Saturday, September 09, 2006

Questions for Monday

For those who want to track how the defense is doing, here are some questions that we'd probably all like to have answered on Monday. You might compare an old TBV post, "What I'd Want" against this list to see if I'm being shifty.

Floyd needs to win the case in a way that regains his stature in public opinion. Legally smart things can be PR bad. If he wins on a 'technicality', the defense still needs to put up a solid argument that could have been won on 'substance' had it gotten to that point. A clear sentiment on all the forums I've visited is that a victory on a 'technicality' will not clear his reputation if people think he doped anyway. To really win, he needs to take care of that perception.

The Filing

  1. Did they actually make the filing?
  2. Is the filing available to read in its entirety?
  3. Is there an accurate summary of the filing available?
  4. Is the filing full of conspiracy/agenda related smoke (points deduction)?
  5. If there are chain of custody complaints, are they really substantive? eg: Do they make us think it likely the wrong sample got tested, or was tampered with? Did the ID numbers of the tested sample match the doping control form when all is said and done, ignoring the stuff in the middle?
  6. If there are T/E test complaints, do they seem likely to have resulted in errors in the results? Are the complaints explained in terms of how they change the results?
  7. If there are problems with the CIR tests, would they really have changed the results? Are the complaints explained in terms of how they change the results?
Supporting Documents
  1. Is the full 370 page lab report available for examination?
  2. Is there a roadmap to the lab report available?
  3. Are the original AAF forms available for examination?
Substantive Questions
  1. Have any of Landis's other samples from the tour been tested?
  2. Are those results available?
  3. Has Landis done any tests since the tour?
  4. If so, are those results available?
Public Relations
  1. How many spokespeople are there? Are they confused, or all on message?
  2. Is Floyd doing another round of appearances and interviews?
  3. Does he talk about conspiracy and agendas (deduction)?
  4. Does he offer theoretical explanations not in the filing (deduction)?
  5. Does he say "Like I said before..." (deduction)?
  6. Does he say "at this point in time" (deduction)?
  7. Does he talk about his dog (deduction)?
  8. Does he get into cross-network pissing matches about exclusivity (deduction)?
  9. Does he bring anyone with him to TV interviews? Do they help the presentation?
  10. Does he do hardball interviews, or only softies?
  11. Does TBV get plugged (bonus points)?
  12. In sum, does it seem honest and transparent, or does it look like something is being hidden?
Likely or Tricky Questions
  1. If anyone asks, "did you do it?", does he give a straight answer?
  2. If other accused athletes are raised, how does he handle it? Is he evasive?
  3. If asked, "how dirty is cycling", is he evasive?
  4. If asked, "If you thought another rider, Fred Farkle, was doping, what would you do?", does he have a good answer?
  5. If asked what he can do to clear his name and reputation, does he have a good answer?
  6. If asked how much the defense costs, does he have an answer?
  7. If asked how much the charges have cost him in income, does he have an answer?
  8. If asked what team he will be with next year, does he have a good answer?
  9. If asked if he can retire now, does he have an answer?
  10. If asked, "are the French out to get you", how good is the answer? Does he piss off the whole French nation, or just the director of the LNDD?
  11. If asked about Lemond, does he have a gracious answer?
  12. If asked about WADA and Dick Pound, does he have a gracious answer? Deduct for grenade throwing.
  13. If asked about help from Lance, does he have a good answer?
  14. If asked about the media coverage, does he throw grenades or act graciously?
  15. When is he going to do his hip?
  16. Does he plug TBV (triple bonus points)?
Everyone has had the same problems with his interviews. Sometimes he parses a question too carefully, and gives an answer with too much nuance and not enough straight message. He should have learned his lessons about speculating and thinking out loud. The less conspiracy talk he does, the more reasoned he sounds.

To his credit, he's always been gracious to the media and to his team, and has never come off as an arrogant prick trying to bluster his way through. I think a lot of folks would like to believe him, and would like him given half a chance.