lunch receipts, attendance logs…but you just don’t think that is enough proof for you to just let me continue this season.”
- “The evidence we have provided you with is way more than the rulebook demands,” Langsved continued.
The big picture: CrossFit has provided some critical information for teams looking to navigate the eligibility process going forward, but also demonstrated a willingness to thoroughly investigate eligibility claims brought to their attention.
- Teams must be prepared to prove that they meet all eligibility requirements, especially demonstrating status as an active member and regularly training at that affiliate, rather than CrossFit proving they are ineligible.
- “Not only must team members be able to prove they live within 100 miles of the CrossFit affiliate they are representing, they must also be able to demonstrate they are active members of the team’s affiliate and are regularly and primarily training at that affiliate,” Weinstein clarified in an email.
- Bowler cited that they were looking for proof of at least 51% of available training days to determine eligibility.
The bottom line: Take a lot of photos and be prepared to hand over evidence at any time, and take Bowler’s advice: “For the remainder of the season, the simplest solution would be to have your members take a picture in front of the CrossFit Nordic logo in the gym any time they train.”