Monday, February 26, 2007

Monday Roundup

News
The Times Online publishes an extensive piece in which Landis sounds optimistic in his fight to regain his reputation. He also comments on the formation of the FFF and why it's bigger than just one person's struggle:

What is the purpose of the Floyd Fairness Fund campaign and how would you answer those who say it is wrong for you to seek funding from the public?

“All I ask is for fairness. And, as indicated in the name of our campaign, we want to see the system change so that people in the future can get a fair hearing.

“People think that because I was a pro and won the Tour that I have a bottomless bank account. That’s not the case. I’ve done well, but I am going through my personal savings to fund my fight and it’s just not enough. I have a family to support and the rest of my life to consider.

“I don’t ask for help comfortably because it’s not in my nature. I’d rather be able to do this on my own. But I don’t think it’s wrong to seek public funding because this is bigger than me.

“For better or worse, my case is high-profile enough that the outcome will have an impact on how these hearings are conducted in the future. Athletes have rights. The system has taken those rights from us. The campaign is a platform for us to make sure that things get better for me and for everyone else subject to the system.”


It reads like an email interview, and Landis hits most of his points. He even gets to deny the blood doping rumor.


PezCyclingNews Eurotrash Monday also discusses last week's developments in the Landis case, but does so with a sympathetic tone:

Floyd's case seems to get stronger and stronger as time wears on. This will be a very interesting decision from USADA whenever the actual proceedings take place.


The Californian/North County Times gives a cursory report on last night's FFF fund raiser in San Pedro where about 50 people who were largely supporters attended. It seemed to have followed the usual FFF script with an occasional one-liner such as the one below from Landis:

When he was asked about the institutions lined up against him, he said, "These people should definitely be in an institution."
It drew a loud laugh from the audience. Landis, though, would likely be the first to say, this is no laughing matter

Bloomberg Germany breaks the news that 1997 Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich is retiring amidst his doping allegations. Minimal Landis content, still this juxtaposed against the Landis fight makes for an interesting contrast.


CyclingNews has part 1 of an interview with Oscar Peirero, where he straddles the fence, and can't be egged into condemning Landis. It starts out by observing that even with 2nd, he had a great tour.


The Press Telegram
notes that as the ToC was wrapping up yesterday, things were busy at the Family Lifestyle Festival near the finish in Long Beach. The longest lines at any of the booths for autographs could be found at Smith and Nephew where Floyd Landis was signing autographs and chatting with fans.


KPBS has an audio report from the ToC about Landis' "Tour" of innocence, with a transcript:

Landis makes it clear he has no intention of giving up that title -- or losing his case.

What's your plan if you end up suspended for two years?
Landis: I'm not going to.

His public hearing is scheduled to begin on May 14th.

USA Today Sports Scope
opines we'll be talking about Floyd Landis until the end of time. Please, God, no!


Blogs
Rant applies a typical work situation to the Landis case that produces a less than typical result on many levels -- a "worst case scenario," actually.


P3 wonders what in the world it is about urine samples that get some so excited?


The New Common Sense may be foolish, but they believe Landis, of all the cyclists accused of doping, is the most likely to be innocent, a rather dubious compliment at that.


Finger Food, on Saturday, suggests taking the de France out of the tour, and says Landis is on his Vindication Tour ‘07. We also get a plug.


Leslie Wong writes of Ullrich's retirement and adds this, which we hadn't considered, but makes sense, speaking to the jeopardy Landis has spoken of:

I’m sure the sloppy sample collection and the inconsistent scientific testing procedures done in the name of “fairness” by the World Anti-Doping Agency and their regional organizations in professional cycling have had an affect on Ullrich’s decision.

Triple Crankset in his SoCal wrap up gives out the "Granny" awards this year in honor of last night's Oscars. And Floyd Landis is one of the lucky winners:

About Time - "Martin Scorsese Award"
Well I was going to give this one to any of the various sprinters who won in the TOC, Bettini, Haedo, Brown, or Ivan Dominguez. But this one goes out to last year's winner, Floyd Landis because it seems that the cycling community/fan base may finally get some resolution before the next Tour de France (wishful thinking; don't hold your breath!) His Wiki Defense on the Floyd Fairness Fund website has certainly caused a stir (more like raised the ire of) with USADA, WADA, and the other powers that be as the court of public opinion seems to be painting a picture of incompetence of the testers.


A Cycling Life believes Floyd Landis when he says he didn't use PEDs, but is still afraid that getting off on a technicality is something Floyd should be concerned about.


MarniJ's report on the ToC includes SWAT team/gang related narrow escapes, and being stuck in a slow elevator with Floyd Landis. She doesn't say which was worse, (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) but he did tell her she did a fine job for the ToC.

Shut this guy up doesn't get where the "unfairness" is. He looks at the AAF statistics that bother us, and conclude that the vast majority are cleared, and that's fair. He thinks it's about 25 of 500 that get prosecuted, only 5%, what's unfair about that. We think he doesn't have his statistics straight, because USADA doesn't publish straight statistics. He also doesn't realize how much legal time is involved with multiple cases, and so doesn't get the size of the legal bill.

Forums
Discussion continues today at the DPF Floyd Landis Case forum topic "Discrepancy between Screen and Confirmation T/E, Can we find a reason for the discrepancy?"

At Topix, hard to believe, I know, there is actually some useful discussion going on about the single metabolite standard. After a long series we get this:

If endogenous carbon isotope ratios represent diet and a doping agent such as stigmasterol has a known delta C13 range -25 0/00 to -320/00 and doping agent is metabolized over time, and then measured from urine the great disparity in metabolite scores are impossible unless two things are present.(1) Landis has pathology, such as a missing enzyme, or (2) The CIR is bogus, probably from mal-adjusted jets, outdated software, etc. These are the only possibilities! Since Landis has no known pathologies, the bad CIR is due to faulty equipment and idiots who work at LNDD, or possible sabotage. One positive metabolite is impossible!


At Rec.bicycles.racing, the following anecdote appears:
I worked at one time for Altex Scientific and I worked on the designs of the first production variable wavelength LC detector, a very high resolution fixed wavelength detector, at least one LC pump (maybe more, I forget) and the first system controller. We also manufactured the best LC columns on the market.

To do this we had a very high quality lab in which testing of the columns and design of tests were done. A customer would approach us and ask us how to do a particular detection process and we would design the test using OUR equipment and columns and then write very careful procedures which would outline the test and precisely how it should be carried out.

We had no problems at all with anyone anywhere in the world except France. Try as we might, we just could not get French scientists to follow the procedures. In one case it was a world famous laboratory run by a Frenchman who had a Nobel Prize. And STILL we couldn't get him to follow the procedures for the tests they requested.

Another post offers:
Well, I asked the house specialist in mass spectroscopy. Her feeling was that the stuff Baker came up with shouldn't matter. If there were "major leaks near the inlet capillaries" introducing contaminants, the most likely contaminants would be oxygen and nitrogen, ie air. And it would be extremely unusual to see testosterone or epitestosterone introduced as contaminants in this way. IOW, you might see stuff that was not in the original sample show up, but you wouldn't see stuff in the original sample show up as something else. If Landis' sample was contaminated with T or E, it seems reasonable to ask where the fuck it could have come from.

She did say that it would be very unusual to not have the documentation with the instrument. And this doesn't speak to having the same
technicians analyze the A and B samples.

Krusty adds:
I've worked in the drug testing industry, utilizing immunoassay devices such as TDX, then on to GC, HPLC, GCMS, and LCMS, and I can tell you that the errors committed by this lab were enough to invalidate any result. Never mind the fact that the chain of custody on the samples seems to be so corrupted, that no definitive conclusion can be made as to the accuracy of these samples.



1 comments:

Lonnie Renda said...

TBV,

Thanks for the response on my blog. I admit my stats may be off, but I am guessing not by more than 10 percent in either direction. It is unfortunate the USADA doesn't release the stats as to how many cases are dismissed at the independent review board. I am not sure where the stat comes from that the USADA has never lost a case that got to arbitration. In their own annual report, they have stats that they have lost cases. Finally, I do understand the costs of defending two cases, as an attorney, I have experience in criminal prosecution, defense, med mal plantiff's work and defense work. In essense the Landis case comes down to a battle of experts. His experts will say one thing, the USADA expert will say another, the testers will say something and the arbitrators will choose who to believe. The price tag he is quoting is high. Like I said, I believe he is spending it, but it isn't necessary for the normal athlete in his position. Plus, as I said, probably about 95 percent (okay maybe it is 90 percent) never make it to that stage anyway.

When you consider about 150,000 tests are run world wide. Only about 3900 come back with two positives and less than 250 of those make it to the Landis stage world-wide, it is a pretty small number of the overall AAF's.

That is why it is fair as it weeds out most of the bad positives. Do some innocent athletes get caught up in the system? Yes. But the system itself seems pretty fair. As far as the athlete only having 10 days, remember approximately 95 percent of those cases are dismissed at that time. As an athlete do they really want more time to respond? Do they want the positive tests to be dragged out for months or years when 95 percent will be gone within 10 days? To me that seems fair to the 95 percent of the athletes that have their cases dismissed. After all, they don't want it hanging over their heads while they are trying to train and race.