Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wednesday Roundup

News
A Cyclingnews special feature by Laura Weislo takes a look at the revisions proposed for WADA and gives analysis:


There are some items of significance to cycling that have been revised, namely the handling of research samples and public comment on anti-doping cases. After Lance Armstrong's 1999 samples allegedly revealed traces of EPO when used for a research study, the subsequent leak of the information to the press caused a maelstrom of debate. The new WADA code tells anti-doping agencies who use samples for research purposes that such samples "shall have the identity code removed such that they cannot be traced back to a particular Athlete.The revisions also move to stop any leaks regarding doping cases coming from WADA labs, stating that "No Anti-Doping Organization or WADA accredited laboratory, or official of either, shall publicly comment on the specific facts of a pending case (as opposed to general description of process and science) except in response to public comments attributed to the Athlete, other Person or their representatives."



C
yclingnews reprints Phil Liggett's comments on the Landis affair and OP from last week.

Reuters (South African version) picks up the WADA leniency for accidental dopers story quoting not only Dick Pound's response on ths issue but also the Landis camp statement from yesterday. CNN.com carries the same piece.

Marc reports L'Equipe is saying verdicts are coming in the Cofidis case on Friday, with light sentences, many suspended. The prosecutor says, "the mountain was confined of a mouse" in machine translation, which annoyed Marc enough to provide a less charming version:
The Nanterre criminal court will render its verdict Friday on the doping case involving the heart of the Cofidis team. At the beginning of November, ten defendants appeared in court: seven riders or former riders of Team Cofidis (Massimillano Lelli, David Millar, Phillippe Gaumont, Robert Sassone, Médéric Clain, Marek Rutkiewicz and Daniel Majewski), one trainer (Boguslaw Madejak), the manager of a 3rd division team (Oleg Kozlitine) and a pharmacist from the 16th district in Paris, Pierre Ben Yamin.

The federal district attorney, Jacques Hossaert, admitted that, from a judicial point of view, "the mountain has given birth to a mouse." The sentences that were requested by the prosecution were light enough: dismissal for David Millar; four to six months in prison for Madejak, and suspended sentences of three months to a year for the eight other defendants.

These light sentences were justified on account of the absence in the case of any trafficking in doping products. Rather, everyone furnished his own materials, or helped out a colleague from time to time.

The FFC besmirched

Nonetheless, this trial has shown a light on an organized "syringe culture." Phillippe Gaumont, for example, declared that "a hundred injections a year--that's not much for a rider." Moreover he, Robert Sassone, the rest described a systematic recourse to doping products and other medications that the chief judge of the court, Ghislaine Polge, found "frightening." What astonished her was the systematic recourse to substances which bring "physical degeneration, madness, and death."

Armand Mégret, [chief] physician for the French Cycling Federation (FFC), had painted "an extremely alarmist picture" of a situation about which one should "expect the worst." Paul Mauriac, the FFC's attorney, characterized [Mégret] as "quite the pessimist," and maintained the position that this was "a small bunch of misled cyclists." That, however, should not keep the civil parties [to the case] (the FFC and Cofidis) from confronting their responsibility in a system which, according to the defendants, encouraged doping.

District attorney Hossaert, while bemoaning the "omertà" in the cycling world regarding doping, pointed the finger at Cofidis and the FFC: "These questions [ed. note: about doping] should be raised in advance," and not "the day the entire press is reporting the arrest of part of a team."

Blogs
Endless Cycle pelotonjim notes the hypocrisy of Patrick Lefevre as concerns his apparent excuses for cyclist/friend Johann Museeuw (charged with posession of EPO,and awaiting trial), and his quick and unforgiving judgement of Floyd Landis:

August 2006 Lefevere suggests that legal action should be taken Floyd Landis for “setting the sport back 20 years.”


Rant revisits "multiple jeopardy" in the Landis case questioning the motives of the AFLD hearing:
It’s pretty clear that the AFLD proceeding really can’t accomplish what anti-doping officials in France, Montreal and the US would like: To strip Floyd Landis of the 2006 Tour win, as well as ban Landis from the Tour. Perhaps the AFLD will wind up banning Landis from competition in France. But only the USADA/WADA proceedings will be able to do strip Landis of his Tour title and ban him from competition internationally. So it seems that the purpose of this proceeding must be to guarantee that Landis suffers a ban at the very least from racing in France. And to give Christian Prudhomme and the ASO cover for keeping him out.

Random Thoughts 101 doesn't find the following all that amusing, but so far it's a slow day:
An Indian runner was stripped of her medal at the Asian games for failing a gender test. This marked the first occasion a female runner tested negative for steroids but positive for testicles. The runner is currently the only athlete to have more testosterone than Floyd Landis.

BikingBis runs down the Tour of California entries, and comments on Landis' absence.

Idiotarian Savant praises Hiltzik, and believes his stories are having an effect on WADA.

Web
An ebay auction for a Catlike Phonak helmet comes up with a new theory:.
..In hard to find Phonak team color of white/green/yellow. This one was made in June '04. These Catlikes are made in Spain and worn by several professional teams including Agritubel, EuskalTel Euskadi, Orbea, etc. Too bad Floyd's Phonak team switched over to another helmet company before the Tour de France, otherwise he wouldn't have had all those problems! The lightweight, highly ventilated Catlike Kompact 2 would have prevented his body from going nutty after that beer. That's what I'm thinking, anyway.

About.com runs a teaser under 'cycling' on how doping works, which is a pointer to some reference pages about various relevant things. Decent background. We learn of a study that shows
glucosamine combined with chondroitin sulfate works as well or better than prescription celecoxib for moderate to severe arthritis pain, but
glucosamine alone does not appear to help. Since TBV in in the going-rapidly-arthritic camp, this is interesting, but somehow it doesn't seem like "doping", as such, exactly.



6 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.thedickpound.com/

neb said...

Here is a more detailed link to an article about the Indian runner. The issue of gender tests is a very contentious one. For more information see the book The Frailty Myth.

Thomas Niemand said...

What's up with these "Richard" talk now? The mainstream media is afraid of the word Dick?

Anonymous said...

What is the Cofidis case?

tbv@trustbut.com said...

Google search for cofidis doping

TBV

Marc said...

"We learn of a study . . ., this is interesting, but somehow it doesn't seem like "doping", as such, exactly."

Oh sure, TbV. You failed to mention that this "not doping as such" article was placed smack in the middle of 5 links, two of which were about . . . well, look for yourself (shudder):

About Steroid Injections
Anti-Inflammatory Treatment of Sports Injuries
Does Glucosamine and Chondroitin Reduce Arthritis Pain?
About Steroid Injections
Pain Medications Overview

This is the slippery slope, TbV. Whatever happened to "strict liability?"

marc