I get a lesson in search engine algorithms from this experience too. It turns out that the 18,000 results listed in Google for a search of this study's title is an estimate based on key words. The actual number of places this study shows up online is probably closer to 400. That correction aside, the study is ubiquitous and the fake injury data from it is presented as fact in virtually every current CrossFit story in the media.
This brings up what is probably the most troubling aspect of this case to me. When Devor finished his interview with me, he was unable to answer basic questions about the origin of his data, and asked me for the time to speak with Michael Smith, who he assured me would have good answers. Three days later I received a formal email stating that neither of these men would communicate with me further. I interpreted this as "we've been caught." If this was truly just an accident in recording data, wouldn't the correct course of action at this point be a retraction, or at least laying low and avoiding attention to the bad data? That's not what happened. Devor spoke with numerous mainstream publications, and defended his work as fact in each (including the 16% number).
In other words, Devor appears to have known his study included fabricated data, and supported it anyway. Why? I believe Devor's interest in preserving the appearance of his study as accurate was about propelling his career. I think he so enjoyed the notoriety and exposure he received (and still receives) from this study that he was willing to maintain a lie to continue to receive these benefits, even if it meant doing so on the back of a small business owner.