Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Case of a CIR False Positive

A while back, I'd reported a posting on USENET, which turned out to have a precursor I'd missed. The first one reads:

[quotation omitted]

The lab definitely knows. The actual personnel doing the testing should not know. And I agree that the lab itself should not know.

Anyone here receive a fax results from a WADA accredited lab? If you're so anonymous...then how do they get your name on the cover sheet? It's conceivable that the sport orgs convey identity information after testing, but there's still a time span where the results and the names are in the same lab facility. Also, my testing wasn't for cycling so maybe there are different protocols for transmitting info between UCI and WADA (I'm not going to spend the time to look it up due to a BM).

And the second is:
I've tested positive on the isotope test. Twice. And I didn't dope. On second test, I had to pay out of my own pocket. I'm no longer an athlete (was never even close to being a professional one when I went positive) and the second test was 4 months ago. I can see how people could question the first one. But the more recent one? Like I would need to dope in order to drink beer and surf up internet porn. Use some common sense folks. If doping is one but not the only explanation, then you've got to perform some additional tests and narrow it down and be certain.

In a way, I hope Floyd is guilty. I would truly hate to think that someone who was actually talented and making a living competing clean was tagged due to someone half-assing the test and interpretation. At least I was not talented and it doesn't really affect me ('cept I'm out a good chunk of cash). If I was talented, I would be so pissed that I would most certainly write another paragraph.
I've traded some email with Mr. Prail, and he's agreed to let me share the following from him with some more case details.
I can share what I've shared before which isn't much. Anything else would need to get cleared by my attorney (such as the test results themselves). My wife and I just had our first child so I'm more preoccupied with that than WADA's drug testing.

Although I posted on the bicycle racing group, I'm not a cyclist...equestrian rider (and no, they didn't mistake me for a horse as my friends have suggested). I was tested two nights before competition (4-day event: 2005 FEI World Breeding Championship for Young Horses). I learned both of my results on the A-sample before competition on Thursday and didn't start. The B-sample results were the same.

I won't get into legal mess that followed and continues to follow (not really a mess since it's going much smoother than the UCI-WADA-Landis deal. It's a mess because I don't understand legal stuff). The FEI hasn't treated me like a villian, which is a lot different than the UCI so I'm lucky (or maybe I was too far down the food chain). No sanctions yet so it appears that my attorneys have been doing a decent job.

WADA is a different story and it's not by what they are saying, it's by what they aren't saying. They failed to attend two hearings in Switzerland on the isotope test. No prior notice, they just didn't show up. I would understand if they simply said: "we're not showing up". I wouldn't have liked it, but at least that's straightforward.

I will also say that clearing my name wasn't the primary reason for paying for second test. Curiosity was the first. But it is a curious result! It definitely doesn't make sense now and some may say it doesn't make sense for an equestrian rider anyway. I agree (although we do work out quite a bit...but no reason to dope the rider).

I'm finished with sport and moving on with the next phase of my life: being a good father and adjusting to life in America.

Tom Prail
OK, the case isn't complete, so there's nothing settled. But first, we have a scenario where a guy who appears to have no reason to dope gets his own test and it turns up "positive" again. That suggests there is something going on that is difficult to account for.

Second, we have WADA not showing up for hearings to discuss the testing. There isn't even the claim of infallibility being made in the record.

It seems very curious to me.

I've gone to the FEI website and looked for case details, particularly in the case status table, but haven't found anything. Probably I'm looking in the wrong place.

Here's a few scenarios.
  1. Floyd doped, this is all noise.
  2. His pre/post tests would be CIR negative, making the stage 17 one a fluke and he's getting jobbed.
  3. His pre/post tests, and one he'd take now would be CIR positive, because there is something the test does wrong, as shown with Prail.
It seemed worth getting out for others to poke around. I suggest that people don't flood Mr. Prail with communication -- he's got a life to lead, and would probably prefer this to have gone away.

Mr. Jacobs, this is something you might like to look at.


[updated 22:16]