Journal retracts Ohio State CrossFit study at center of lawsuits

The fallout continues for a study conducted at a local CrossFit gym by researchers at The Ohio State University. First it was corrected, now it’s been retracted, and it continues to be the basis of litigation against both the authors and the publisher.

Editors at the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research have decided to pull the 2013 study after learning that the research protocol had not been approved by Ohio State’s institutional review board (IRB).

Over the past few years, the study has spawned several lawsuits, including a defamation suit brought by gym owner Mitch Potterf against Ohio State that landed him a six-figure settlement, as well as an ongoing suit by Potterf against the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA, which publishes the journal). The CrossFit brand has also sued the NSCA. [See update at end of post for more on that case.]

An NSCA statement issued May 30 describes what happened: Continue reading Journal retracts Ohio State CrossFit study at center of lawsuits

German funder bans researcher for five years following misconduct probe

A researcher in Germany has been banned from seeking money from the largest independent research funder in the country for five years after an investigation by her former employer found her guilty of misconduct.

According to a recent announcement from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), scientist Tina Wenz cannot apply for any DFG funding for five years, after a probe by the University of Cologne in Germany concluded she should retract six papers over misconduct.

A spokesperson for the DFG told us the agency funds more than 30,000 projects per year, and since 1998, has announced a ban due to data manipulation or misconduct only 10 times.

Continue reading German funder bans researcher for five years following misconduct probe

Author says he lied about approval for animal research

A researcher in South Korea has retracted a 2015 paper after telling the journal he falsified the institutional approval required to conduct the animal experiments.

In the article, the author explicitly says that the Animal Experiment Review Board of a university based in Seoul, South Korea approved the experiments, but according to the journal, “the author did not receive an approval by the board and he used a false approval number.”

Here’s the retraction notice for “The role of compensatory movements patterns in spontaneous recovery after stroke,” published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science (JPTS) in September 2015 and retracted in December: Continue reading Author says he lied about approval for animal research

Researcher loses 4th paper flagged by misconduct probe

A researcher in Germany has logged her fourth retraction following an investigation by her former employer that found evidence of scientific misconduct.

The latest retraction for Tina Wenz in the Journal of Applied Physiology mentions the probe at the University of Cologne in Germany, which recommended retracting six of her papers. One had already been retracted by the time the report was released; last month, we reported that two others had been pulled. Now, we’ve come across a fourth.

Here’s the latest retraction notice: Continue reading Researcher loses 4th paper flagged by misconduct probe

Authors retract paper lacking approval to study asthma in athletes

british-journal-of-sports-medicineThe authors of a 2014 study about asthma in Norwegian athletes have retracted it after realizing they hadn’t obtained proper approval from an ethical committee.

The study’s first and corresponding author of the study in the British Journal of Sports MedicineJulie Stang from the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences in Oslo — told us the authors had struggled to obtain ethical approval for the research, but believed the issue had been resolved.

However, earlier this year, a member of an ethical committee wrote an article in the Norwegian press about his concerns regarding the study, which tested the effects of three drugs on top athletes’ breathing. In it, he said the Regional Committees for medical and health professional research ethics (REC) had not approved the study, as members were concerned the presumably healthy athletes were being exposed to drugs used to treat asthma, which could enhance their performance. 

Stang has denied that the study had anything to do with boosting athletic performance.

Stein Evensen, the committee member who wrote the article, declined to comment beyond the published text. So we’ve gotten the kronikk article translated from Norwegian using One Hour Translation. It reads: Continue reading Authors retract paper lacking approval to study asthma in athletes

Ohio State, CrossFit gym make six-figure settlement over corrected paper’s injury claims

Mitch Potterf
Mitch Potterf

The Ohio State University (OSU) has settled a lawsuit with a CrossFit affiliate over allegations that a study had defamed the gym.

As first reported by Columbus Underground, the university has agreed to pay Mitchell Potterf, owner of Fit Club in Columbus, Ohio, $145,000 to settle claims that a 2013 paper by OSU researchers included false data about injuries suffered by 11 athletes who took part in a fitness challenge. According to a statement filed by Potterf and his attorney, Ken Donchatz, in the Ohio Court of Claims, based on depositions, Continue reading Ohio State, CrossFit gym make six-figure settlement over corrected paper’s injury claims

CrossFit can sue over error in paper it claims cost the brand millions

court-caseA California court ruled that fitness empire CrossFit can proceed to trial with its lawsuit against a competitor, alleging it published falsified data that hurt the company’s reputation, according to recently released court documents.

The case pits the popular for-profit CrossFit brand against the non-profit National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), which published the 2013 study in question.

CrossFit claims it lost upwards of $8 million afer researchers concluded that 16 percent of CrossFit participants in a small study left the exercise program because of injury. However, in a 2015 erratum, the authors – led by Steven T. Devor, director of the Exercise Science Laboratory at The Ohio State University — noted that follow up showed only 2 participants out of the 11 drop-outs mentioned their health as a reason.

The study appeared in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, published by CrossFit competitor NSCA, which also promotes fitness programs.  CrossFit claims the results in the paper cost it revenues from people paying for seminars at CrossFit, Inc. affiliate gyms.

“CrossFit is now eager to go to trial. More eager than ever,” a CrossFit spokesperson told Retraction Watch: Continue reading CrossFit can sue over error in paper it claims cost the brand millions

Two more retractions bring bone researcher’s total to 12

jbmrA bone researcher based in Japan with 10 retractions under his belt has retracted two more papers for similar reasons — problems with the underlying data, and including co-authors who didn’t participate in the project.

In both notices, Yoshihiro Sato is pegged as responsible for the content of the papers. The newly retracted research covers a long timespan — one paper was published in 2000, the other in 2013.

Here’s the first notice, issued by the Journal of Bone and Mineral ResearchContinue reading Two more retractions bring bone researcher’s total to 12

Judges toss lawsuits by CrossFit gym claiming fraud in $273 million in grants

court caseFederal judges in Ohio have dismissed two lawsuits claiming that university researchers used false results to secure more than $250 million in federal grants.

Both lawsuits, which objected to a study examining the effects of CrossFit-based training, were filed by Mitchell Potterf, the owner of a gym affiliated with CrossFit in Columbus, Ohio. Potterf took issue with a 2013 study by researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) that was conducted at his gym.

Potterf filed one suit against the OSU researchers and a second against the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NCSA). The NSCA publishes the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, where a paper about the study appeared. The article, “Crossfit-based high-intensity power training improves maximal aerobic fitness and body composition,” has been cited 15 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

The study followed 43 men and women as they completed 10 weeks of CrossFit-based training. In addition to those 43 participants, 11 dropped out before completing the regimen. According to the original paper: Continue reading Judges toss lawsuits by CrossFit gym claiming fraud in $273 million in grants

Against authors’ wishes, journal pulls study with errors, statistical mistake

Annals of the Rheumatic DiseasesA rheumatology journal has retracted a paper about treating knee pain after an institutional investigation found a mistake in the statistical process.

Over several months, the authors proposed a series of corrections to the 2014 study. However, the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (ARD) decided that there were “unresolved concerns” about the reliability of the data, and decided to retract the paper entirely, despite the authors’ objections.

Here’s the retraction notice: Continue reading Against authors’ wishes, journal pulls study with errors, statistical mistake