Monday, December 11, 2006

Monday Roundup

Not News
Some recent stories have repeated Landis saying if he loses, he'll retire. This isn't new news, because he first said it on August 8th.


Part 2 of Michael Hiltzik's excellent LAT series on WADA and USADA today discusses arbitration, and how athletes see the process as essentially futile.....

Arbitrators, theoretically neutral judges, are bound by rules drafted and enforced by the World Anti-Doping Agency and its affiliates, including the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. They have almost no discretion to adjust penalties to fit individual circumstances.

Pez runs down the weekend Evening Standard interview under the headline "Landis the Realist", and is incredulous about Basso's gibbering.

CyclingNews also goes over the same interview; later CN talks about Rory Sutherland, who gave up a fight thinking it hopeless, and he's only 23.

Reuters talks about doping scandals affecting sports in a year end review.

Outside Mag columnist John Bradley is ready to give up on pro cycling, unless Landis wins.

Dugard talks extensively about LAT and Landis, sensing a wave of justifiable paranoia and despair.

Rant is happy the someone (LAT) in the MSM finally gets it.

Vistaview think the LAT is another apologist for dopers, along with ESPN and Bud Selig.

VeloGal runs with the LAT story.

VeloChimp thinks the Grinch has stolen cycling's Christmas.

BadScience talks about predictive values of tests and false positives. It's in the context of HIV testing, but still relevant. It talks about the "sensitivity" and "specificity" that Duckstrap and Tom Fine have been flogging in DPF discussions. The comments are well worth pawing through as well -- someone checks the math with a spreadsheet.

Canadian Neatesager dumps on US sports for the year, and says Landis may have cheated.

Kent complains about the disparity between Merriman and Landis's treatment.

Racejunkie reviews a whole bunch of cycling doping news, particularly Landis's seeming turn of mood because of expense.

Continuing DPF thread about LAT series also contains a pointer to an article about doping in cross-country skiing, with discussion of Hamilton and how the case was pushed through.



Anonymous said...

Floyd's in trouble. After reading the two LA Times article, it's apparent that he can't/won't be able to fully defend himself based on the existing rules.

The only thing that will save Floyd is if the UCI decides to abandon the WADA charter and consider itself a professional organization not tied to the IOC.

At least then the Olympics could go back to amatuer atheletic events which is what the Olympics should be about.

Anonymous said...

ORG here ...

Yes but Floyd is doing it the right way. instead of asking for mercy, or explaining the innocent ways it got into his body, he's attempting to build a case of lab error.



Did I read once that the arbitrators in Landis' case will be an American and two Canadians? The article says a potential Candian arbritrator is none other than Dick Pound hinself. You don't think that the USADA arbritator, or the neutral arbritator is Pound????

Anonymous said...

mwbyrd here:

It's appalling that the arbitrators admit in writing that several athletes unknowingly had banned substances in their system. Hell, Zach Lund even listed the hair restoration drug he was taking for 5 years, yet was still suspended because the rules state that he 'HAD' to be.

This just proves the fact that WADA doesn't exist to protect the athletes. The only positive that can come from Floyd going public is that WADA's reputation is tarnished and stop getting support from athletic organizations.

People can say what they want about TH, but if he had gone public with the information against him, I'm sure we'd be saying the same things about his case as we are Floyd. Especially when you read the latest article posted on TH's site. Even documented experts are saying that the test used against TH wasn't sufficientlly tested and approved by the scientific community.

The WHOLE system sucks from the athlete's point of view.

Anonymous said...

As the article said, of the 40 cases USADA brought, only three times has their been a dissent. One was TH.

Anonymous said...

Dick an arbitrator! Well, that would only make sense. He has always presented himself as judge, Jury and Executioner. the fact that he is registered as an arbitrator highlight how screwed up the system is.

Talk about a Kangaroo Court system. I didn't have much faith in the anti-doping system before the Landis case. It is confirmed, now I have no faith in the WADA system.

Ultimate Dick, when you cant win at an Olympic sport, create a new one call it WADA and set the rules where only you can win.


scifitwin said...

Surely there must be a balance between being an apologist and wishing for parity between the authorities and the athletes. Why must it be a situation, as it seems to be for some posters and bloggers, where one is either against doping or not against doping? If you believe the accused, you are bad. If you believe that this pathetic attempt to draw the rules in black and white, you are an apologist. Should I start leveling the accusation of people being WADA or UCI apologists?

I doubt any of us who are willing to give Floyd the benefit of the doubt in this situation and are becoming increasingly skeptical of the system are doping apologists. I don’t want doping in the sport I love. But I also don’t want my enjoyment of the sport to be the result of the grinding up of innocent, circumstantial or accidental dopers. Nor do I want my enjoyment of the sport to be the result of drug-fueled super-human investment bankers. I think we need a better system than the Orwellian joke that currently governs sport. Doping can only be combated as a systemic issue, not an individual infraction. And to destroy careers based on the slimmest of evidence, or in some of the cases accidents, you have to wonder what these governing bodies really think they are accomplishing. It surely doesn't benefit the respective sports represented in the LAT article. It seems ridiculous that no one has stood up and said, "Hey, the manufacturer contaminated the vitamins. How is he responsible for that?"

Cheryl from Maryland said...

Oh man, at first my opinion regarding the LA Times article, was great, lack of fair play on all sides gets highlighted. But at the end, I feel helpless. I don't see any way out of this awful hole. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel better and write a letter to Senator John McCain.

Anonymous said...

ORG Here ....

Scifi - Excellent post!

I agree it must be addressed at the systemic level and not nailing athletes.

How about penalizing race organizers for have dopers? How about letting athletes get reduced sentences if the "turn in" their doctors and suppliers.

SciFiTwin said...

I wrote a brilliant response to this involving sponsors, doping, Patrick Lefevre, Johan Museeuw and Skoda, but I did something stupid and lost it.

Sad, because it was brilliant. Nobel Peace Prize winning brilliant. Or at least worth a six pack of Fat Tire Ale.