Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday Roundup

Letters to contain four more comments about the LNDD, none positive.

Stepping up on the soap box, we don't like people identifying the LNDD as the "French anti-doping lab". We try to avoid calling it that, because we don't like confusing this particular lab with xenophobia about the French. It's not that "French lab" is wrong, it's that it is used and read at times to imply some "French conspiracy" or "French incompetence" which is not helpful to the discussion. It's best not to make the generalization, because it raises hackles that ought to be left smoothed down. If forced to avoid saying "LNDD" because that assumes certain knowledge, it seems best to say "the Landis Lab" or "the Lab in the Landis case". It's true that saying "French" is more specific, but it has become a codeword that carries inappropriate connotation, and should therefore be avoided. Thanks, we'll be here all week.

The Canadian National Press inflates Mr. Pound's ego by crediting him with, "Saying all the right things." I had to clean my monitor off from what happened when I read that.

Over at the wasteland that is Topix, pit bulls continue making arguments that Landis is guilty of another offense, taking an illegal IV after stage 16. I have made the counter-argument that if the UCI and USADA thought this was a viable charge, he would have been hit with it by now. This has been met with the retort, "wait and see."

This suggests that an "October surprise" from USADA would be a new charge of a non-analytical violation because of the IV. It's hard to say how plausible this would be. IVs are widely used in the evenings, and the prohibition exists to avoid morning IVs that bring the hematocrit down for the "vampire" tests. Trying to charge Landis over an IV at night would open a large can of worms. Doing it in a way that would be fair would probably involve charging every top 20 finisher of a grant tour in the last 20 years. Trying to spring it on Landis would be a pretty desperate move. It would be an indication the initial case was failing, or an attempt to bleed Landis by making him defend another front.

It would be great if journalists would ask ask some pointed questions about IV use to people at the UCI, USA Cycling, USADA, and WADA when the opportunity arises.

  • Has anyone in cycling ever been charged for post-race use of an IV?
  • If so, who and when?
  • Is post-race use of IVs in Grand Tours widely done?
  • Would the UCI refer or support a case involving post-race use of an IV?
TBV tries to distill the best case for the Landis defense made by Duckstrap at DPF.

Smithers argues the handwriting-of-the-sample-numbers arguments is a loser, with pictures. He also relates new ProCycling article quoting SIAB's Audren as promoting the long term doping theory, with botched masking epitestosterone on S17.
JaredRoy picks Smithers up.

Has any reader got the print ProCycling with the article they could summarize for us?

Access to the longitudinal data would enlighten this discussion, but it's been rejected, even though USADA has it. Posters at Topix have been flogging this theory, but it's all moot if Landis can convince people the results are negative. It's been my "most sensible" doping scenario for a long time.

Team-Swap thinks Landis would have come in 4th but for Puerto.

Neal@Road says Landis is a good interview, but Zabriskie is gold.

The Wikipedia has standards, don't cha know, and "Wikipedia Defense" doesn't meet them, meaning no article about it. So there. I guess Colbert would have to use the term to make it qualify. [courtesy TAF]



Theresa said...

I'm glad you talked about separating the "French" connection from the lab. At the beginning of this, over on VeloNews forum, that's what it turned into, French-bashing. Not only unfair, but wrong. But emotions were ruling the posts and discussions most of the time then! I'm hoping we've gained some perspective since then.

marc said...

Smithers picks the weakest example of sample labeling in the slide show to shoot down. I wish AB had not used that example either. What looks initially like a 6 is indeed easily resolvable into a 4.

But there are other, more problematic labeling/tracking number instances, some mentioned in the slide show, some not (though they have been mentioned here on TbV). Smithers is silent about these.


Anonymous said...

As a temporary refuge from Topix, I can confirm that it is totally out of control. Some people may see this as a bad thing but I crave the freedom to abuse those who disagee with me. It's sort of a prize fighting environment, with one particularly punch drunk anti-Landis contributer.

Feel free to wade in and throw a few blows !