Irvin Muchnick is a writer and investigative journalist writing focusing mainly on the WWE, writing a book titled “Chris and Nancy: The true story of the Benoit murder-suicide and pro wrestling’s cocktail of death.” Muchnick has been heavily involved in the concussion issue as it relates to WWE and its crossover as well. Some have claimed that Muchnick may be pressing an issue that is not there, but he has had the ability to delve into certain areas of the concussion issue. He has provided some good contacts as well as information in his own unique way. Today on his blog he ran a couple of quick posts relating to concussions.
The first is about a LA writer and his Riddell helmet story;
In what is basically a promo for Riddell helmets, Farmer doesn’t get around to mentioning that Riddell is currently under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly exaggerating the safety claims in NFL-funded research at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, as published by the journal Neurosurgery in an article co-authored by Dr. Joseph Maroon, a doctor for both the Pittsburgh Steelers and World Wrestling Entertainment.
Asked for comment, Farmer emailed back, “Thanks for your information. Be well.”
The second takes an open look/question about how the Journal of Neurosurgery as it relates to the concussion issue;
I have not received a response to my email to Dr. Nelson Oyesiku of Emory University, the current editor-in-chief of Neurosurgery. (Interestingly, Oyesiku is Nigerian – as is Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered CTE.)
Here are the questions I asked Oyesiku:
1. There is currently a Federal Trade Commission investigation of promotional claims by the Riddell football helmet manufacturer that were based on data in a 2006 article in Neurosurgery.
Does the journal have a comment on this controversy?
2. Questions have arisen concerning the relationships of authors of articles published in Neurosurgery with the National Football League.
Particular controversy surrounded work by Dr. Elliot Pellman, then chair of the NFL’s concussion policy committee, with a series of articles, beginning in 2003, in Neurosurgery, which at the time was edited by Dr. Mike Apuzzo, a consultant for the New York Giants. Dr. Robert Cantu, then a senior editor of the journal, suggested that the sample size of the data would not have warranted publication of a similar article about a subject other than football head injuries. And according to reports, Dr. Pellman revised one of the articles post-peer review and prior to publication, and without consulting co-authors. Did the Congress of Neurological Surgeons publish any subsequent correction or clarification? Was any other action taken?
3. Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz, director of the Sports Research Laboratory at the University of North Carolina, was quoted by ESPN as saying, “The data that hasn’t shown up makes [the NFL doctors’ work] questionable industry-funded research.” What is your response to that allegation?