Friday, September 22, 2006

Now it's a rumble


The ratified recommendation from USADA is in, and it's time to schedule the hearing. The announcement was made by the Landis camp through AFP/VeloNews that the USADA has rejected the requests for dismissal, and has recommended a sanction. press release is here. They are appealing this decision, and repeats the demand for a public hearing. They say that they will present a scientific, fact-based defense to prove his innocence.

The second visible report is in the NY Times, by Juliet Macur, author of last week's Andreu expose. It says pretty much the same thing with more quotes. Jacobs spins saying ADRB decision this way was expected, which doesn't exactly match my recollection of hopes that had been expressed after the filing was made. The article also brings in Lance and the rest of the circus. Lance (a) thinks he's innocent; and (b) hopes he "gets off."

Landis's side probably thinks USADA gave into political pressure from WADA. In retrospect, as Jacobs said, there's an inevitability about this. USADA and WADA would certainly like the the next step to have the burden of proof on Landis, and not on WADA as it would have been if the decision had been for dismissal.

The Landis announcement includes word that Floyd is having his hip surgery on Weds, Sep 27. That would indicate they don't feel the need for him to do full-output bonk testing as part of the defense.

There has been no word directly from USADA, or publication of the actual recommendation that was issued by the Anti-Doping Review Board (ADRB). Not only have they silenced the loudmouths, they have closed the leaks. This could be a life and death struggle for the credibility of the anti-doping leadership. These are folks under siege, now scared of every move they make.

It will be important to see if Landis is able to get results for the other seven tests during the tour, and IRMS CIR values for them if they haven't previously been taken. It would also be very interesting to have part of the remaining B sample tested at another facility, like Lausanne. The question is whether these things will be allowed to happen. The samples are securely held at LNDD, and unless the agencies agree to defense requests, there won't be any more data. This would be a stonewall, and there should be an outcry if it is attempted.

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Amateur said...

Of course the request for dismissal was rejected.

The Code allows the athlete the opportunity to demonstrate that the testing procedures departed from the International Standard. The Landis camp claims that they have proof of that. OK, let's take that at face value.

The Code then puts the burden on the anti-doping agency to prove that said departures did not cause the positive test. They don't get that opportunity unless the case goes ahead.

As I've said all along, the burden of proof placed on Landis here is incredibly high. Any hope for a dismissal was pie-in-the-sky.