Landis is charged with two anti-doping violations, a IRMS CIR positive for exogenous testosterone, and a GC/MS measured violation of a 4.0 limit for T/E ratio.
At DPF, Duckstrap has come up with theories that explain why both conclusions by the LNDD would be incorrect. These theories make sense even to those who are not swayed by the arguments made in the slide set.
[Edited since the original posting for clarification based on comments by Duckstrap.]
The IRMS CIR
One of the two charges against Landis is that he had "synthetic" (exogenous) testosterone in his system. This is determined by a test known as the IRMS CIR, which is done on some number of testosterone metabolites. The LNDD found Landis exceeded the allowed ratio on two of four metabolites tested, and declared it a positive test. The WADA standard for the test is vague about how many should be over the limit. Landis has claimed all four should be positive, and others have argued that one or two are sufficient.
At DPF, Duckstrap presents a reasonable case that three or four metabolites should be positive to declare a positive result on the IRMS CIR, based on statistical analysis of published research and other WADA standards.
Duckstrap has reconstructed the "control" data sets from the published studies used to validate the IRMS CIR tests. These are the ones of non-doped samples. He concludes the false positive rate using two metabolites, as done by LNDD, would be around 7%. That is, LNDD would declare 7 of 100 known-clean samples to be doped.
The WADA criteria say the rate should be less than 1%. Duckstrap finds that using three of four would reduce the false positive rate down to 0.68%, and using all four shrinks the error to 0.06%. This means LNDD's use of two metabolites makes no sense, and violates the WADA testing standard of 1%.
By using either three or four metabolites criteria to meet the 1% false positive rate, Landis' results at LNDD would be negative.
Landis says he has scientists and documents showing his CIR test would have been considered negative at other WADA labs that use more stringent criteria than those apparently used by LNDD.
The second charge is that Landis had a T/E ratio in excess of the allowed 4.0. This is the ratio of testosterone to epistestosterone, which should be close (around 1.0 +/- natural variance) in absence of doping. LNDD reported a measured ratio of 11.4 in a GC/MS IRMS confirmation test.
Duckstrap has previously argued that the T/E confirmation IRMS tests both seemed to have identified the peaks incorrectly (possibly due to Landis' legal cortisone). He found the TE using the peaks read a different way that should have been reported around 2.0, well within the legal limit.
The complication reading peaks is similar to the following situation. You pour some dry sand through a straw to form one peak. Then you move the straw over a tiny bit and pour even more sand to form another peak. Some of the sand spills over onto the first pile because they are so close together. How much sand is in the first pile? If you don't consider the spillover from the second, you can easily reach the wrong conclusion. The spillover from one pile to the other is called "elution". LNDD doesn't appear to have ever considered the effects of Landis's legal cortisone injections on the results. Duckstrap corrected for the cortisone, and sees no T/E violation.
Duckstrap makes plausible scientific arguments that LNDD has made the wrong call on both types of test -- better in fact than the slide show. If these are provable, at least to the "balance of probability" standard Landis must meet, these arguments may be good enough to comfortably take to a hearing, even for TBV.
The best detailed explanation of these arguments is at the Wiki.
Landis has hinted there is even more than this, but we have no idea what. Much more may not be needed.
[Darlene, you're the target audience for this explanation. Please let me know if you have trouble following it -- if not, I'll keep trying.]
September 07: Hearing Award
October 07: Hue's Hearing Appraisal
November 07: Major document Release
January 08: Larry's Curb Your Anticipation
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Landis is charged with two anti-doping violations, a IRMS CIR positive for exogenous testosterone, and a GC/MS measured violation of a 4.0 limit for T/E ratio.
In a CyclingNews update on Tyler Hamilton, there is substantial opinion on FL and his case.
"I support Floyd 100%," confessed Hamilton. "And I am happy to see him making his case so public. Staying quiet was the biggest mistake I made in my case. So much evidence and argument gets misinterpreted by the media and people are left with misinformation and the wrong impression.CyclingPost says Landis was still of the big stories for the month of November.
Rick Carpiniello of the Journal News, in a story about doping in sports, mentions FL and says his early reactions to the positive sample may have cost him.
FloydLandis.com has a two month medical update. Everything looks great, with a 4 hour/250 watt average ride last Sunday.
Cycling Commentary states that FL would have been cyclist of the year, if only....
Rant has a potpourri of short items. LeMond, WADA and LNDD lab statistics, concluding with some wondering about the authenticity of the hacker/whistleblower documents. Following our "ferret", Rant has bestowed "Le Rongeur" (The Rodent) on the perp. There remains a lot of doubt what is fake and what is real about them, and Rant challenges the rodent to give him a copy. Heck, I'm sure we'd all like to dissect them.
At DPF, Duckstrap makes the strong case that the 3 or 4 metabolites make the most scientific sense to declare a positive on the IRMS CIR, at post #59. Deeper analysis in this TBV feature, because this seems important.
Full Post with Comments...
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Hey, it's the 29th, and time for another TBV Monthly Report!
Long time readers may know the itch to create TBV was caused by an earlier blog on the topic, Free Floyd. Just about the time TBV started getting into it, Free Floyd went sporadic, and then on hiatus. It turns out that Free Floyd had a pressing real life that included having a baby and finishing his thesis. He's done that, and recently resurfaced with some email asking, "what's up with things Landis?"
Killing two birds, this monthly report is for bringing Free Floyd up to speed...
Since your last post on Sept 9, a whole lot has happened. A lot of it is covered in the TBV Quarterly Report from last month, which isn't a bad place to start, but here's a quick summary.
(I've added all the links I think are relevant in updates since first published.)
In September, the first procedural phase of the case happened. Jacobs filed a submital to the Anti-Doping Review Board (ADRB) to dismiss the case, which was rejected, and the case was referred on towards a hearing. We have still not empaneled the arbitrators for the hearing, though we believe they have been selected. Landis had his hip surgery, which seems to have worked out very well - he recently did a 4 hour ride feeling good.
When you last left us, the announcement of TUEd positives at the Tour had been the first public backpedaling by the federations and the ADAs that things were not quite as clean and simple as they had put out for public consumption immediately after the Tour. It's gotten more complicated since.
Emailer Paula started sending us tips so frequently we asked her to help do the daily roundups, and she's saved me from going truly fruit-batty by starting it in the wee small hours. Yay!
In October, there was lots of very visible stuff, and a lot of backstage maneuvering the public didn't know about. After the ADRB rejection, some things were leaked to TBV that we called the "ferret documents", and a number of readers puzzled them into coherency, in particular Marc who did heroic duty and is now an occasional Correspondent for TBV. This constructive reaction seemed to have encouraged the leaker, who sent more, and finally revealed himself to be Landis. I think "the ferret" doesn't sound as good as "the badger", so I've had regrets about using the name.
On Oct 12, Landis released a pile of documents to the public. It included 370 pages of "charging document", being the Laboratory Documentation Package as assembled by USADA, the submission to the ADRB, and a powerpoint slide show outlining the public defense. The slide show was done by Arnie Baker, MD, Landis' long-time coach in Southern California. TBV got a huge traffic spike by doing full coverage of this release, and arranging mirrors at archive.org.
Just before the release, Landis started to personally camp out at the Daily Peloton Forums, taking questions and warming people up to look at the stuff that was released. With uncertain credit for the actual coinage (Landis or Baker), this internet engagement was been called the "wikipedia defense", even though there was no actual Wiki. Landis has stayed at DPF off and on since -- from time to time going house-crazy and posting some pretty pointed comments. He's occasionally joined there by Will Geoghegan, his manager.
After the document release, the defenses offered have been dissected, resected, inspected, accepted, rejected, and conflicted in discussions all over the internet, but most usefully at DPF. In an attempt to collect some sense of it all, a real Wiki was created by Tom Fine, and it contains a good snapshot of the arguments as known.
It's hard to say if the release has affected the public at large, but it has caused many of the people who have looked to engage in some reflection. A lot of people remain very skeptical of Landis's arguments, and still believe the ADA claim he doped. Most people who haven't been paying any attention are still stuck with the initial media impression he's guilty. Still, there has been a seeming shift towards favorable attitudes by many fence sitters.
In November, a lot of public things happened. First, we found out about a lot of the backstage maneuvering that had been done in correspondence between Landis and the USADA. This documented a progression of USADA appearing to be reasonable, then over time hunkering down and playing hardball, denying Landis documents known to be in it's posession, and playing semantic games with the definition of a public hearing. This raised questions about their motivations, whether they were seeking the truth, or just trying to score a case win no matter what.
The next week, a scandal erupted with the LNDD announcing that a "hacker" had broken into their computers and stolen documents. They said a criminal complaint had been filed with the police. Their documents were apparently sent to various media outlets and official bodies by a would-be whistleblower, some by email, some via the post-office. It is not known who got the documents from the lab, or who sent them. The initial L'Equipe report claimed that Landis was somehow involved in the hack, but this has not been substantiated; one interview with an investigator suggested the UCI was involved somehow as part of its spat with the Tour organizers.
The initial report of the hack also has LNDD claiming that the documents passed on were either "taken out of context" or were "forgeries", and perhaps most damning, in bad French with spelling errors. This was used as justification for the "Landis did it" line of reasoning.
Later in the week, Sam Abt of the International Herald Tribune wrote a piece about the documents that said he'd gotten an envelope in the mail, posted from a suburb near the LNDD. He thought the documents looked pretty authentic, consisting of various pieces of mail or email that LNDD has sent various sporting federations admitting to different errors in tests they had referred as AAFs. The mistakes included attributing results to wrong athletes, having contaminated references, and just making operational errors that invalidated the results.
Mr. Pound's response all was to complain that things were apparently obtained illegally. He never commented on the substance of the documents. This contrasts sharply with his behavior in the LNDD/EPO/Armstrong/L'Equipe affair, where he expressed no concerns about how things were put together, and wanted Something Done about the apparent conclusion that Armstrong may have used EPO in the 1999 Tour. There it was what the documents showed, not how they were obtained that mattered. With documents that impeach the lab, it is how they were obtained that matters, not what they say.
At the end of that week, Dr. Baker delivered Slide Show 2.1, which clarified things from the first version, and added some of the whistleblower material as interesting if authentic, which is not known. This got the same dissection as the first version, with no significant changes in conclusions.
[At the end of the month, Rant named the hacker/whistleblower "Le Radoneur" (The Rodent), which we'll use from now on.]
As we've known all along, the case divides into two parts. The discipline case is what will be decided at hearing. There is also the public relations exercise, where Landis needs to fight to rehabilitate his reputation, assuming he wins the discipline case.
On the discipline case, we almost have arbitrators, and the hearing isn't scheduled, and now seems unlikely to happen before February. Getting the panel started and doing the schedule are the next procedural steps.
What Landis has released publicly is not completely convincing to a lot of people, including TBV. Two of the arguments made in the Baker slide shows, "variability" and "contamination" seem to be wrong. A better argument is made by "Duckstrap" at DPF, where he thinks LNDD identified wrong peaks in the spectrogram of the TE IRMS results and got wrong numbers. This may or may not be related to Landis' Cortisone. There is raging legal and scientific debate about the IRMS CIR result that LNDD declared positive proof that Landis has exogenous testosterone present. LNDD found two of the four metabolites they tested positive over the 3.0 limit, with one at 3.8 and another at 6.1, and said that makes a positive. Landis has argued a number of points against this. Other WADA labs with published positivity criteria would not have declared these results positive; that all four tested metabolites need to be positive to be conclusive by the rules; that all four need to be positive by the scientific studies; that the 3.0 is probably too strict a cutoff given the validation data seen in the studies; that the patterns seen are inconsistent with any data reported for negative and positives in any of the studies, suggesting procedural errors at the lab. Landis also claims to be saving some important things he'll only reveal when he needs to, but can't know until it is produced. It is not yet clear to anyone how valid these arguments are, and we probably won't find out until they are presented and rebuttal done at the hearing, and a conclusion is made.
At the PR level, a lot of people have developed an unease about the Anti-doping testing and discipline process they hadn't felt before. Landis' public release of documents has opened the sausage machine to scrutiny, and it isn't looking as infallible as people had been led to believe.
The case has become every bit as political as people thought it would be, with the credibility of the existing agencies very much on the line. An interesting question is, if Landis is innocent and found to be innocent, how can the ADAs spin the result in a way that leaves them any respect? If they go to the wall and lose, they are in deep trouble. If they thought he might be innocent, they could probably reframe the issues in a way that made them appear to be truth-seekers. This would leave them a path for retreat. Thus, a lot rides on how much the ADAs really believe their own case. There have been plenty of suggestions it's not the best case for them, and they don't have a passive target who will roll over.
[A suggestion in comments to this post says the answer for the ADAs is simple: scapegoat LNDD while claiming the system is fine. To do pull that off, they'll have to explain the lack of audits and oversight of LNDD, and use it as an excuse to add more oversight along with a request for a big budge increase to cover it. Perfect! The ideal bureucratic solution.]
Are the ADAs capable of taking a step back and really evaluating the public interest, their own interest, and the interests of sport and the athletes? It would be tragic in many ways to find they've become locked into a position where they can only go for a "win!", or die trying.
The staff of TBV is aware we're all tilted towards hope that Landis can prove himself innocent, and our bias can skew the coverage in non-objective ways. As they used to say in broadcast media during the days when the Fairness Doctrine was in effect (eg: pre-FOX News), if a responsible party with opposing views would like to submit articles, we'd love to hear it. We've been saying this for a while (see the sidebar on the right), but have had no takers. This offer remains open, and will not expire until TBV does.
Quote of the Day
About the DPF damage, HAL has this to say:
"Well, I don't think there is any question about it. It can only be attributable to human error. This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error."
Brad Rock of The Deseret Morning News writes about the baseball hall of fame, lies , cheating, and briefly mentions FL in with a bunch of other people with the usual reference....
DPF seems to have had some kind of glitch, losing some posts by duckstrap, jimmy and strbuk among others. Well, actually, they lost two whole days, which strikes me as really bad, even for a free site maintained by volunteers.
Phantom Reflections is excited about the 2007 Tour of California, and mentions a hope that FL will be able to at least make an appearance...
Cycling is Life buys into innocence, making the case that politics escalated things when the A sample result was announced, and dubious about the blindness of the B sample test. TBV also gets a nice plug.
[end] Full Post with Comments...
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Pez has a review of the CycleOps Pro300PT, recently seen in Landis's house post-surgery.
ProTour picks on the weakest, and says La Vuelta may not get three weeks.
BikeBiz picks up our mention of a Garmin/CycleOps link yesterday like we're a credible source, which then gets echoed again at 2teker, in a language I don't recognize at a glance, so no translation. (n.b., "rawk" is 1337 for "rock").
TBV usually has little interest in celebrity gossip, but news about Kid Rock catches our eye: "so much passive-aggressive hostility... "
Can't Stop the Bleeding writes about Lance the "Renaissance Man" and his hacking for Landis....
German PR blog is positive about Landis' campaign, based on statistics.
TripleCrankset thinks Landis does what everybody does, and it's not overt cheating.
VeloGal riffs on Lance Hacker.
Rant wonders about fairness, again.
La Grand Boucle thinks Landis will be plenty motivated in '07.
Goat Riders of the Apocalypse compares baseball doping to cycling.
100% vid3os has a five minute Landis tour review, with no aftermath.
DPF case discussion has gone aground, or in circles, about mostly irrelevant minutia. Maybe everybody needs a break. People aren't listening to each other, and are concerned more about winning arguments than actually making a useful point.
Someone asked Landis to clarify his previously reported comments about a conversation Greg LeMond has said was Floyd asking for advice. Landis answered,
I did, as I used to do for some people, call GL privately to discuss some comments that he made about me and my situation. I used to believe that a private call was the best way to deal with public slander. I have subsequently learned that the phone call will become public and the contents thereof misconstrued into whatever fits the agenda. What Greg actualy divulged to me is what he does not want to talk about. I did not call for advice, I called to give him a chance to plead his case as to why he was speaking when he had never spoken to me nor met me in the past and in no way could be portrayed as knowing me personally. Unfortunately, the facts that he divulged to me in the hour which he spoke and gave no opportunity for me to do the same, would damage his character severely and I would rather not do what has been done to me. However, if he ever opens his mouth again and the word Floyd comes out, I will tell you all some things that you will wish you didn't know and unfortunately I will have entered the race to the bottom which is now in progress. For the record, I don't know Greg, and have no more respect for Greg than I have for people who go through life blaming others for all of their problems. You are not a victim of others Greg, you are a pathetic human who believes that if others didn't cheat (not sure about you) you would be the President and all the peasants would bow to your command. Join reality with the rest of us who win some and lose some and keep on smiling.
Full Post with Comments...
Monday, November 27, 2006
In tomorrow's CyclingNews more of the interview with Jonathan Vaughters, with a mention of the IM that alleged photographic evidence of doping belonging to Landis:
...the two riders described what is alleged to have been doping practices within the US Postal Service team in 1999, and how they felt they had been misled by the team's management and its senior rider, Armstrong. The exchange also implicated Floyd Landis, who supposedly has photographic evidence of practices that are alleged to involve doping.
(We covered the original story on 15-Oct.)
Letters to Velonews, all doping and suspicion, but no Landis.
Pez Interviews Andreu, little Landis content.
NyVeloCity completes its tech report on the "Praying Landis" with wind tunnel info, and claims victory with Kristen Armstrong's World Championship. We noticed their August Part 1 here.
ZenTriathlon has podcast and a written summary of a talk by Allen Lim about use of the PowerTap, referencing Landis. Hints of a CycleOps/Garmin deal, which would be great -- A Garmin Edge 405 w/power readings would RAWK.
Racejunkie discusses conspiracy theories in relation to "Lance the hacker".
Jared Roy goes over the "Hacker Lance" story.
Rant talks about McCain thinking more money for WADA/USADA is part of a solution.
Olaf Vanderhoot thinks TBV is "rah rah" for FLandis' honor, and thatRant "needs a slap in the fo'head". He favors lifetime bans. (We had previous comment by him here)
Michael Grisso over on AC wonders if FL is guilty after all?
With everything to date it has looked as if Landis was GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY, but new evidence confirmed may make us to believe he was telling the truth all alongCyclingShots has a joke picture, and a snip from an article at the Speedgoat blog
During what has been a "slow" period this was the "haiku of the day" from the DP forums. It comes from NC Rider and sums the FL case up perfectly...
No recourse for Floyd
'Til he proves fraud or bad faith
A difficult task
- Sam San
[end] Full Post with Comments...
Sunday, November 26, 2006
San Diego Union Tribune tells an inspiring story about FL's mother-in-law Rose and her determination to keep David Witt's ( FL's father-in-law and dear friend) dream alive...
MSNBC notes new theory for recovery (not directly Landis related, but it's a slow day)
VeloGal comments on SD Union Tribune story above.
Nashville Cyclist notes SI Sports Turkey awards.
Cycling Shots remembers the ToG Brasstown Bald duel back in ought-six. Also a gallery.
Alan mulls PR crises, including Landis and ProCycling in general.
BK pays the ultimate compliment and names her lab after FL.( well it IS a slow day after all!)
Floyd Landis Pacetti
Posted by strbuk at 11/26/2006 05:48:00 AM
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Well, well. It looks like maybe we've gotten the quiet period we've been expecting since about September. And having made that suggestion, something crazy will happen tomorrow.
At DPF, Landis says the arbitrators have been selected, and that there are now scheduling things going on. Names have not been released:
It appears that the timetable to which you refer is a grey area which can be manipulated at will by the ADAs' since we picked an arbitrator more than a month ago as did USADA, and now the two have decided on a third and it appears that we will have one American, chosen by us, and two Canadians.
A forum I don't follow much, Let's Run, has a good thread started by ORG (old runner guy) about the case based on Floyd's "war" quote last week.
CyclingNews letters debate public complaints about the LNDD.
Kenny thinks everybody dopes.
Monkey Migrane recycles the Carolla radio appearance from August for more condemnation.
Rant talks about Lance, superhacker.
One last thing -- blogspot tells me this is the 200th post on TBV. I never would have imagined that, but there's a lot here I'd never have imagined!
Full Post with Comments...
Friday, November 24, 2006
So far today there is nothing new to share...
It's later, and still nothing of interest, and TBV is going on another ride, doing Diablo two days in a row. Cold at the top yesterday, and there was frost on the ground today, so I'm happy I got to Performance for the 20% off sale for a balaclava, neoprene gloves and booties -- which continues tomorrow 7-9am if you have a store near you. 2-for-1 on accelerade goo stuff if you like it.
Dugard says it's time to get on with the Landis case, talks of possible ramifications for USADA and mentions "The Big Lebowski", one of the greatest movies ever made. Fun quote:
There are rumblings of a Congressional investigation into USADA. All of this is getting more and more political, and no one wants to make a wrong move, so USADA is dragging out the investigation to save face.Snark O' the Day
Bradley's blog lists recalls including Floyd Landis chewable children's vitamins.
[end] Full Post with Comments...
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Full Post with Comments...
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.TBV's sense of this distills to the following bullet points.
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.
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.
LeMonde (translated) thinks the 1337 Hax0r may be...Lance.
PezCycling News runs the Greg LeMond comments on Landis
Cycling Commentary wants to believe!
Rant is very thankful he is not living Floyd's life today....
Rant seems to have detected a change in LeMond's story, with citation; and offers some thoughts of the day.
Recovox reprints an old Brad Kearns piece about Lance, which makes some snarky assertions about Landis that Kearns has since backed away from holding as the last word on truth.
TBV almost makes the big time with a mention in the USA Today Sportsscope blog.
Turkeys, Turkeys, Turkeys!
SI's "Turkeys of the Year" puts Landis at #8. The Argus gives him one too.
Biking Bis summarizes how "thankful" sports writers have been for Floyd this year....
The Bleacher Report offers an early Snark O' the Day candidate, on "thankfulness"
Floyd Landis: I deny that I am now or have been thankful for anything. Any thankfulness on my part, or rather any perceived thankfulness on my part, was likely a chemical anomaly associated with beer and/or whiskey. Or also maybe with sustained levels of extreme physical exertion. I’m still working on it. Confirmational details to follow in an attorney-approved PowerPoint presentation. Did I mention I have a bad hip? I have a bad hip. It hurts a lot. I deny that I’m thankful for that. I further deny that I’m thankful for Shawne Merriman, who did such a half-assed job in taking over my spot as the performance-enhanced flavor of the month. I’m a Mennonite, by the way. And I definitely deny that I’m thankful for that.
Now, I have a turkey to cook, but I wanted to wish all of the US readers out there a very Happy Thanksgiving!
And having gotten the bird in the oven and the veggies chopped, TBV is going on a ride. Everybody have a good day, with arguments about Football and the scandalous selections of balloons for the Macy's Parade, and all that family gossip you've needed to catch up on.
Full Post with Comments...
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Over the last week, there has been discussion in Dr. Baker's presentation and many blogs and forums about the meaning of the different readings given in many of the T/E test results. It feels wrong to have numbers that change a lot. This was one of the points made in our post revisiting the LDP earlier this week.
Marc was so bothered by the issue he went seeking some expert advice, and he files the following exchange in which things were explained to him, slowly. We hope to show readers why the variability argument used doesn't look good to non-partisans, and is probably not the hook on which to hang the defense at hearing.
For examples where this variability has been used, see Slide Show 2.1 pages 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18.
As readers know, I have been seriously troubled by the lack of uniformity in the absolute results of the LNDD lab tests (the raw numbers the tests produced). We have all been raised believing that one of the crucial criteria of scientific validity was the repeatability of experiments. Did getting different results from the same tests (and, it seemed, the same samples) invalidate the conclusions drawn from those tests?
This seemed so vital an issue for this entire case that I have not only read a great deal in posts and links to the blogs and forums interested in this case, but I've bugged obviously knowledgeable posters to re-explain things to me. And, in the end, I decided to
impose on a friend of mine who is a professor of biochemistry at a major American research university. Steroids are not his field, but he has decades of laboratory experience with other complicated biological compounds, with sophisticated instruments, and with managing a large research staff.
Below are the questions I asked him and his answers. I agreed not to identify him for one reason only. This whole case is, as I've discovered to my chagrin, a real tar baby. I didn't want my friend to become tangled with the tar baby as I have been, and if he were identified, people would send him further questions, and he would feel it his responsibility to answer, and there you'd have it: stuck with the tar baby.
In the spirit of Galileo's dialogues, I'll identify myself as “The Dummy,” and my friend as “The Scientist.”
The Dummy: What worries me in general is that no one seems to care that the absolute values that are produced by these tests vary so widely. I recognize that preparing the samples for different tests may produce different absolute values, but don't we want to see the same results every time we perform the same test?
The Scientist: I understand they are using GC/MS to test for the presence of testosterone and epitestosterone, two steroid hormones that have related structures and therefore related properties in the GC/MS analysis. So the premise is that, whatever is done to the samples, these compounds would have related chromatographic and MS properties. So treatments or instrument variation would not affect the relative concentrations. They would only affect the absolute concentrations, and the absolute values do not matter.
The Dummy: But how can we just write off the absolute results?
The Scientist: I can see that you're hoping that because there are such wide variations in the absolute numbers the whole analysis is crap. Unfortunately, I think the most reliable thing that can be measured is the ratio of two related compounds. That would be the measurement that would be least affected by sample treatment, machine variation, human factors. Since epitestosterone is obviously closely related to testosterone, it is unlikely that anything that is done to the sample would affect one differently from the other. If the ratio remains consistent, then that result should be reliable across treatments, instruments, whatever.
Unless there's a specific reason that the absolute numbers must be important in this case, I think they should be ignored because they are not reliable. The ratio would be most reliable.
If an absolute concentration is needed, the only way to get this accurately would be to add an internal standard to the sample before any treatment is carried out, and then relate everything back to this. I think it is very difficult to get absolute numbers from samples which are treated differently and analyzed by different instruments. If absolute concentrations are important, then this sounds like a big mess.
The Dummy: But look, I'm still worried about non-repeatability. Suppose you took a portion of the original sample, prepared it for a specific test, divided that prepared portion into two sub-portions and ran the same test on those two sub-portions, wouldn't you expect to see the same absolute results, barring some major difference in the sensitivity of the instruments doing the measuring?
(I ask the question explicitly because something very like this is what was done with aliquots of the A sample for two of the screening tests --USADA 54 and USADA 57--and two of the confirmation tests--USADA 92 and USADA 212.)
The Scientist: The answer to your questions is maybe. You're thinking abstractly and not real-world.
If you have a mixture of unreactive and stable chemical compounds and the instrument was perfectly calibrated and run identically then you should get identical results, within some limits of error for the detection, from a split sample or a sample run on subsequent days.
Unfortunately, that it is not what you have when you're dealing with biological samples and complex instruments. Biological samples are not stable, they degrade, precipitate, react. For example, the steroids are lipids which are not all that soluble in water. They are probably complexed with proteins. Over time this mess will precipitate. The samples are also probably treated to prevent this but who knows how well it works. Also there may be enzymatic or chemical reactions occurring that degrade the samples.
The only thing you can really hope for is that the two related hormones have identical properties so that they will react or change identically under whatever circumstances they encounter--which they appear to do.
As for the instrument, if it was run identically, it should give identical results, again plus or minus some error which is related to the instrument detection. If the results are different, i.e. outside the error limits, then it is not being run identically.
What you have to realize is that the culprits here are the variables themselves.
The Dummy: So you don't think that the different absolute results in identical tests on identical--or very similar--samples could be used as evidence of mishandling of the samples? (If it could be made, this would clearly be an important piece of the defense case.)
The Scientist: I cannot tell if the samples were mishandled or what that even means. But I am not sure what could be done to alter the ratio, and if that is the important measurement, then it probably does not matter what they did to the samples other than purposefully changing them to get the result they wanted.
Now if there was fraud involved, then all bets are off.
You're not suggesting fraud, are you?
The Dummy: No. Nor do I know anyone who is.
Quote of the Day
post 1: Fairness in the context of athletic competition doesn't mean everyone has an equal chance of winning,(link)
[post 2 deletes the remainder in quotation:] it means that the person with the best genetic engine in terms of that particular sport is the most likely to win.
post 2: Yes it does.
post 3: You sound like you grew up in a commune where the games were all non-competitive things like bouncing on a parachute. Athletics is not about everyone having an equal chance, no matter what they told you between bong hits while sitting around the campfire.
SI.Com reports things Landis should be thankful for this Thanskgiving....
VeloNews continues its good interview with Delgado, this time into doping. He talks a lot of sense. At end, he's vaguely supportive of Peirero without overtly hitting at Landis.
CyclingNews covers the HBO interview. From their summary:
Gumbel asked questions in a line that seemed to refer to more recent stories about systematic doping in cycling. "Have you ever seen or been recruited to take performance enhancing drugs?" asked Gumbel with Landis answering simply, "No."
Gumbel asked if Landis had ever seen anyone taking performance enhancing drugs. "I have to be careful not to believe [other] rumors I hear. I've heard speculation of certain people doing certain things, but I wouldn't be able to demonstrate that. What I have actually physically seen is nothing. What you are insinuating is that everybody is doing it and only a few are getting caught - that is not the case. I haven't felt pressure to take anything, but I have thought about... at times when I was down and not racing well, I have thought to myself, 'I wonder if the other guys are doing it and if I should look into it.' That has crossed my mind."
Racejunkie ruminates about Landis, and more.....
LeMond saying he finally quit after realizing after years of self-doubt that EPO was giving everybody else a 30% performance increase he couldn't match playing fair, and that if a moral guy like Floyd Landis is really positive, there's basically no hope for anybody else in the peloton.a/k/a, the "everyone faster than me is doping" (EFTMID) rationalization. RaceJunkie has more to say, snarking at all sides with equal glee.
du Nord reports Landis loses again, in Sports Illustrated's "Turkey of the Year", won by Zinedine Zidane. Haven't seen this SI story yet to know if Landis is mentioned, or if du Nord is snarking alone.
Comments by Jeff to this post review the HBO appearance, agreeing it was fair, and wanting to strangle Landis for his "I'll say" verbal tic. A longer summary appeared on comments to yesterday's roundup by ORG agree it was mostly fair, that Landis answered some questions weakly, and that Mr. Pound pontificated.
Rant wonders how accurate tests ought to be, and the cost of mistakes. Steve of Peeves offers a good comment on multiplicative accuracy as why eliminating the B sample test is a bad idea, and an argument for use of a second lab.
"Local Celebrity" give Landis a boob-of-the-year Turkey.
French Media and Economic Intellegence (translated) looks at the "hack" as reported by Stade 2, and is fascinated by the appearance of Legorjus in the report.
PropheticSports runs the numbers. About what? This means something, it's important!
rec.bicycles.racing has some tasteless threads started by some of the usual bomb-throwers, here and here.
A new site for the crowd that was on the BBC Forum, and they evaluate the case very differently than the people on DPF.
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Tuesday, November 21, 2006
In comments below, "ORG" says the HBO show was reasonably balanced, without much news to folks here. Landis does say if he loses, he'll retire and move on with his life, which he's said before (but I can't find the ref).
AP via VeloNews, LeMond wants harsher penalties, criminal action against dopers. WADA budget up 3%. LeMond also speaks to CyclingNews:
So what did he think about Floyd Landis? "He called me for advice," LeMond replied. "I told him not to act as Tyler Hamilton did: deny, deny, deny. He's a good guy. I will keep to myself and respect what he told me, while waiting for the verdict of USADA. This guy's talented, I've known him for five, six years. Of course I have an opinion on this affair. If it turns out that he's guilty, he will really symbolise the tragedy of cycling. This guy had ethics, a good education. If he's positive, then there's not much hope for the others..."
When this article was brought to Landis' attention at DPF, his response hints Greg may not be remembering something clearly:
Let me sum up my opinion on Lemonds' statements. I would ask Satan for advice before calling Lemond.BikeBiz picks up Landis comments on DPF also discussed below, talks about other recent events.
VeloNews has an interesting interview with Pedro Delgado; one brief Landis mention, but speaks to many large topics not focused on doping for a change.
At DPF, Landis admits he's triggered by some questioning why everybody can't play nice in the case, and go along with "close enough" on the accuracy and statistics. Not meaning to give Ron, the questioner, too much grief personally, Landis says (spelling corrected):
(Insert disclaimer to avoid repeated civil war) Ron, I can't answer those questions because I've never been through anything even remotely like this before. However, I can point out that you are overlooking the height of the stakes in this game. The winner gets nothing and the loser loses everything. In that context do you think that overlooking any advantage and being nice will increase the odds of the other side playing fair? THIS IS A WAR my friend. Everything has been taken away from me, my lifelong dream, my job, the respect of my peers and the rest of the world for that matter, any chance of recovering some sort of normal life, and my father in law and best friend is DEAD. No problem, I'm a reasonable guy, I'll tell them that a few small mistakes which had little effect on my life can be overlooked and I'm sure that they will admit that the science cannot demonstrate with any kind of certainty that I used testosterone. That sounds likely.That's the clearest expression of Landis's anger and bitterness I've ever seen. It's not an abstract game to him (or the ADA side). This is worth keeping in mind as things continue to develop.
Sorry Ron, that anger is actually aimed at people other than you, you just asked the right questions. The problem is that, even if I told you guys that WADA scientists now work for my team and can testify that it is not positive, you would still want to believe in what you've been told the "science" represents because that is all we have and you are afraid of being left feeling hopeless. I can solve most of the arguments which have gone on here lately by identifying the problem. Everyone here came with a preconceived notion of what was THE truth. And now both sides realize that things are not as simple as they have been advertised to be but you still have that notion when you get confused, so I propose a poll of statistics. What percent error would be reasonable to inflict upon someone the penalty which I have already paid. To be more clear, what is an acceptable margin of error for a test with such stakes?
New speculation here is that Landis may be saying he has WADA scientists (current? ex?) on his team and will testify that his test results are negative. He already had deBoer, his observer at the B sample. Are there more?
In a new topic, Duckstrap tips his hand and says his analysis of the current LDP does not lead to a guilty conclusion. He is particularly disturbed by some pages documenting key points that ought to be there, but have not been provided. There will be lively debate about this.
Floyd.com announces HBO at 10pm EST "Real Sports" appearance with Bryant Gumble.
Bujacob runs a thoughtful Robert Lipsyte piece we covered before; it's more readable at TomDispatch.
Ajiva relates bike doping to performance enhancement in general, returning to ethics.
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Monday, November 20, 2006
FloydLandis.com has video of the Baker presentation on box.net, which is mirrored for easy access in various formats at archive.org for streaming and download. The streams and other mp4s look like crap, so download the Quicktime .mov (66m). Also at Missing Saddle who did the video (yay!).
French TV Stade 2 has a report on the events of the week. Shows the hacker letters including the cover sheet in "bad french." There is some footage from Tucson, with snippets from Landis and Baker, and words from one of the Police.
Would a French speaker like to do a transcript? (hint, hint)
CyclingNews reports UCI's Zorzoli (of the Armstrong leak) announcing a lowering of the testosterone limit at a meeting of Italian cycling medics. This seems to be from left field -- WADA was thinking about raising it back to 6:1 from current 4:1 due to too many false positives. The report doesn't mention a number, or under what authority this is being done. [pointer by Carlton]
The Tucson Citizen has a late story about "deposed" Tour de France champion Landis starting Saturday's El Tour de Tucson:
"I'm jealous," he told the crowd of riders upon prestart introduction. "I want to be riding with you."AFP via Velonews reports Lamour elected VP of WADA, heir-apparent to Mr. Pound. Lamour is a defender of LNDD
Guardian (UK) has Armstrong talking about some recent WADA proposals, where he likens a four-year ban after an A sample-only positive to a death sentence.
The Herald (UK) discusses the hack on page 2 of this story, in the running for Snark O' the Day, but placing third, behind...
Houston Chronicle columnist, who get around to Landis' appearance on Real Sports toward the end, but even that is #2 to...
Snark O' the Day
OHMY News International (OMNI), a Danish site, talks about the forthcoming Jesper Skibby tell-all book, and tosses in this beauty, (courtesy emailer Gene):
This year's Tour de France winner, Floyd Landis, disgracefully lost his victory on doping suspicions. Ironically, as is widely agreed, Landis only won that victory because the two major names, Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso, were excluded a few days before the race start based on doping suspicions.Comment from chris below notes that maybe they got some feedback, and gene takes the credit, as it now reads:
"This year's Tour de France winner, Floyd Landis, had his victory questioned on doping suspicions. Ironically, as could be argued, Landis only won that victory because the two major names, Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso, were excluded a few days before the race start based on doping suspicions.(*)
(*) This paragraph has been edited for clarity. --Ed."
(Not placing is another "If I Did it" from St Paul Pioneer Press.)
Rant thinks about contamination and repeatability, and in another article, talks about the testosterone threshlold.
Biking Bis covers el Tour appearance, and even lists the winner, who is probably feeling slighted. Congrats to Michael Grabinger, who covered the 109 miles in 4:15.
Marc Petrine has another view of el Tour, with this observation:
Floyd Landis was at the start line. Not to race but just to make an appearance. I wonder what he gets for an appearance fee now? Probably less that he used to. There were mostly cheers for him but more than a few jeers and boos.
Naomi meets Landis on the plane; Tricia tells her el Tour story.
Moscaline snarks, then throws up hands; Tom misses his free album downloads and thinks Landis walks. I'm not sure I like the connection.
GeneWickerJr revisits after last looking in July, and is wondering about the lab.
Squishy compares his power to Landis, and is impressed.
RedBurroRacing gives TBV a plug.
VeloGal reads the slide show, is appalled, and advises emailing people to complain.
Unruly Duckling says , Vindicated? Not Quite Yet!
This individual mistake doesn't necessarily mean that the sample wasn't his, and it doesn't explain why the original sample tested so high for testosterone. However, it does introduce an element of doubt into the integrity of the testing process.LaFlammeRouge, a French blog (machine translated) we have referenced before, runs over the events of the week with a different slant far more skeptical of the Landis side, but not wholly unreasonable. What's really worth the click are the comments, featuring the "gangsters" Armstrong and Landis, the last of which concludes:
So tomorrow your life was dependent on one test to Testosterone, would trust Floyd Landis and with its clicks of gangster doctor and lawyer where with a worthy person like Prof Jacques de Ceauriz, who like described so cynically Rafael, spends his time to branloter of the samples of urines whereas the experts of Landis branlotent the media.
DPF may be having a breather after a tense week. There was another announced departure by an interesting newcomer, but moderates are stepping up:
I think those that already have their mind made up are the ones who are going to be outspoken. I think on balance the board as a whole is quite impartial, but the unsure population, the one that is keen to give the benefit of doubt in both directions, is never going to be strident. Like I said in another thread, conviction or absolute faith is an overrated commodity, yet those who possess it will have their voices heard most loudly.Meta
One of the things we didn't hear out of Tucson was the startup of a Landis Defense Fund, which had seemed like something that may have been coming. Maybe Daddy Warbucks stopped by.
Another thing we didn't get was Landis on "The National", on the CBC. Perhaps bumped by an investigation into how the Grey Cup got broken. Really. When getting handed around in the Post CFL-"Superbowl" celebration, it got busted. Kelly Bates, the guilty party, needs to watch out for Mr. Pound.
There was an expected blip in blog mentions of Landis in the last week, as shown by this chart you get on a technorati search:
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Sunday, November 19, 2006
One result of the slide show's re-release was to send me off spending a whole lot more time than I had intended, or wanted, looking at the lab reports in the Landis documents.
Marc finds some things that are curious,
but after discussion, don't appear to be
earth-shattering. I suggest taking it as
a lesson in navigating the LDP to look for
something given a few pointers. Marc
here starts from leads in slide-show 2.1.
(You can click page images to get the original scan)
We've often agreed in this blog that the best Landis defense would come from some scientific challenge to the lab results. Reading the discussion over at DPF, though, I'm less optimistic that that can occur successfully. The debate is now focussing on where the threshholds should be set, and there doesn't seem to be consensus about that. The slide show makes various assertions as to where they should be, but there's considerable disagreement about how authoritative those assertions are.
In that context, arguments regarding the consistency of the lab findings become serious matters and not just quibbles, I think. We expect scientific results to be repeatable: same sample, same results, even if by different routes, at least in most cases. In that regard, the slide show raises some very serious questions, to which I'd like to add a little detail.
Before starting, let me warn everyone that even here nothing is entirely straightforward. The original sample (the A sample) was subjected to a fairly extensive battery of tests, for each of which a different preparation regimen was to be followed. Thus, broken into its many little aliquots and prepared for the different tests, as I understand it the single source becomes a whole range of differing samples. I suppose that means that the absolute readings of the various steroids might be different from one aliquot and test to another. But at the same time, it seems to me that the sainted T/E ratio ought to remain the same (or near enough) regardless.
A really pointed example of what look to me like significant inconsistencies in the results can be found in the three tests reported on USADA 054 (a screening test), USADA 212, and USADA 214 (the latter two confirmation tests). In fact, all three tests were run on the same day--Saturday, 7/22--by the same individual. Their results vary widely. The episode of these three tests is to me a microcosm of the general behavior of the lab.
Presumably, the test on p. 0054--the screening test--was performed first. It reports back a T/E ratio of 4.9. Had that been all, would the lab really have gone forward with all the rest of this pursuit? But the operator signals a "derivation inhibition," and checks the "Verify" box on the form. There is no explanation as to what led to this conclusion. (See below, by the way.)
At this point, I imagine,the tests on p. 0212 and p. 0214 were performed. Their results are altogether different from 0054's, both in regard to absolute values for T and E and the T/E ratio. Now, on the one hand, their absolute results might be different from 0054's because they were performing a different test from 0054, and needed a different preparation. But on the other hand, the results on 0212 and 0214 don't agree with each other in regard to the absolute values of T and E, even though they were performing the same test.
(Here again, there might be an obscure explanation. 0212 and 0214 may be using different samples. 0212's is identified as "995474te" while 0214's is "995474te SSH." But I wonder whether these really are different samples, and even if they were, I would want it confirmed that this accounted for their different results. I warned you that nothing was straightforward.)
In any case, 0212 and 0214 don't exactly agree with each other on the T/E ratio, either, though they are closer to each other, and far removed from 0054. 0054 reported 4.9, 0212 reported 10.7, and 0214 11.2. But all of that variation, coming with the same operator, on the same day, does not exactly foster confidence in the solid scientific underpinnings of the results.
(There are two interesting sidebars to this day's tangled story. First, when it came to writing up the T/E ratio results, LNDD used neither of these tests in its report on USADA 101. It uses a test from a 7/24, on p. 0092.
Second, the same test performed on 0054 was repeated on 7/25, apparently using the identical sample (995474H) despite the dread "derivation inhibition." Its results are reported on p. 0057.
The absolute results for the various steroids are completely different from 0054's. There's that fine scientific repeatability again. The T/E ratio, however, is very similar: 5.1. Go figure. The new operator notes: "Confirmation vial reinjected in screening." What in the world does that mean?)
Perhaps someone with experience of these tests can explain why such widely and, if I can use the term, "consistently" divergent results are normal and do not signal serious scientific failures. But no one has bothered to do so yet, and until someone does, I am looking wirh increasing skepticism at the pronouncements from the "authorities.”
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The Arizona Daily Star notes that Landis was well received at yesterday's cycling event in Tucson...
"It was amazing," said DeBernardis, whose voice cracked and eyes watered as he talked about Landis' appearance. "When I introduced Floyd, everyone applauded and wouldn't stop applauding. It was a good showing that all of us cyclists in America are behind him."The Scotsman thinks he has reason to believe the hacker is from Wisconsin...
Snark O' the Day
It's been done elsewhere, but not as clean an example: The Bradenton Herald uses Landis in a list of books similar to OJ's, "If I Did..."
Becky has Floyd take a message at el Tour.
Rick Leon writes of el Tour.
James McTyre gives a sermon (literally) about gossiping, invoking Hee-Haw and Landis. Well done.
There's a lot of tension over at DPF. A number of high-caliber participants have announced departures over what they see as polarization, lack of honesty, and nasty tone. Floyd came by briefly last night, noticed the change, and hoped it wasn't his fault. It probably wasn't directly his fault, caused by something he said, but his presence did bring a different group than had been there previously. This produced inevitable rifts between "newbies" and an "old guard" that was comfortable with the way things were. Floyd's presence also charged the emotional atmosphere to highlight existing fractures in the audience and the moderating communities on already polarizing issues. It's not like debating Accelerade vs. Gatorade in terms of emotional investment.
A lot of this reflects cycles that are common in forums, not unique to DPF, and it can get better if people take a step back.
There is still good discussion to be found there, but there is more noise to cut through to find it at the moment.
Topix is further down the path, in that useful discussion has pretty much completely ceased with no hope in sight. Most who remain are fixed-position blockheads who like to repeat themselves, fantasizing it is going to change the minds of the other fixed-position blockheads. TBV has been there, and has given as much as he's gotten, which is futile. The only reason to drop in occasionally is to try to balance the tone for new visitors who arrive and would otherwise hear largely one-sided rants.
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Saturday, November 18, 2006
The Slide Show that Dr. Baker presented in Tucson has been uploaded to his site, and mirrored into archive.org for easy download here.
Update: Video from FloydLandis.com and box.net is mirrored for easy access in various formats at archive.org.
I haven't had time to do an extensive review, but the new material seems to be:
- Extensive discussion of positivity criteria, comparing what was apparently done at LNDD with what is done at the Australian lab and Catlin's UCLA lab, and note that one of the control samples in Catlin's research would have been a "positive" under what appear to be the LNDD standards.
- A review of some of the "hack" documents, which Baker calls the "whistleblower" documents. He doesn't make particular claims for their veracity, except that it ought to be possible to determine from either LNDD or the ostensible recipients.
- A request to the Alpine Climbing Federation to destroy an LDP that had a wrong date.
- Letters to two swimming federations retracting LDPs that have wrong sample numbers.
- Letter to the Squash Federation retracting an LDP that assigned an AAF to the wrong athlete.
- A letter to FINA (swimming) retracting a declared AAF because they discovered it had cross-contaminated its control urine on July 4th 2006, during the Tour.
- WADA knew of the cross-contamination on Jul 4, and questioned LNDD about it;
- LNDD made excuses
- WADA appears to have taken no further action.
The useful discussion at DPF narrows into the IRMS CIR positivity criteria as the key argument, and thinks the references in the SS are muddled, and the references unclear.
Floyd appears and asks some leading questions that rattle around.
Rant looks at the show, and thinks the case is being made, but thinks the other side will come out swinging too.
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Slide Show 2.1 is available, along with our first look.
Velonews gets an interview with Landis. He says about the hack,
Somebody sent me an email, because I guess it came out in L'Equipe but it was nighttime in the United States. So I woke up and had gotten the email that somebody said there was a story about some hacker and they connected it to me somehow. I was caught completely off guard, I have no idea what they're referring to, but I've come to learn that nothing about this hacker story relates to my case. Why it got blamed on me or anybody around me is baffling.CyclingNews covers Baker's presentation.
BBC Sports Cycling. has David Millar weighing in on the Landis controversy, "Millar says the Landis case in particular has made cycling realise it has a 'fundamental cultural problem'."
AP via VeloNews covers the presentation last night, as well the weeks' happenings in the Landis case. Minor changes from the version yesterday. Henson says Landis was in Tucson to be the official starter for the race, but that he would not talk to reporters.
ProCycling report conflates the hack with the admission about the typo(s), and discusses some organizational changes above LNDD.
SignOnSanDiego has a report from Wednesday that Murrieta is warming to the idea Landis might win his case.
TourDeFranceLogue looks at the proposed modifications to the WADA code in disbelief.
Landis poses with Kaity Ruth after she sang the national anthem this morning at the El Tour de Tucson.
PJ looks at some more things Mr. Pound has said this week, especially about the B sample.
Racer Blue has a funny theory how Landis is tied to the hack, originally from TrashTalk.
Hammerhead outlines a party line more extreme than I'd take; Dark Chocolate believes he's clean by gestalt; City of Monk's "Cranksgiving" is happy the lab copped to a mistake; Phantom Reflections goes riffing; French blog reads reports as saying Landis was the hacker.