Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday Roundup

The Galesburg, IL Register Mail files a Copley News Service report that Landis stopped in (presumably on Thursday Jan 11, though no date is specified) unexpectedly to ask senate majority whip Dick Durbin for support:

The place is bustling. Durbin welcomes three new interns. Landis and his entourage have dropped in to ask for Durbin's help. Landis could be stripped of his Tour de France title if charges that he took testosterone to enhance his performance are upheld. Landis tells Durbin he is "looking for someone to look at the system," which he says presumes athletes are guilty. Durbin asks a few polite questions about the status of his case before an aide says he has a call he needs to take.

The Star Journal Register carries the same Copley News Service story cited above.

The IHT has a Sam Abt report on the AFLD hearing in Paris to be held Feb. 8, and gives further details on the negotiation of the date and representation at the hearing itself:
"Floyd's legal team has been working with the AFLD to ensure that this hearing is conducted fairly and without bias," said Michael Henson, a Landis spokesman, in an e-mail message Sunday. "If the AFLD continues to act in accordance with the rule of law and principles of justice foundational to any modern democratic society, then Floyd and his defense team are confident that this hearing will be fairly adjudicated."

Which gives more reasons why that was the time for the FFF to open and for Landis to lawyer up.

BTW, the IHT site has also adopted a more 'normal' format that is easier than the old "modern" one that didn't scroll and made you click through a bunch of horizontally oriented pages. Yay!

The Australian Sport
posts an article featuring Phil Liggett's opinions on Operation Puerto, the Landis investigation, and the Pro Tour controversy:
Respected commentator Phil Liggett fears self-interest and mismanagement by the sport's governing body, the UCI, poses a greater threat than the drug scandal that struck the Tour de France a year ago.

VeloNews has an interview with new Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme. Amongst his comments is the following:
Q: Concerning the Floyd Landis case, do you have confidence in the French labs who made the tests despite claims that mistakes were made?

CP: It's down to the USADA and the U.S. cycling federation. I learned yesterday that Landis is to face a case brought by the French Cycling Federation on February 8 in Paris. Whether he's there or not, I can say that at the bottom of this affair, the laboratory at Châtenay-Malabry is very serious and responsible. I don't have the slightest doubt about that.

The Boston Globe carries a story largely concerning Tyler Hamilton's struggles, but it has defenite relevance (and some reference) to the Landis case.

DPF works on understanding the performance-enhancing effects of Testosterone, and comes up with some studies with graphs. All appear to address multiple dose over weeks, not single dose effects, but discussion continues. This arose from questions whether Landis made any sense in his comments about testosterone effects.

Racejunkie does an inventory of "displaced/injured" riders, finishing up with Floyd's "new" hip and how it might be wasted.

Rant spins some AFLD scenarios, notes DNA testing fiasco with the Duke Lacrosse case (lab screws it up and prosecutor compounds) and compares to USADA/WADA process. Finally, he pats Lance on the back for helping out on the big C.

Yesterday's Mishmash post drew flak in a comment here. Anon here promised to straighten Mishmash out, and I'm happy to report his comment there is reasonable and does credit to the readership. But he forgot to plug TBV, sigh.

On the other hand, our link to Tom Skinner last week drew some less well-formed comments to his site, which have resulted in some unenlightening exchanges, including lumping TBV with FFF when it comes to denial and living in la-la land. And he didn't want the traffic, thanks very much, especially from people who disagree with him. Someone offers a pointer to the Stolen Underground site, thinking Matt DeCanio has something to offer on the topic of doping. If you care, you can google to them yourself.


marc said...

Helluva good comment over at Mishmash. Well done, Anon.


Unknown said...

Phil Ligget hit the head on the nail regarding the Pro Tour. Why was it started in the first place and funny, how much better cycling was before the Pro Tour.


grimid said...

Re: the Samuel Abt/IHT article - is this new or have I just missed this before?

Bordry told Agence France-Presse that the Landis case differed "in one very significant way." The test on Landis's B sample, he said, "took place in the presence of three experts, including one approved by Floyd Landis. (emphasis added)

marc said...

Hi Chris,

It's essentially new. The original Agence France Presse wire service story was later amplified, and various versions appeared in different French media sources. Sam Abt was working with the fullest version, and then went and got some information of his own, which made the IHT story the richest in details of all appearing.
I had done a summary of the additional AFP points over at Rant's blog, in a comment to his "Something's Happening" rant. But here's the full text of the AFP expanded wire story:

Story starts:

Floyd Landis, winner (for now) of the 2006 Tour, has been summoned to appear before the French Anti-doping Agency on Feb. 8. Landis, who tested positive for testosterone during the Tour, will most likely be represented in Paris by one of his lawyers, according to M. Bordry, president of the AFLD.

"We are going to hold an open discussion," the president of the agency announced. If the hearing decides the rider has been guilty of doping, the AFLD (which has initiated a disciplinary action against the American) itself can only prohibit him from participating in races in France for a fixed period of time. Only the American Federation and the International Cyclists Union have the power to suspend him, and, in the case of the UCI, to strip him of his title as TdF winner.

The 32-year-old American has built his defense on errors committed during analyses done by the laboratory at Châtenay-Malabry. "The examination of the B sample [also positive] was carried out in the presence of three experts, including one selected by Floyd Landis," Pierry Bordry responded, suggesting that the Landis defense will not be admissible.

That defense will certainly be based in large part on the data piracy of which the Châtenay-Malabry laboratory was victim, and the labeling error of the Landis sample which resulted. The B sample of the 2006 TdF winner was registered with the wrong ID number in the summary of the second analysis. "It's an error in reporting a number, a typing error that does not undermine the validity of the analysis nor the ownership of sample. Typos like this happen. They are corrected and registered," Jacques de Ceaurriz, director of the laboratory had declared."


Thinnmann said...

It's about time Liggett said something! I was wondering where he was in all this. Guess his livelyhood depends on some of the people he is liable to insult if he says the wrong stuff. Safety is head-in-the-sand? What do you think TbV?

DBrower said...

Thinn, I think Ligget is a nice guy who also knows that Le Tour is his main paycheck, not anything put forward by the UCI. He is understandably protective of the tour, and slightly less so of the other GTs, but I dont' think he cares a fig about the ProTour, and I can't think of anyone outside the UCI who really does.

The ProTour is about as interesting as FIA sports cars were sans LeMans.