At the FFF town hall in San Jose, TBV got a second chance to see the current slide show, and consider the new material more closely, with a camera to substantiate a faulty memory.
The vibe was very different than in SF on Sunday -- not many more people, perhaps 120, but much smaller space, and not competing with the NBA All-Star game on monitors on the wall. There was also quite a bit of local TV media, absent the other day. After a little introduction from Michael Henson, we got an Entrance:
As usual, the evening had introductions, the slide show, some Q&A, an auction of memorabilia, and an autograph session.
The slides were narrated by Michael Henson, as Arnie Baker was unable to attend. Arnie's version is heavier on technical detail, and Henson's was more driven by narrative and talking points. This worked well enough for the crowd, but are less immediately interesting to TBV readers than the substance of the slides we'd been unable to consider closely on Sunday.
Let's first review some things that have come out.
- The other stage A Sample reports were delivered to Landis.
- Landis had gotten another version of the LDP from AFLD.
- The two LDPs do not agree.
- The AFLD provided LDP has additional material revealed in the slide show.
The other A sample reports are thousands of pages, in untranslated French, so part of the result may be getting buried alive in paper. The provided A results are, as expected, negative, and do not contain any CIR results. It is unknown if CIRs were done, but results not provided.
We also learned that Landis has had the second LDP from the AFLD, and USADA didn't know about it, and asked Landis to produce it for them, probably delivered today.
A slide presented Sunday, but missing today gave an example of a discrepancy between the two LDPs. In the USADA version, there was an incorrect sample number. In the one provided by AFLD, there was a handwritten "correction", but without the strike through, date and identification required. Yet both were certified to the recipients (USADA and AFLD) as "originals". Which one should be believed? We're told the AFLD version has corrections that appear to address problems identified by Landis in the USADA version, yet it was presented to AFLD as undoctored, unvarnished truth.
Now, into the interesting new slides.
This is an example of a form, apparently from the AFLD pack, that is sprinkled with improperly corrected errors.
This chart, when presented by both Arnie and Henson, goes for the cheap laugh with the dinosaur on the operating system version issues. What may turn out to be more meaningful is the second column, which identifies the application software for the spectrometer.
Evidently, LNDD is using an ancient version 1.67-2 of the software, where the current version is 4 generations and at least 6 patches behind. It's claimed that ISO lab certification requires updates to such software within months, but this is years out of date. Why bring up the operating system? Because the old versions only run on OS/2, not on XP or NT, and the new versions only run on the new operating systems.
We also hear that the machines are running firmware that is years out of date, which contains flaws that turn up as analytical errors. We've seen no documentation of this claim, but it is plausible and possible to verify.
This slide speaks to the inlet pressure we've mentioned, and which Rant has run on about. This looks like all new data.
The top box appears to be an answer to a discovery request that says that LNDD was given the wrong manual by the manufacturer, and never bothered to get the right one, so they can't possibly produce it.
The lower box appears to be from the manual that Baker said he downloaded after a web search, and describes the proper operating pressure of the Penning gauge as between 2 and 4 E-6 mbar.
The inset box appears to be from the AFLD LDP, and shows that LNDD ran some test at 5.2E-6 mbar, outside the recommended range. If we read the directions carefully, we see that it is where some bleed down is supposed to start from, not a value to be used in operation.
The implications of this remain unclear, as do the details of what tests may be affected, and how.
This slide was described by Henson as showing results of a test with values similar to those of Landis that was declared a negative at UCLA. If true, this would document inconsistent, non-harmonized positivity criteria between labs.
As always, we've asked for copies of everything, but we've been told to cool our jets. Landis has decided not to release everything, at this time. We heard an explanation that said they did not want to turn up the pressure on anyone by premature revelation of data that had unclear implications and importance.
It doesn't take a very advanced degree to see the irony in that -- if the ADAs had taken that position in the first place, we might be in a very different situation now.
There is behind the scenes activity going on, to which we have not been admitted. Should the case get to hearing, it all needs to come out. We'll keep asking, expecting eventual release of everything.
I'm not going to go into the Q&A right now, because it's late, but will write up the interesting parts tomorrow when time permits.
Let's close with a story about the B sample flap.
In December, USADA informed Landis that they had scheduled tests of the B samples at LNDD, and that he could, if he liked, provide an observer for three weeks of testing. They had already shipped the out-of-competition samples from UCLA to LNDD. This was not a request for permission -- USADA was just going to go ahead and do it. There was no explanation why this was being done, or statement about the authority under which it had been planned.
Landis responded by reminding USADA it was only allowed to test B's if there was a positive A, for which he had not received any notification or documentation, and wondering, was it going to require an injunction to get USADA to follow the rules? With the spectre of escalation into court litigation raised, USADA backed down.
Once again, your tax dollars at work.