Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Some details in decision, bad for Landis

We made an Engrish version of the decision, and the continuation of this post discusses some of the points made that seem important to TBV.

The things we've noted so far are negative, because we look for trouble first. I'm kinda out of time to look further. If folks note other points and post comments, we'll try to update later tonight.


Let's begin with the good news. We now have a precedent where clear, admitted violation of the lab standard (SIL/ISL) can be used to invalidate test results and get an athlete off. If there are clear violations in Landis' case that De Ceurriz and Saugy will admit, then it could be a short process.
We're not sure if any of the discrepencies noted so far are of that clarity and level of importance, but it's possible.

On to the troubling stuff. Apologies if this reading seems excessively bleak, but momma taught me to look for cars before crossing the street.

Paragraphs 70-71 say there are duelling experts, De Boer and De Ceurriz, and they'll believe De Ceurriz. None of De Boers's LDP complaints are considered.
70. The Formation notes the existence of a dissension between the experts. While it Dr. Saugy estimates that the file made it possible to identify the implied steroids, Dr. of Boer considers as for him that the elements of which it laid out were insufficient. referees consider that the testimony of Dr. Saugy is plausible and that the demonstration made by Dr. de Boer does not arrive by invalidating its analysis.

71. Consequently, the Formation estimates that Mr Landaluce did not show the existence of a violation of the point of the SIL and which it thus did not arrive to to reverse the presumption according to which the analysis of the LNDD had been carried out in code of practice, such that they result from the point of the SIL.

Paragraph 72-76 dismiss De Boer's arguments about a 0.8 tolerance, and says that is already factored in, and not relevant when it's not a threshold test.
72. Under the point .3 of the SIL: ´The Laboratory will be held to reach, both for the Substances without threshold substances with threshold, Minimal Limit of definite Performance Necessary for detection and identification of the substance or for the demonstration of its presence beyond the tolerated threshold (if necessary)¡.

73. Dr. de Boer estimates that the value of the uncertainty of 0,8 presented by the LNDD would be insufficient and should be 1,35. It states in addition that the fact that an index of uncertainty was given would show that the LNDD would have considered to be in presence of a substance with threshold insofar as uncertainty would be taken into account only for the substances with threshold. Dr. de Boer shows the existence from a variation compared to not .3 of the SIL.

74. Prof de Ceaurriz and Dr. Saugy estimate as for them that this value, used by many laboratories, would be in conformity with the point .3 of the SIL. In its declaration of July 14, 2006, Dr. Saugy considers that it is not a question of a measurement of a substance with threshold but of a method of confirmation based to quantitative measures, of which it goal is to show the qualitative origin of the introduced product.
The UCI makes the point that it is not a question of a substance with threshold insofar as the simple one exogenic presence of testosterone is enough. The isotopic analysis would aim only to to show the exogenic nature of the product, without being concerned with its quantity.

Paragraph 76 seems to be addressing the "Metabolite(s)" question in a way Landis won't like.
76. To the support of its allegation, the UCI refers at the point of the SIL which indicates that:

´In the majority of the cases, the identification of a prohibited substance or metabolite (S) or marker (S) associated is enough so that a result is declared of analysis abnormal. Concept of quantitative uncertainty defined in the ISA/CEI 17025 is thus not applicable here. […]

In the case of the substances with threshold, it is necessary to consider at the same time uncertainty on identification and uncertainty on the demonstration of the presence of the substance with concentration higher than the threshold¡.

Paragraph 78 again says that the panel can't judge the science, so they accept the status quo that it is presumed correct.
78. The Formation notes that there is not on the matter any precise method and that them experts present at the time of the Audience did not agree on a value of uncertainty with to take into account for the isotopic analysis.
79. The Formation estimates that Mr Landaluce did not reverse the presumption according to which the LNDD conformed to the code of practice. Indeed, experts quoted by Mr Landaluce, if they showed their dissension with the method of calculation adopted by the LNDD, therefore did not reverse the presumption according to which analyses conformed to the point .3 of the SIL. The Formation thus estimates that Mr Landaluce did not report the proof of a variation compared to the point .3 SIL.

Paragraph 82-83 again takes De Ceurriz word over De Boer on retention times and spectrographic analysis.
82. In addition, Dr. de Boer indicates to have received on August 29, 2006 a document containing the evaluation of times of retention concerning the identification of the implied steroids in the analysis of the sample B. It observes however that no information him would have been transmitted being the data of spectral mass and identification of steroids implied in the analysis of sample A. Dr. de Boer estimates in consequence which there would be a variation compared to the point of the SIL and with technical documents TD2004EAAS and TD2003IDCR.

83. The Formation notes once again the existence of a divergence of opinion between experts present at the time of the Audience. Dr. Saugy states indeed that information necessary to the identification of these products would have been provided by the LNDD. This analyze which emanates from an expert enjoying a considerable experiment in it field is completely plausible. Consequently, the Formation considers that Mister Landaluce did not reverse the presumption according to which the LNDD would have conformed at the point of the SIL and the document techniques TD2004EAAS and TD2003IDCR.

Paragraph 85-87 does the same thing on delta units:
85. According to Dr. de Boer, this technical document would impose that the values differ from significant manner of three units delta or more. In addition, being a value threshold, the SIL would impose the analysis of three aliquot or, on the assumption that, as with particular, only one case aliquot would be available, triple analyzes this one.

86. Prof de Ceaurriz and Dr. Saugy estimate for their part that a measurement in triplicat of the sample is not necessary and only one such requirement, which would not exist with remaining, would be on the contrary problematic insofar as the volume of urine necessary would not be available. They indicate in addition, that it would not be about one measure with threshold requiring the analysis of several samples.

87. The Formation notes, here also, the existence of a divergence of appreciation between experts and considers that Mr Landaluce did not reverse the presumption according to which the LNDD conformed to technical document TD2004EAAS.

All told, it appears that unless De Ceurriz is willing to recant his position, the panel dismissed any scientific arguments. That is, no scientific argument about the correctness of the test methodology or interpretation is really entertained, and there is no way to impeach a laboratory that won't confess.

The bright side remains that the LNDD seems to have made a lot of the silly mistakes that could be easy enough to use to grant a "acquittal by technicality". The bad news is that the system is paradoxically unable to address substantive scientific questions that would actually get at the truth value of the accusations. Thus, a truly innocent athlete might be better off trying to find the whiteout rather than attempting to actually prove he didn't do anything.



Anonymous said...

So, just out of curiosity, how can one prove his innocence? If you can't dispute the science, you can't bring up past cases, you can't challenge the lab . . . what then? Obviously you can't go back to the day in question and retest. What's a guy to do?

I keep seeing posts on DPF asking Floyd to just tell the truth. Obviously, those saying that believe he's lying so he's damned if he do damned if he don't. But, if he's telling the truth how is he supposed to back it up since he can't seem to use any of the tools one would think you could use? With a unicorn and a pixie? Runes and tea leaves? Fortune telling monkeys?

Anonymous said...

ORG here ...

Reading through your points above, if the CAS rejected every argument and said you cannot argue the science, etc, then why did they throw out the positive test?

If the CAS is going to become a stickler for details, fine, then toss Landis case for the mis-labled samples.

I have to believe they had more doubts than just a procedural error was made.