Thursday, November 23, 2006

Strategy on a platter

In a post Tuesday on DPF, Will Geohegan, Landis' manager, said quite a bit about strategy for their side. Here is the meat...


I want everyone to realize that despite our BEST efforts to explain this situation we absolutely have to hold back the most serious arguments so as not to tip our hand to the adversary. In this case, to us, winning is finding truth. Illustrating the truth requires a base level of fair play and adherence to the rules. Our adversary is playing this to win in spite of the truth. To this point, we've seen the simplest give-and-take turn into drawn out game of stalling and delays. Where does the truth lie? Within the LNDD, within the aliquots and data. Will we get these? Not if USADA has anything to say about it.

As FL said this is a war. It is ugly business but necessary. This mentality may strike some as severe. Tough. They picked this fight, coated Floyd with steak sauce and tossed him to the wolves. This is an “all in” fight. Make no mistake this is effectively a two-sided confrontation, despite how many official parties take part. There are those who support us (some may come to surprise you) and those who oppose, despite their reasons. On that side of the line, they are all targets, with priorities and values assigned to each asset. When it serves a purpose, they will be targeted and a strike will be exacted. Ugly business.

As for picking on WADA, there is no other option. Mr. Pound exposed his own personal prejudice in his OpEd piece back in August, before a LDP even existed. "Come clean doper" he said. This is the leader of the fight. Jumping the gun and false starting in the most critical case to date. He, in the end, is responsible for the success of his agency, where the buck stops. If we are to trust his decision and guidance, he must act as if he has control of his emotions, control of his decisions to pre-judge (publicly) and utilize the process in place to ensure "fair play" and "harmonization" as the WADA code opens to state. He has embodied the contrary of this in his statements, actions and public position. Please note his movement form "come clean doper" to "we're just a monitoring agency"...draw your own conclusion that this occurred once we posted the info online. The sh*t rolls uphill to WADA, make no mistake.

I ask those who care to be patient. This is nowhere near finished. There are two sides. Those who prefer to stay in the DMZ, fair enough, just keep in mind we are working to convince you that Floyd has been wronged in the most severe way. It is not always going to be a cordial “gentlemen’s” disagreement. If you get no answer perhaps that is just because it can't be exposed just yet. Patience. I encourage you all to take a nice breather during this holiday week and then throw a fresh set of eyes on Arnie's ppt. Take another look through some of the forum sections relating to the science. Check the un-resolved areas and speculate and hypothesize as to what the "Hard" defenses will be.

TBV's sense of this distills to the following bullet points.
  • Landis' defense is not showing all of its cards at this time.
  • Be patient.
  • This is not a nice battle. It is ugly, and will stay that way, because the stakes are high.
  • WADA is the top of the pile, and must be held accountable.
  • There are more answers in the LDP to be found among open discussions in the DPF science threads.
None of this seems particularly surprising to us. What is surprising is that the Landis camp has said it straight out. Or maybe not -- there's been a method of directness to their madness since about mid-August, in keeping with, "Grab a Coke, 'cause we're leaving on the first hill if you want to come."

It's either going to work, or be a spectacular failure. Like attacking early on that stage to Morzine.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, TbV, it leaves us sort of in the position your picture of the strategy platter does: I see carrots, potatoes, and greens on it, but I don't see the promised meat. So with Will's post: the meat is that you don't get to see the meat. Well, it's what makes the puzzle fun. I just hope there is some real meat there. Your comment to the Variability thread (responding to ORG) about the person whose sample was left unrefrigerated for days suggests that the bar for meaty arguments is going to be set very high indeed.


Anonymous said...

If it's a failure it may be a very dark moment for American cycling. If Floyd is guilty he's doing the cycling community a great disservice by declaring marching orders that won't be discarded when the fighting's over. Yes, it's important to strengthen the anti-doping process, but it's also important not to demonize a very worthwhile fight in the fans of this country. That would be selfish and unfortunate.

Timothy said...

It seems that Mr. Pound has not merely, as Will states, "exposed his own personal prejudice," he is profiting from it.

Prosecuting the winner of the one of the biggest sports events in the world will certainly elevate the stature and sales of the author. Indeed, the inside flap of the book shamelessly exploits his role with WADA: "Pound is the authority in the world on doping in sports." The timing of the release of this book (September 29, 2006) at the height of visibility of the current scandal must have delighted Mr. Pound's agent and publisher. To an objective observer, the coincidence is decidedly suspicious.

It may be that all proceeds from this book are being donated to some worthy charity. If so, then Mr. Pound may indeed be motivated by WADA's lofty goals of "health, fairness, and equality." If not, then Mr. Pound has created an intolerable conflict of interest between his role as author and his role as head of WADA.

One's mind also boggles to imagine the impartiality and integrity of the institution of WADA tolerating this conflict.

Anonymous said...

ORG here ...


This thread got me thinking about something. I’ll say it in the form of a statement and let you tell me where you agree and where I'm wrong ....

The “best argument” the Landis camp has is the longitudinal data. Landis' camp clandestinely got this data. We know all these tests were negative. However, what it also shows is many of these negative results are similar to the positive test on stage 17. In other words, these negative tests were scientifically no different than the positive test. This would bolster the idea that the positive test has a great deal of subjectivity in it.

Or better, maybe one of tests was considered contaminated somewhere between 5.00% and 7.70%. Or maybe, they tossed out a test with a TE ratio of smaller variability. If true, this would destroy any argument USADA could use in defending this positive test.

The problem is they cannot use it unless/until they get it through proper channels.

I know this is pure conjecture and as such anything I said is possible. Given that, what is your “sense” about what this data holds and why USADA does not want to give it to Landis. In other words, you buying or selling this idea?

DBrower said...


Let's say Landis has the other data, but can't use it without official release.

Does this tell us anything about the contents? I'm not sure. We can certainly assume they aren't over 4.0, but beyond that, it's just speculation.

If it was a bunch of 3.8s, then it would be useful to his defense, I'd think, at least on the TE violation.

If it was a bunch of 2.0s, or 1.0s, it would be less help to the defense, because it would argue for a TE violation as alleged -- except for your scenario where they reveal something else that would be of help to Landis.

As it stands now, I don't think the TE case can be made without the other results, and all hangs on the CIR. If the CIR looks in danger, then you might think the results will appear as part of bolstering that case if they do bolster the TE case.

Or, if the panel orders their production anyway.

So I don't know what to make of any of it. I guess to answer your question, I'm a window shopper.