In e-mail yesterday, a ferret sent some images that appear to be of lab documentation, along with a taunt to see if I could figure out what they meant. There are three scans, the first of which is a nearly illegible full page. The second two are better blowups of parts of the page. You can click on them to get them full size. [more]
[includes corrections by readers]
What do we have? The top left of image 1 appears to indicate that this is a document from LNDD in the sport Cyclisme, dated 20-July-2006, and if you look close, it says TDF ... Morzine.
The second image is a table that appears to hold the results of some tests for three samples, numbered 994178, 994179, and 995474. The testing protocol is for the stage winner, the yellow jersey and a random to have been sampled. That would be Landis, Peirero, and someone else. My transcription of image 2 is:
No 994178 994179 995474 Sexe M M M Filtrat(F) volume 95 85 65 ph-bande 5 7 5 d-refract 1.030 1.018 1.026 ES06-m x x x ES02-Eph X X X ES02-bba x? 2709 x x ES04-H x x x circled Tg/Etg 0.1 10 or 1.0? 4.9 ES050-MS2 x circled x circled x circled ES02B-LCH x x x ES08B-PS x circled x x circled ES08-HES x x ES107-Epo x x x
Things that seem interesting about this table: Why are some entries circled, and some not? What is the "2709" and heavy writing in the '178/bba cell about?
The three values that appear to be T/E are odd. One is 0.1, with is 1:10 an odd way; one is either 1.0 or 10.0, it's hard to tell it there's a decimal place there. In other places, there is a very clear euro-style "," used as the decimal point, but here it is either missing making it a 10 or runs into the 'x' of the cell below. The last T/E is reported as 4.9. Are these the T/E values of the current test, or previous reported values? If they are previous, how are they matched to riders if it is supposed to be confidential at this point?
Why is there no HES value for the '179 sample?
The third image appears to be a set of findings from the bottom of the first image, and seems to say the following.
995474 T/E (dc) = 11.4 28 circled.One thing this indicates is that I can't read French, or french handwriting, so anyone with better eyes, please mail or post corrections.
presence de Prohibituer de derivahnon
994179 / Triamcinolone Acetonide interference?
995474 - Cefeine (dc) en attente surveillance AMA.
996179 - Morphine less than seuil
B accouples 28/7/6 a 15h45 par: V8
Second, that '474 appears to have been flagged on a T/E of 11.4. Let's assume this is Landis, so that means '178 and '179 are Peirero and some other rider.
Third, that '474 seems to be under surveillance for caffeine. This should probably be considered an official UCI/WADA endorsement of the efficacy of Peet's Coffee.
Fourth, that '178 and '179 were not tested for something because of interference of some kind, but there are no indications of a test in the table that were not done for them but were done for '474.
Fifth, '179 appears to have contained morphine, at a level less than seuil, a relatively high pH value of 7, and a low d-refracte of 1.018. Comments below say that seuil is a 'threshold' value, described in this WADA doc. Is morphine of any use to any cyclist? Was this reported as an AAF? Did anyone have a TUE for morphine? Is the lab contaminated with morphine somewhere? Is this a poppy seed bagel opiate reading? What is going on here?
Sixth, what are the (dc) markings -- are they attribution to lab director De Ceaurriz, whose initials are "DC"? Is this his handwriting? Why would he be involved in preparing these forms?
Finally, if the T/E in the tables are previous values, then Landis had a 4.9 in a previous test, and changed to an 11.4. Going from 4.9 to 11.4 is a little over a 2X change, which doesn't seem huge to me. Why wasn't the 4.9 reported as an AAF before, with the limit currently being 4.0? If the '179 previous value was 10.0, why wasn't it reported as an AAF? It these aren't previous values, how did 4.9 become 11.4 when copied from one section of the form to another by the enigmatic (dc)?
Mr. Ferret, that's all I can get out of it. Everyone else, please send corrections and alternate interpretations, and I'll update this post.
September 07: Hearing Award
October 07: Hue's Hearing Appraisal
November 07: Major document Release
January 08: Larry's Curb Your Anticipation
Saturday, September 30, 2006
In e-mail yesterday, a ferret sent some images that appear to be of lab documentation, along with a taunt to see if I could figure out what they meant. There are three scans, the first of which is a nearly illegible full page. The second two are better blowups of parts of the page. You can click on them to get them full size. [more]
Interview w/pics at USAToday. Floyd says his hip was getting worse, fast. [from emailer Paula]
Floyd goes walkering, Kay goes riding, in picture from AP via Yahoo. Also in front of his stuffed lions. That's a big scar. Hincapie has nothing on Floyd anymore. [tip of the hat to emailer Paula]
Seeing the 'F' shirt and those lions, I'm reminded of Super Chicken's assistant: You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Floyd. This reference will go right past him, having been deprived of high culture and 479 channels of reruns as a child. TBV clearly mis-spent his youth.
Testosterone effects debated by Scientists; Operating on USADA time, StLouis today publishes an NYT feature dated 2-Oct-2006, as we write on Sept. 30. UCLA's Catlin among others is quoted, and there is an anchor in the Landis case.
Interview with Mr. Pound at MedScape.com, managing to sound like they are on it and the science and practice of testing is well founded. He drags in Landis as an example without pronouncing guilt, while implying nothing could possibly have gone wrong in the tests. They were double-checked and cross-checked after all. Medscape wants him to say they can catch everyone, but he is coy about that, only saying they are getting better. Warns against side effects of "designer" drugs.
Velochimp talks about Floyd's re-emergence into the public eye.
Friday, September 29, 2006
CyclingNews gets to the surgery
CyclingPost says Floyd is still the big headline of the month on their site.
New farthest report, IndiaENews carries Xinhua coverage.
Sports Blog notes the surgery, and runs down the default perception that he's one of many American drug cheats, denying, denying, denying.
PJ talks about the choice of hip prosthesis.
Daily Peloton Forum brings up cyclist Barry Forde, cleared by the Barbados Federation, but recently nailed by CAS on unchallenged results of an LNDD IRMS test. Starts at about article #24. Readings by Forum participants suggest pessimism for Floyd. We'd previously mentioned Forde on TBV here as an open case, so this is a new decision.
The CAS decision, dated 11-Sep-2006, goes against Forde.
On samples from 24-Nov-2005, he was T/E 8:1 and IRMS positive on the A sample. He received full A sample doc before the B was opened, and his attorney was present for the B. Section I.11 notes the attorney present, "did not make any comment on the course of the analysis", as if that may be considered significant. The Federation cleared him on grounds of medical treatment and blood tests on February 10, 14, 16, and 17 that showed abnormalities. (This would be a longitudinal study).
The UCI appealed, saying there was an exogenous rule violation shown by IRMS and the Federation erred in clearing Forde. The CAS summarizes part of the filing as, "The IRMS analysis in that respect is fully reliable."
The defense filing to CAS contains a lot of garbage, as well as an assertion summarized by CAS in the decision as, "the IRMS analysis is not a reliable methos to establish the exogenous origin of a banned substance. According to the scientific literature, the IRMS analysis is a very complexmethod, which has proven to be faulty. Further investigations should have been conducted, which was not the case."
At the hearing, dismissed the T/E variability and declared that the presence of exogenous testosterone was the main issue of the case. If so, further testing (the longitudinal study) is not required. In decision on the merits, the CAS discarded a complaint that UCI didn't translate the lab report from French to English for them.
The CAS accepted that LNDD is accredited and presumed competent. Forde's expert, Dr. Werner Wilhelm Franke confirmed IRMS is reliable when done properly by reliable people, but had no opinion about the lab report or the consistency of the reports as filed. He neither approved nor questioned the results. Forde made no arguments LNDD did anything specifically wrong, only made reference to the literature that said it was very complex. The CAS decided the defense had not made a case sufficient to shift the burden back.
The LNDD had found A and B samples two metabolites of exgenous origin, 5 alpha-androstanediol and 5 beta-androstanediol, and CAS agreed. Doping offense. Guilty. Cooler, 2 years.
The case seems pretty different to me from Landis in a number of ways, based on what we've heard of the defense:
If the defense assertions are true, the Landis case is quite distinguishable from Forde, so the Forde precedent will not be much of a hurdle, I don't think, but there are some bumps. The argument that all metabolites tested must be positive may not fly, and there appears to be at least one metabolite that appears to be positive in the reported results. To completely succeed, the defense must either show it was wrong by lab error, or win the "all four must be positive" argument about the applicable law. The point about one of the negatives containing obvious errors is to invalidate the whole batch of tests, including the one that was positive.
We still don't know the measured results from LNDD or what metabolites were involved in the Landis tests. Someday they will come to light.
It's been two months for TBV today and time for another monthly review. Below, some mixed fact, interpretation, and opinion. You decide which is which! [more]
In addition, there are a few curious items I've been tracking.
TBV has only this to say about UCI rethink and ProTour "ethics" changes. They allow various parties to be Seen to be Doing Something. The sanctions are too harsh, making them difficult to impose, and likely to be ineffective and counter-productive. Complete team bans are absurd. It would be more effective for a team to lose an entry slot for each rider involved in an issue, similar to what happened at the 2006 tour. If the team lose too many, as Astana (unfairly) found themselves, then they don't meet the minimum and are effectively banned. Similarly, team management and other personnel can/should be banned along with an athlete for an in-competition infraction. It will affect them personally, so they'll be less likely to put up with it. The 'slot' and team personnel bans should be for the smaller of the athletes ban or one calendar year. This addresses two problems: disconnecting the team impact from the rider's employment by the team, and to make end-of-season infractions as meaningful as those in February. You don't want the system to structurally encourage single year contracts.
Of the existing policies, the ProTour doubled ban is stupid and unfair to the riders. It's a "be seen to be doing something" approach that lets the system claim to be "ethical" while doing nothing to change the systemic imperatives. Sadly, there is never a good time to be seen as being "soft on crime", so we end up with systems that do not really work, but give emotional satisfaction to some target audience. It's kind of like airport security. Also see the analysis by Bruce Schneier of The Prisoner's Dilemma as applied to cycling.
So called "ethics" that require a team to suspend a rider on an A sample AAF make a disgusting lie of the "confidential" results management process.
Unless Landis gets around to releasing the ADRB filing and/or the Lab Reports, I expect a quiet month. I've also made lots of wrong predictions like that, so believe it when it happens.
A lot of people wonder where I find the time to do this. The simple answer is that it comes out of my sleep in one way or another. For a while it was run on pure obsession, but it's taking less and less time as I get better at using RSS feeds of likely sources, build up a base of reference, and the activity dies down. The encouragement from you all and the tolerance of my wife and family help a great deal. If there were only a handful of readers, I'd have given up, but the quality and quantity of the audience makes it worth while. I hope the collection of facts balances out the fatuousness of my injected opinion. Special thanks to all those who have contributed leads and comments, even the anonymous bombs. It would be disingenuous to not hear or ignore those opinions.
Thanks for reading.
TBV -- trust, but verify.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Quote of the Day
The hip operation went well, Floyd is back home this morning. Velonews gets the prize for first report. Initial rehab estimated at 6 weeks, two weeks until he can ride a trainer. Excellent prospects for a return to defend the Tour, except for that other business. Reposted on floydlandisfans.
FloydLandis.com has a press release. Comments open, but rumour says the moderator is on vacation until Oct. 2nd, so don't expect many to become visible.
AP and Reuters via Yahoo.
Most distant coverage award to the People's Daily.
SundayTimes thinks 2007 tour could have Floyd, Ivan and Jan. Possibly all on different teams than each was on this year. The media blender would go crazy in the run-up for that.
Pez's Eurotrash promises news, but reruns the FL press release from last week. As I write at 5:39, Pez's article is slugged 6:42, which shows them to be using USADA time.
Florida Sports also does a rehash.
Howard Jacobs on CompetitorRadio podcast on Sep 24; haven't heard myself yet.
Dugard dismantles Clerc's pronouncement of yesterday, encourages Floyd to go to the 2007 Tour presentation in October as the Champion. That'll go over! Plugs TBV, continued grovelled thanks.
Rant blasts Clerc, and examines the implications of yesterday's "whiteout" rumour.
Velogal's post on Clerc that got Rant to spool up. She's new to me, thoughI guess I'd read some PGGB last year on CyclingNews.
SuperFrenchie does an excellent job putting French "anti-Americanism" in context. This should be a reminder that it doesn't appear to be the French nation, or the French people at issue, but individuals at a particular laboratory.
RaceJunkie thinks Floyd should replace his legal team (without explaining why), and touches on all the other cases. Basically, he thinks riders are getting jobbed, and everyone else is let off the hook. What else is new.
Frank in Illinois writes:
I am reading Michael Barry’s book (”Inside the Postal Bus”) and on page 88 he relates a story of a random drug test in Canada where he and three other riders were told by the person testing them that “they would nail us all eventually”.
This demonstrates that the attitude of the UCI is that all cyclists dope and it is just a matter of catching them.
[end] Full Post with Comments...
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
No word on Landis's hip surgery, even if it was started. If you hear anything, please send me mail. Still nothing at 10:00 PT, and I'm going to bed. Hope for good news tomorrow.
Landis Cheated, says ASO head Clerc, in L'Equipe interview quoted by IHT. ASO owns the Tour. He obviously didn't get the memo from USADA and WADA to stop shooting his mouth off about the case. Lead provided by Raymond at Topix.
Rehash in VeloNews about hip, USADA/ADRB
Dugard talks briefly about the hip, saw Floyd yesterday defiant and ready. He says cryptically at the end, "Let me just say that I know more now than I did before, and that I'm confident he'll be exonerated." Isn't that tantalyzing.
Michigan Tech Lode wishes well on hip, happy birthday (soon), and doubts the lab.
Download/Print edition of BikeBiz editorializes about how it would be good for the industry for an innocent Landis to be redeemed, and covers last week's call with Mr. Pound. Plugs TBV. Thanks, Carlton!
An intriguing email offers some possible details of gross errors alluded to by Jacobs that were seen in the Lab Documentation Package. The ISL protocol for corrections on forms requires a crossout that is initialled by the person making the change along with the change. Many of the forms in the pack are properly corrected in this way, by people familiar with the protocol. However, some of the forms contain changes that are not done properly -- there is white-out over the "error", with a "correct" value filled in, and no attribution of who made the change.
The source prefers to remain anonymous, but it sounds like credible information that will be easily proven when the package is released or shown as evidence at hearing.
We don't know if these changes were made in documentation of the chain-of-custody, or in substantive parts of the test protocol. In any event, they show that the lab has at least some people who are not correctly versed in the proper protocols. This casts doubt on whether they do other things correctly according to the ISL and the testing protocols.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
A while back we started looking at the apparent discrepencies between claimed Adverse Analytical Findings by testing labs, and cases and sanctions turning up in ADA statistics.
Since then, TBV has written to the USADA for the data necessary to figure it out, and the response was a pointer to the statistics in the annual report. After checking it again to make sure we were quoting the numbers correctly, we sent the following letter on September 15th.
Thank you for your response. I have reviewed the annual report again, and I find that the statistics presented don't answer the questions I am trying to resolve.No answer has been received as of October 2nd.
For example, let's consider 2005. The WADA annual report shows that there were 528 AAFs reported by the UCLA lab, while the USADA annual report on page 15 seems to show 27 AAFs when one sums up the second section that classifies AAFs.
In the previous section at the top of the USADA report on page 15, there are 31 reported cases, of which 6 are referered to non-US federations, and 6 were resolved as non-violations.
I understand that mutiple AAFs may be combined into a single 'case', either by longitudinal study, results from a single event, or being B sample tests of the same case. But there appear to be no statistics documenting what happened.
I believe that all AAFs from UCLA are supposed to be reported both to USADA and to WADA, so I am trying to understand exactly how 538 AAFs became just 31 cases to USADA, and what procedural steps resulted in the conclusion of 6 non-violations. Were these rejected by the review board in response to the athlete's reply, as a result of hearing, by appeal to CAS, or by acceptance of a TUE? Or, are TUE's the cause of the weeding from 538 AAFs to 31 cases? What are the numbers for the disposition of the UCLA reported AAFs?
Of the 538 AAFs, how many were A samples, and how many were Bs? How many total B sample tests were conducted, and how many did not confirm the A?
I don't find the answers to any of these questions in the annual report, and would like to figure out how to get the data that will provide answers.
Your assistance is appreciated.
[updated: or January 9th.]
Monday, September 25, 2006
There has been a lot of speculation about the process of testing the B sample. Landis has alleged chain-of-custody problems around sample numbers. On hearing this, many have suggested that Landis' representatives at the B sample test should have said or done something. Let's review the situation as best we can.
The autumn is time of denunciations, complaints and meetings. link
Landis' defense is only known through the summary of the ADRB filing. I keep asking for it to be released, hint, hint. There are chain of custody (CoC) complaints in filing. Many of those who are dismissive of Landis pooh-pooh CoC complaints. They typically say things like, "If there was a problem, why didn't Buxeda say 'STOP?' Was he a potted plant?"
There are a number of responses to this. First, the sample number mismatches may have happened before or after the steps that were being observed. Second, it wasn't Buxeda's job to do anything but observe, and presumably note the presence of Nazi Frogmen doing sabotage. Third, it was probably deBoer with the closest view. Fourth, if mistakes were being made, the smart thing for Landis' observers would have been to note them for later use in discrediting the test.
Finally, and this is the killer, if the Landis representatives should have noticed a problem and said something, should not also the UCI and USADA observers?
It has been suggested that DNA could be used to validate it was Floyd's sample that was tested, but there is no WADA protocol that would allow for such a DNA test. It is therefore as likely to happen as another B sample CIR being done at a different lab.
The sample identity isn't particularly relevant anyway. Landis' defense isn't claiming it wasn't Floyd's piss. It is using the botched CoC issues to demonstrate the general incompetence of the lab, which also shows up as incorrect results.
About deBoer and Landaluze
On August 1, before the B test was done, there was discussion on the Daily Peloton forum about a statement Buxeda had made about IRMS being unreliable:
This was big news to me, because I'd bought the "infallible" line put out by the LNDD director and pushed by all the media reports. Maybe it's even true, if it's done correctly and they keep the machine from getting contaminated. It makes sense then, that Buxeda would bring deBoer to observe. Recently, El Pais has fingered deBoer as a key figure in the defense using some of the Landaluze arguments. The Landaluze case itself is not resolved. The Spanish Federation cleared Landaluze, but the UCI has appealed to CAS and the result has not been released.
It seemed to contradict what many other experts said about the IRMS method. But after reading about the Landaluze-case I could imagine that this will be the road that Landis' attorney wants to go. As I already pointed out in the old forum Landaluze's sample also tested positive with the IRMS method. It was the same lab. The Spanish Federation decided that Landaluze was innocent (but the IOC appealed) because the dutch expert Douwe de Boer somehow demonstrated that the lab didn`t applicate the test correct (according to El Pais).
Update 2-Oct: B Sample experts for UCI and USADA discussed here.
CURRENT STATUS and KEY REFERENCES updated.
Rumour of the Day
The ADRB couldn't get the lab reports translated, so they passed the case on without considering the merits. [anonymous email]It is confidence inspiring to hear resources were in place, ready and able to do a proper job handling one of the most important and controversial cases in USADA history. With the long delay in production of the reports, there is no way USADA could have been caught flatfooted by their arrival in Boulder. The dates in the announcement letter also show how prepared they were, because they clearly prepared two letters on the 15th in advance of the ADRB phone conference on the 18th so the decision could be swiftly reported. Bra-vo!
At Topix, DNA tests are suggested to resolve any identify problems with the chain-of-custody..
Rant discusses the future of the case, anticipating a period of quiet. He mentions some other things he may find tickling his sense of injustice during the calm.
SlowTwitch Sunday catches up on the case.
TBV's anonymously commenting prognisticator repeats previous claims that Basso will walk, Ullrich gets nailed, and Floyd blood-doped.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
So far, nothing, and I'm going for a ride with the kids.
Back from a ride, no Landis news to report. The son pictured up top signalling Floyd learned how to be a wheel sucker today as I towed him back home, so his skills are, um, improving.
Posted by DBrower at 9/24/2006 09:37:00 AM
Saturday, September 23, 2006
McQuaid calls for Pound's removal, according to AFP:
World cycling chief Pat McQuaid called for World Anti Doping Agency president Dick Pound to be replaced for his "consistent but unjustified" attacks on cycling.The article continues,
Irishman McQuaid added that he had adressed a letter to members of WADA, which was created in the wake of the Festina doping scandal at the drugs-tainted Tour de France in 1998, detailing his views on Pound.which is exactly what you'd do if you were serious about it, based on what we learned earlier this week about who is Mr. Pound's boss.
AP Coverage of ADRB decision via PhillyBurbs, nothing new.
BBC report, ditto.
Steve's Peeves covers, plugs TBV, pans Pound, trusts Floyd with tantalyzing back story, and still sounds credible.
Rant discusses the timing of the announcement, and thinks it works out good for Floyd.
BikingBis covers, plugs TBV. Says ADRB "phoned it in."
New to us blog discusses PR use of various excuses, like the "race card", the "I'm persecuted card", with reference to Landis.
In rec.bicycles.racing, some confusion and disbelief the FAX is all there is.
At Daily Peloton forums, an un-linked interview with Lefevere is quoted,
Knack: So if this happened now you would have fired Museeuw?The veracity of this account should be taken with large doses of salt, especially Lefevere's interpretation of Landis' state of mind. It will be interesting to see if Landis is asked about or responds in any way to the implied confession Lefevere says he made in this phone conversation. Full Post with Comments...
Lefevere: I wouldn't have any other choice. [...] I need to make strong statements and take radical decisions, because cycling's name has been tainted too often already. Even if some people don't seem to realize that I say those things in my capacity as president of the association of ProTour teams, not as Patrick Lefevere. I got a call from Floyd Landis, complaining rather loudly that some things I said were way out of line. (note: Lefevere was extremely critical of Landis following his positive) I told him: 'I was speaking as the president of the PT teams, and I know how much you damaged the sport.'
Landis raged on about how they're all doping, including riders of my team. I told him 'then tell me who you're talking about, it spares me the search'. Then he calmed down, he must have realized he was exaggerating and that it was up for him anyway. So he asked me if there was anything left he could do. I told him: call all riders, get them together, and persuade them to stop the charade'.
Friday, September 22, 2006
This is the one page FAX Landis got telling him the Review Board had rejected his request to dismiss the case, from an emailer. See if you can tell from this if they really read the filing Landis made. If this is page 007 of 009 on someone's FAX machine, what were the other pages about? Also note it's a letter dated Sep 15 that is about a conference they held on Sep 18th. That's crossing t's and dotting i's for you! It looks like Landis got it on the 19th, and absent anything in the interim, they put it out on Friday the 22nd.
Update: source emailer says the other pages of the FAX were cover pages and procedural boilerplate.Let's look at the timing again. Sep 15th was the Friday, and the 18th was the Monday, and it looks like it was sent to USADA at 14:43 on the 18th. The USADA did what they do to ratify it, and sent it to Landis at 16:49 on Tuesday the 19th. Then there was silence until late in the day on the 22nd, when Landis released it, appearing first in an AFP report.
It looks like the ADRB got to it within a business week, and USADA turned their part around in about a day. No reason to complain there, I don't think.
Then it appears Landis waited for a few days for some other shoe to drop, and when it didn't, made an announcement on Friday afternoon. This ended the pope watch, and got it into a news cycle favorable to them. You could complain that Landis should have announced it Tuesday evening, or Wednesday if they'd been as prepared as they claim for this outcome. Doing so might have been more consistent with their claims of wanting "open, transparent process." Full Post with Comments...
CURRENT STATUS updated.
The ratified recommendation from USADA is in, and it's time to schedule the hearing. The announcement was made by the Landis camp through AFP/VeloNews that the USADA has rejected the requests for dismissal, and has recommended a sanction. FloydLandis.com press release is here. They are appealing this decision, and repeats the demand for a public hearing. They say that they will present a scientific, fact-based defense to prove his innocence.
The second visible report is in the NY Times, by Juliet Macur, author of last week's Andreu expose. It says pretty much the same thing with more quotes. Jacobs spins saying ADRB decision this way was expected, which doesn't exactly match my recollection of hopes that had been expressed after the filing was made. The article also brings in Lance and the rest of the circus. Lance (a) thinks he's innocent; and (b) hopes he "gets off."
Landis's side probably thinks USADA gave into political pressure from WADA. In retrospect, as Jacobs said, there's an inevitability about this. USADA and WADA would certainly like the the next step to have the burden of proof on Landis, and not on WADA as it would have been if the decision had been for dismissal.
The Landis announcement includes word that Floyd is having his hip surgery on Weds, Sep 27. That would indicate they don't feel the need for him to do full-output bonk testing as part of the defense.
There has been no word directly from USADA, or publication of the actual recommendation that was issued by the Anti-Doping Review Board (ADRB). Not only have they silenced the loudmouths, they have closed the leaks. This could be a life and death struggle for the credibility of the anti-doping leadership. These are folks under siege, now scared of every move they make.
It will be important to see if Landis is able to get results for the other seven tests during the tour, and IRMS CIR values for them if they haven't previously been taken. It would also be very interesting to have part of the remaining B sample tested at another facility, like Lausanne. The question is whether these things will be allowed to happen. The samples are securely held at LNDD, and unless the agencies agree to defense requests, there won't be any more data. This would be a stonewall, and there should be an outcry if it is attempted.
Comments are OPEN on FloydLandis.com, but nothing has yet gotten through the moderation.
CURRENT STATUS updated.
It's in, and it's bad. See the next post for discussion and links as the arrive.
[A tip of the hat to emailer James A. Bianco who was first on it.]
The way it came out says that the UCI and WADA have learned not to shoot their mouths off. They seem to be keeping a tight lid on the result. Maybe now they have decided to take the high road and act in accordance with the official process. This is a tremendous improvement in their behavior. Can they keep it up, or will we get the historical trash talk?
A quote of the day from way back bears repeating:
The UCI can't let him win as that would cast doubt on the whole testing process, so expect a smear campaign to be launched both in the press and behind the scenes as this will a fight for the life of the UCI and WADA, which are bigger than Landis. (link)Legalize it, hand-wrings Monterey Herald.
Brad Kearns chips in with a discussion of nice guys who cheat, and believes that Floyd was metaphorically doing 37 in a 35 mph zone along with a lot of other guys, and that he's bitching about being the only one who got busted. Kearns is an ex-US champion and world #3 triathlete who now sells supplements and other food/dietary products.
BBC Forums continue to think him a guilty cheat, with no love lost on weaseling lawyers. They don't seem to think there are many clean cyclists anyway.
rec.bicycles.racing largely accepts Fine's conclusions about 1 in 31 false positive rate for CIR. One poster notes that this is very near the reported positive rate for all tests of all types, which is probably a coincidence. The "foolproof" quote comes in for much abuse. Full Post with Comments...
Thursday, September 21, 2006
I know it's sounding like a broken record, but no news yet.
Two CIR False Posititves may be in the WADA study that "validated" the test, according a look at the data by Tom Fine. The study had 5 subjects, and looking closely at the data plots, two examples that match the values reported for Landis are seen.
rec.bicycles.racing suggests Fine contact the study author for the raw data. Tom adds in a followup,
The official part of the test ran for 28 days. With various data points missing here and there from various different metabolite tests, I'll be generous and say there's about 25 viable test points per test subject, so that's 125 tests, and out of that there were four samples that exceeded the 3 per mil limit.
That's a 3.2% false positive rate within their study, or an expectation of a natural "failure" for 1 out of every 31 tests.
"It's foolproof. This analysis tells the difference between endogenous and exogenous. No error is possible in isotopic readings."Blogs
--Jacques De Ceaurriz, head of the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory
Podium Cafe looks at the Cycle Sport "Clean" issue, and finds it sanctimonious, reactionary, and perhaps worst, two months late.
Corrupt, Inept, or Dopes, wonders blogger new to us on Sep 13. We'll be following him now, and we like his Jean Shepherd podcast links. TBV listened to a lot of Shep back in the day.
Rant compares and differentiates with OJ Simpson and Johnnie Cochran. I'll note that as much as Jacobs knows about doping law, he hasn't proven many people innocent. Of course, Cochran didn't exactly do that either. I don't believe Landis would be satisfied with a Simpson result -- I know I wouldn't.
PelotonJim points out the CSI fallacy, and points back to Fine's research reported here.
Dixson picks up Fine, plugs us.
EthylBenzene gives us a plug. Full Post with Comments...
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
It's quiet. Too quiet.
Comment to this post asks if there is a deadline for USADA to respond. Looking at the rules, I don't think so. At the time of the filing, there were some conflicting statements made. The AP report said,
A review board is expected to issue a recommendation on Landi s' case sometime in the next week. That process could be delayed if USADA responds directly to Jacobs' letter.But Reuters quoted Jacobs as saying, "The review board is expected to make a recommendation within a week", which was the 18th.
The summary on FL.com says, "The ADRB is expected to make its recommendations to USADA within a week of Jacobs’ submission to the review panel."
The expectation on Landis's side seems to have been Monday -- why, we don't know.
Dugard talks more about Floyd, comparing to Jones. He notes he feels OK towards Floyd, but jaundiced towards Jones, which leaves him a little confused. He'd also gotten mystified by yesterday's chart about the process, so let's try to decode it. If Martin didn't get it, then no one else will either, and the graphic didn't work. Rats. I was trying to make it simple enough to work without the paragraph on the back describing each circle, but I guess it will be used as evidence against me anyway.
We've completed steps 1 and 2, which is why they are darkened. We are waiting for step 3 to occur, which is the Review Board recommendation. No matter what it is, it needs to be ratified by the USADA (step 4). If the decision is for sanction, we need to hold a hearing that Landis wants public (step 6).
If the decision is for dismissal, either the UCI or WADA might appeal to CAS (step 5). If that appeal succeeds, we're back where we were if USADA had picked sanction, with an AAS hearing to be held. If a step 5 appeal fails (or isn't made), it's over and the case has been dismissed.
According to McQuaid, the results (the stage win and the TdF title) can't be voided until the AAS hearing takes place and a decision is made to sanction. Landis might then appeal to have the sanction revoked and the results re-instated. Until that appeal succeeded, Pereiro would be the official TdF champion. If the AAS hearing results in dismissal, UCI or WADA could make their own appeals to CAS (as with Zach Lund).
An AAS hearing on the merits is unlikely to be held before December. I wouldn't expect results until a month later -- so Floyd is likely to enter 2007 as the TdF champion, in the clear if the case has been dismissed, or under dispute if the hearing result has not been made.
Rant thinks announcement will be on Friday for a dismissal to bury it, or Thursday for a sanction recommendation to get maximum play. I agree.
PelotonJim likens the situtation to a Pope watch.
James Dixson gives TBV a nice plug. Full Post with Comments...
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Quote of the Day
The confirmation of a doping offence comes after 'A', 'B', and then the hearing. We have to suspend our judgement until all the facts have been identified and then been put before the independent hearing. (link)News
We're still waiting for the USADA Review Board recommendation, which was expected yesterday. Let's play the speculation game while waiting. Some reasons why it might be taking longer than expected:
- It's complicated, and they really haven't decided.
- They've decided, but want an appeal-proof recommendation.
- They've decided, and are planning PR for release, perhaps with WADA, UCI and/or Landis.
The Landis side is silent too.
In the meantime...
Floyd wins the USACycling NRC title, on the basis of the Tour of California and Tour of Georgia wins.
Howard Jacobs gets a puff-piece at USA Today. Beginning of a PR Blitz? He's an ex-triathlete who once prosecuted a doping case. A USADA guy suggested he move to defense as a specialty, and the rest is history. He doesn't seem to have too many wins against USADA, but he doesn't get his choice of clients. A dismissal for Floyd could be a career-defining case for him. In a sidebar, he advocates more discretion for arbiters, backing away from the strict liability standard. He cites the Zach Lund case as one where justice could have been better served.
EPO Test is not good, explains the BBC at some length. Moderation in acceptance of test infallibility is a good idea.
Analysis of defense and related WADA code Article 3.2 at That's Amateur.
Floyd, Axel Charity Event, SoCal in October, according to Merckx's site. They must still be friends. Axel has a "?" where his schedule lists "next race." Could be hoping for a slot on Floyd's team next year.
Blogger reposts Rant's version of The Hearing.
It adds up to something, in this prophetic blog.
At the Beeb, feelings are much more negative about Landis and Armstrong than they are in US based discussions.
[upated 21:11] Full Post with Comments...
Monday, September 18, 2006
According to WADA
WADA is composed of a Foundation Board, an Executive Committee, and several Working Committees.
The 36-member Foundation Board is WADA’s supreme decision making body. It is composed equally of representatives from the Olympic Movement and governments, as is the 12-person Executive Committee
WADA Foundation Board delegates the actual management and running of the Agency to the Executive Committee, including the performance of activities and the administration of assets.
The WADA Foundation incorporation statute is located here. From this we learn that,
- The Foundation Board (FB) is self-organized, and appoints its own chair and vice-chair.
- The FB must meet at least once a year, meetings called by the chair.
- The chair must call a meeting on written request of five members.
- At a meeting, members may ask questions, but it is not clear if they may make proposals.
- The FB appoints the executive committee.
- Decisions are made by absolute majority of those present, with chair deciding any ties.
- Appointments to the executive commitee require 2/3 vote of those present.
- The FB supervises the committee or persons entrusted with running the Foundation.
- The FB chair and vice-chair automatically hold those posts on the executive board.
The Foundation Board consists of these 36 people:
CHAIRMAN Mr Richard W. POUND, Q.C, IOC Member , CanadaIn order to fire Mr. Pound, it appears necessary to get five members to write a letter, then have a majority vote of those who attend. A more careful reading might suggest that the members could not raise the issue as a question, but this would make it impossible for the board to supervise those running the Foundation. S imilarly, since such a decision would affect the executive board membership, perhaps the 2/3 vote rule could be invoked. However, that rule is tied to appointments, not terminations. I'd argue it only affects selection of the replacement. Full Post with Comments...
VICE CHAIRMAN Mr Brian MIKKELSEN, Minister of Sports, Denmark
Dr Robin MITCHELL, IOC Member, Fiji
Prof. Arne LJUNGQVIST, IOC Member, Sweden
Mr Willi KALTSCHMITT LUJAN, Guatemala
Mr Patrick CHAMUNDA, Zambia
Mr Richard YOUNG, USA
Sir Craig REEDIE, United Kingdom
Prof. Eduardo Henrique DE ROSE, Brazil
Dr Tamas AJANI, Hungary
Mr Mustapha LARFAOUI, Algeria
Mr Francesco RICCI BITTI, Italy
Mr Gian Franco KASPER, Switzerland
Mr Anders BESSEBERG, Norway
Dr Alexander POPOV, Russian Federation
Ms Charmaine CROOKS, Canada
Ms Rania Amr ELWANI, Egypt
Ms Beckie SCOTT, Canada
Sir Phil CRAVEN, United Kingdom
Dr Hans Bernhard BEUS, Germany
Ms Tanja SAARELA, Finland
Mr Vyacheslav FETISOV, Russian Federation
Mr Terry DAVIS, France
Hon Bala Bawa KA’OJE, Nigeria
H.E. Mr Makhenkesi Arnold STOFILE, South Africa
Mr Yahia GUIDOUM, Algeria
Mr Michael D. CHONG, Canada
Hon Anthony WOOD, Barbados
Mr Claudio MORRESI, Argentina
Mr Scott BURNS, USA
Dr. Kamal AL-HADIDI, Jordan
Mr Hiroshi HASE, Japan
Mr Duan SHIJIE, China
Ms Datuk Azalina Othman SAID, Malaysia
Prof. David F. GERRARD, New Zealand
Senator the Honorable Rod KEMP, Australia
CURRENT STATUS REVIEW has minor changes
USADA Review board decision is supposed to be announced today. If it isn't, look for some excuses. I'd guess 5 PM, Mountain Time.
Hmm, dead silence. Could there be something going on behind the scenes? I think I'll finally learn a lesson and stop making predictions.
CyclingPost says Floyd is staying with Perdiguero in Spain. It also says the appearance was unexpected, but it shouldn't have been.
Semi-related, ASO brandishes Roubaix ProTour status in spat with UCI. VeloNews says it's more than that, it's all the Grand Tour organizations demanding more R-E-S-P-E-C-T. This is just political background for Floyd's case.
Dugard reports Floyd coming home, thinks stuff is coming down.
Robert Lipsyte has mixed feelings about doping, starting with Floyd.
800 lb Gorilla turns away from cycling. Floyd? Who cares.
At Topix, much heat and no light about whether the estimate of absolute T/E values is in the ballpark. Frustrated LNDD may be giving up.
In a different thread, news is reparsed and we conclude that there were 16 AAFs at the tour, over 13 riders. We know pair of those was Floyd and Testosterone, but nothing about any of the others. While there were TUEs for Cortisone, we haven't been told there were AAFs for it.
Don't let Mr. Pound see this. It didn't work anyway.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Floyd hangs tough, BBC reports Spanish paper. Says his laywers have plenty of evidence to show the tests were botched, though it has been difficult to get. He is quoted as saying (apparently through two translations), "I have come to talk with my lawyers and also to say goodbye to my colleagues and helpers in Phonak, given the fact that after the Tour I hardly had time to do so."
Similar report at the Guardian, but with quotes in English; MSNBC carries AP report that's the same; PEZ catches Floyd visiting the Phonak bus, and congratulating Vino at Astana's.
Anonymous comment to this post observes that Mr. Pound has changed his tone towards Landis a lot in the last few weeks. Perhaps Mr. Pound has seen the evidence and is beginning to think the case isn't as strong as he touted back in August.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
CURRENT STATUS REVIEW and KEY REFERENCES have minor updates.
Unless USADA announces the Review Board decision, I don't expect much to happen today.
Floyd in Madrid, meeting with Phonaks on Sunday, attorneys on Monday, reports Velonews. He's been seen in nightspots having a good time, perhaps training for more T/E tests. Phonaks are all bummed since most are out of a job Sunday night. There's a suggestion they won't be happy to see him. We'd last heard that he was going to see the team on Wednesday, so there are some slightly inconsistent stories floating around.
Revisiting the WADA Press Audience
If you listen to the audio of the WADA call shared by BikeBiz, you find that BB's Carlton Reid was the ONLY member of the cycling press present on the call, and about the only reporter who asked interesting questions. The answers to his questions formed the heart of the mainstream media (MSM) stories. Heh.
Where was the rest of the cycling press? Are MSM reporters sheep? Can the Pope make ill considered comments despite official infallibility?
Maybe I should get on the next call and ask some questions of my own. Let's start with tracking AAFs vs. A and Bs, Cases, and Sanctions. Then we can get into Quarterly Proficiency Testing (described in the ISL) results for various labs including LNDD. It would be revealing to know how many EPO and IRMS tests (A and B) have been done, by lab, both in proficiency and production testing, and how many positives have been found in those tests. (The EPO and IRMS tests are called out as "specialist" methods in the AAF forms that need to be identified.)
WADA has these statistics, but doesn't make them available. Maybe they haven't been asked before. Ditto USADA.
Ha, ha, not. Wait for the movie with the LNDD demolition scene.
The Hearing, as performed by Monty Python, at Rant.
At Topix, we get calculated values of absolute T and E measurements in the range 40/3.6 to 80/7.2.
Also at Topix, some questions about where the AAFs were for Landis's cortisone. If he was tested 8 times, shouldn't it have been detected? If it was there, shouldn't it be in the S17 test, where it is not reported? Or is the cortisone test broken, or what?
Further on Topix, taunts and challenges have resulted in revealing some additional facts and references.
We deduce that Landis was tested at least after stages 11, 12, 15, 19, 20 when he held the yellow, and after winning S17, accounting for 6 of the 8 reported tests. We don't know exactly when the other two 'random' tests were conducted.
We also deduce that Landis had probably had either two or three cortisone shots, with at least one being 'pre-tour'. We haven't determined the exact number or dates.
We also gain reference information on T testing here, which shows us the expected 'normal' ranges of testosterone.
I'll now add this to the status and reference pages.
Friday, September 15, 2006
No news worthy of mention.
Lullaby Pit dismembers NYT article about Lance, er, Frankie. Yup, it's a hatchet job, noting that Armstrong is mentioned three times and Landis once before Andreu's name appears for the first time.
Cyclisme-blog-team tracks where some ex-Phonaks are landing. Fred leaves a comment crediting Cycling4all as the original source.
Evident Stupidity in this blog declares that Darwinists think Landis is innocent, and Intellegent Design believers know he is guilty. Guess which side the blog lands on?
At Topix, Mr. LNDD mostly answers my questions. He's hoping the Review Board has the Richards to Richard Richard.
At BBC Forums, discussion why Dick is being more careful with Landis than history would suggest is typical. Hint: politics.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
All work and no play makes TBV a dull boy. Here are a few obscure suggestions for an evening's distraction, maybe over the weekend.
- "Bad Company"; What Floyd's parents were afraid of.
- "The Right Stuff"; Honorable Astronaut, or Squirming Hatchblower?
- "Rancho Deluxe"; Always an inside job.
- "Rustler's Rhapsody"; All about confidence.
- "Buckaroo Banzai"; History is made at night.
- "Apocalypse Now"; It's all about choices.
- "A Man Escaped" (French).
WADA Conference call covered by AP via IHT, AFP via VeloNews, Reuters via the Grauniad. "The system is working.", says Pound, trying to sound concilliatory about Jones. When A and B are positive, "Just because you see a whole bunch of excuses put forward by an athlete or someone on his or her beh alf doesn't mean that a responsible anti-doping agency is just going to roll over and play dead." Pound notes that WADA can't do anything until USADA makes a decision, then it's UCIs turn to appeal. He dismisses lab complaints, claiming UCI has been very supportive of the lab. (Right up to the edge of the cliff, I'd guess.)
BikeBiz.Uk was on the call and has a unique read, including links to video and audio.
NYT reports that Dick is ready to appeal to CAS if USADA declines to hang Floyd.
Some good, simple questions from blogger. May I add, "who died and left Dick in charge?"
One question raised is, "why does the UCI use the LNDD?" I bet there's a lot of people in the UCI asking the same question. One reason might be that the UCI doesn't run Le Tour, as much as they'd like it to be a ProTour event. There may be politics with the French Ministry of Sport, which helps fund LNDD. If the LNDD turns out to be the buffoon in this, as alleged, don't doubt the UCI will try to use it as leverage on ASO for ProTour-dom, and an argument for sending samples to Lausanne for testing. You know, the guys who wrote the protocol for IRMS testing. Just another level of politics in the case, you see.
Trust is the new Currency, Floyd reference, metaphorically related. It's part of the environment that says transparency is the right thing, because truth leaks eventually.
Daily Peloton carries a back and forth between Tom Fine, rational head, and one-mint-julich about Cortisone and C12/C13 ratios. Tom is arguing the cortisol might affect the result in odd, unanticipated ways, and getting push back from the others. Discussion does not seem conclusive.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Quote of the Day
I'm not sure what point I'm making here but I feel that there is one.... linkSlow day with fewer links. More quotes instead.
Telegraph UK covers defense in new article, mistakenly says title already stripped. I've given up fighting that incorrect reporting with letters to the editor. There's only so much time in the day.
SignOnSandiego, site of SD papers near Floyd, runs an article I misread until an emailer called my attention back to it. It considers a theory that charges against Landis are part of a crusade against Lance. There are suggestions Floyd has some beans to spill, and the case is a way to pressure him into giving it up against Lance. Floyd is quoted as denying. This theory is offered to explain all the folks who have begging Floyd to "come clean" from day one. Yow, it doesn't get more political or Byzantine than this. The same article on the San Diego Union Tribute site, probably the originator.
Dugard talks about politics of dope testing, Lance; plugs TBV. Thanks!
Rant talks about Frankie and Floyd.
PelotonJim observes mainstream media starting to Get It, as defense narrative is tuned to something understandable (even if oversimplified).
Important discussion of defense, as seen from both sides, in last night's TBV. Several posters express confusion, outright rejection of the best metabolite argument against the CIR. This is followed late, at the end, by a new interpretation by a Mr. "LNDD", who spins some quite deeper meanings into what was released to the public on Monday.
Mr. LNDD says there was sabre rattling in the public statement. It's political. Maybe USADA doesn't really want to pursue this for lots of reasons, and the review board would give them cover to drop it relatively quietly. This might be why the filing hasn't been released. It may show some more things the Review Board won't like make visible.
Does the Review Board have that much discretion? Perhaps not officially, but there seems to be very little procedural constraint on its decisions. If it decides to drop, then WADA or UCI would need to appeal to CAS to overturn the Review Board decision, which is hardly ever done or successful because of the burden of proof required.
On Topix, Will and "LNDD" continue their live fire exercise. LNDD reads FL.com as saying that Landis has not gotten details of other Tour tests for a "longitudinal study". This hints (by absence) that other tests may contain evidence to support Landis' claims. The Review Board is entitled to all such data, and that it isn't available is suspicious.
We also get discussion about the role of the RB. It's not like a probable cause hearing, being another example of how the doping procedure is alien to American cultural DNA expectations. The RB gets all available evidence and rebuttal filings. It is essentially the "court of first impression", and gets to decide on proposed sanction, or to close the case. It is the first place where a decision is made, and subsequent action is to appeal this decision. However, the RB does not have a hearing, and only considers the written submissions in private. It has substantial power and seemingly little constraint. By rules, it is obliged to act before all data that could be mustered for an eventual appeal may be available. The side with the data (UCI, LNDD) can play run-out-the clock games
In general, the whole doping adjudication is oriented to processing guilty bastards as fast and as cheaply as possible, without much concern for picayune technicality. That's why FL is talking about "Gross Errors", to send the flags up early that this isn't going to be one of those "take the sanction and vanish" kind of case.
Bicycling Forum reads LNDD; BadgeJohn writes:
That was an excellent summary of the errors pointed out in Jacob's brief. IF and I say IF, the lab did make these gross errors, Lanids is going to get off and rightfully so. The question is whether or not the lab did. I don't know which would actually be worse for cycling and anti-doping attempts at this point, Floyd being proved a doper, or the lab being that incompetent. I think at this point I will ust hide under the blankets until its all over because either result would be a serious blow.I don't know the chemistry either, nor do any of us have access to the 400 hundred pages. I'm concerned that the level of science necessary to understand how the lab mucked it up is very complicated. This might leave a gobsmacked public with the feeling that a dismissal is on a "dubious" technicality rather than a substantive error that really vindicates Landis.
Regretably I don't know enough about chemistry to read 400 pages of lab reports and understand a dang thing so as to tell whether or not Jacob's statements, and thus Mr. LNDD's are valid.
Fine Research on the CIR/Diet issue, in this sci.chem post, observes wide variations that make him wonder how the 3 mil threshold level was picked and validated. It doesn't appear to him that the data supports it, and he asks chemists for help interpreting.
Tom Fine later notes a couple of other things on the Daily Peloton Forum:
There's been talk about his cortisone treatments, and how that can't really be converted to testosterone, and how that can't affect the test. BUT, the reference compunds 11-hydroxyandrosterone, or 11-ketoetiocholanolone are metabolites of cortisol!Finally, a Blogger figures it all out, and we're done. Full Post with Comments...
So they don't have to "convert to testosterone", they simply get metabolised normally, and screw up the reference value.
I don't know at this point if synthetic cortisol would have a delta 13C that is more or less negative - it would depend on what it was derived from. But one point that bothers me, probably nothing but I want to be reassured that SOMEBODY is looking into it, is that the testing protocol specified in TD2004EAAS* only says that you need a 3 per mil difference from baseline to testosterone metabolite. It does NOT specify in which direction.
This is exactly the sort of trivial detail that I could see being overlooked by professional after professional. It' s possilbe that his test results could show that his testosterone had a HIGHER (less negative) delta 13C value than his reference, which would indicate that perhaps something funky was going on, but such a result would almost completely EXCLUDE the use of testosterone.
Also, on that absolute -28 per mil absolute value offered as an alternative positive, that seems quite bogus, as one of the studies I came across said the typical range among their study subjects was -24 to -28 per mil.
*And why was that protocol written in May 2004, when they hadn't finished with their study of dietary influence, and it's potential for false positives?