Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tuesday Roundup

News
WADA Press Conference Call on Sep 14, 11AM ET/8AM PT. Think they'll be asked about Jones, Floyd, and have some spin prepared?

AFP Chimes in with detailed, longer piece on The Filing, including this nice bullet list:

- Three of four testosterone metabolite differentials tested in his sample were negative considering the margin of error while WADA protocol requires all such differentials show clear evidence of testosterone to have a positive.

- the lone testosterone metabolite that could be seen as a positive resulted from an unknown laboratory error and is not the result of testosterone usage.

- the metabolite that WADA-accredited labs declare is the best, longest-term indicator of improper testosterone usage was negative in Landis urine samples.

Bikebiz.UK says "It Woz the Lab, Guv", quotes TBV, piles on with a roundup of complaints about the LNDD.
Procycling covers, but adds nothing; ditto Auntie Beeb.
UPI picks up Bikebiz, what's wid dat?
Reported in Germany, with fun machine translation.

USAToday sport blog touches on it; new (to me) site to watch.

Other News

Andreu told story because Lance got him fired from Toyota United after he testified unwillingly, and it leaked. I still don't understand the timing.
Sports Illustrated talks Armstrong, tars everyone including Floyd with Voet brush.

Catlin Says, "No problem here! Move along!" on EPO test.

Emailer passes on:
BBC discusses Marion Jones' case with a fair # of quotes from scientists about the tests (including an audio interview of Mr. Jacobs) and has a slideshow!! of a male athlete taking a urine test.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/athletics/5325262.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/athletics/5334286.stm
Blogs

Comments open at FloydLandis.com, but subject to lengthy moderation delays; 40+ posted as of 1:00PT. There are some slams, so the the moderation is open minded. Have at it.

Dugard starting to think Floyd may have a case.
Vaughters, Postal '99, talks about Testosterone and Floyd at PelotonJim.
New blogger resonates with the story.
I work with labs, and this is messed up, says blogger.
Blogger boasts he is BLISSFULLY incoherent, but TBV is a hypocrite.
Does it matter if Floyd is guilty? ponders blogger.
Gibbie says wait and see, plugs TBV.
Phantom Reflections says looks like frameup, plugs TBV

Pay attention to some of the Comments to this Post, when the distinctions between Hamilton's defense and what appears to be happening with Landis are explored.

Forums
Daily Peloton forums take wait and see, compare unfavorably to Hamilton defense; also long chew over Andreu.

FloydLandisFans.com is a forum new to me where there aren't many folks shouting GUILTY!

[update 14:53]

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am surpirsed that very few people are to be commending Andreu for admitting to EPO use.

Anonymous said...

On the post the compares Landis' defense to Hamilton's defense, there does seem to be a key difference. From what I can tell, the Hamilton defense seemed to be largely against the reliability of the HBT test, and how LNDD conducted it. These criticisms were not specific to the handling of Hamilton's sample, from what I can tell. The Landis defense seem to be more about the specifics for his sample, including inconsistent results and serious questions regarding whose sample was tested. Arguing against a test is going to be fundamentally more difficult than arguing that the results from a particular test do not meet certain guidelines. If, in fact, the CIR tests are as inconsistent as stated, then they cannot be used for guilt. That leaves the T/E test, and those appear to be inconsistent as well. Of course, we only have a lawyer's comment on these scientific documents. Having a scientist's comments on the test would be much more conclusive.

Anonymous said...

Just a bit of clarification on my comments above. Hamiton defense: the HTB test is unreliable as a whole, especially when conducted by French labratories, thus you cannot trust the results from any results from HTB tests.

Landis defense: The results from Landis' CIR test are inconsistent, thus they do not meet WADA standards for guilt. Additionally, there are issues of inconsitency with his T/E ratio tests between the A and B samples.

Both do make general comments about the labs history, but in Landis' case, these are used to back up the apparent evidence of mishandling of Landis' sample.

To accept the Hamilton defense, all past postive HTB tests would have to be thrown out, at least those form the French lab. To accept Landis' defense, only his AAF needs to be tossed out.

trust_but_verify@browernet.us said...

Anon One: I haven't had all that many comments even about Landis, so I'm not surprised about Andreu not getting much attention. There are other places more likely to want to thrash is out -- check some of the links in roundups under 'forums'.

Anon Two: I agree the distinctions you make are important. From a legal point of view, it is exceptionally important. If the facts are there to back them up, Landis could be in good shape.

My fear is that a lot of prejudiced yobs won't see the difference, and will conclude that this is just a 'technicality' defense and he really is a dirty doper like all the rest. Dealing with that problem is why I've been advocating transparency and getting the case out even when it may not be the best legal strategy.

TBV

Anonymous said...

Even though I am probably spending too much time looking into this affair, I actually do think that this affair should stay out of the court of public opinion until it is decided by USADA or the sporting court of arbitration if it goes that far. The legal arguments are easily criticized for being only that. However, these legal defenses are based on scientific knowledge that tests are fallible, and that people are wrongly accused for reasons ranging from simple error to out right sabotage.

In the end, his defense team will hold cards to their chest, as they should. There job is to defend him the best they can, and if that means looking like they are playing legal strategies, then so be it.

Now, if he is exonerated, he will have to deal with the court of public opinion. After all, paychecks from sponsorhip deals require a good public image. If he does not release the documents then, I'll be suspect that he got off on a technicality not on the basis of his innocence. Until then, I fully support his ability to make an argument based on technicality. And even if that is the case, hopefully the labs and sporting organizations will get their act together. You don't fight cheating with sloppy work.

Anonymous said...

Comments have been posted on www.floydlandis.com!

Anonymous said...

I've been following the technical details of this case closely (I'm a cycling fan and a chemist,what a combination!)but I'm confused by part of the Filing:

Summary states that 4 T metabolites were tested in the CIR test:

- 3 were "negative considering the margin of error" (I interpret this as "positive values close to the decision point and we're going to argue about statistics".)

- 1 that "could be seen as positive resulted from an unknown laboratory error". (I interpret this a bit cynically as "we admit this one looks bad, so we'll put in a placeholder and figure out how to discredit it later")

- 1, "the best, longest-term indicator..." was negative.

Wait a minute, folks - that's 5 results! Or was the negative result referred to from some other test (maybe the A sample?).

I hope we eventually get to see the full report - trying to figure out any real facts from these snippets is hopeless.

trust_but_verify@browernet.us said...

Hey, anon 4:07, thanks, that is a very useful critique. I hope we can get folks like you the documents that will enable a more meaningful analysis.

BTW, I don't think chemists and cycling are an odd combo - a little geeky, and no advantage to being 6-2 and 230 lbs.

TBV

Anonymous said...

As I said, the court of public opinion is a difficult one. And obviously I'm involved in it if I am commenting here.

I think that the reference to the best long term indicator, I took that as to read that of the three that were not positive, one of them was one that used the best long term indicator.

The margin of error comment is suspect. I assume that the threshold takes into account standard errors of measurement for the test. I have not heard that they take into account a standard error in measurement for single results. If that is the case, that would simply be the the threshold.

However, I think that this is a lawyer trying to speak in terms he is not trained in. He says margin of error. Margin of error applies to parameter esitmates from samples, not to single values. Public support for president is 40 +- 3, with 3 being the margin of error, meaning that the true support is probably between 37 and 43. A test can have a standard error of measurement. Thus, a student gets an 80 on a test with a standard error of measurement 3, meaning that the true performance for that student is anywhere between 77 and 80. These examles may seem the same, but when using a SEM, testers would include them in a threshold, since they are constant to the test. Thus, if the CIR threshold is 3, as has been reported, then the value was probably a value that was agreed to be one that indicates synthetic T plus the SEM for the test. You do not simply subtract the SEM from the results and say that you are not guilty.

But again, part of this is that the releases are poorly written, and we ony have part of the information. Which drives me nuts for over analyzing this situation. LET IT END SOON, so I can find something elese to waste my time on.