Saturday, March 03, 2007

Saturday Roundup

The Sunday Herald prints an interesting look into genetically engineered muscle growth , drugs testing and how it can be fairly applied, and heroes with feet of clay:

Gene doping will only complicate matters further since it will not even be detectable. And if it all comes down to a question of ethics then is boosting muscle bulk or endurance through whatever means, really that far removed to an international archer having corrective eye surgery to improve their vision?

There are no easy answers, just uncomfortable debates. And while I'd love a world where all the column inches were dedicated to inspirational figures, such as Tanni Grey-Thompson, there are still many would-be heroes who prove to have feet of clay: Justin Gatlin, Dwain Chambers and Floyd Landis to name just a high-profile trio.

The's Terence Moore writes about the recent steroid lab discovery, its' far reaching effects on many athletes, and the fact that athletes have been cheating for centuries. He includes Floyd Landis in that category.

Florida Today writer Peter Kerasotis got an award for columns including one about Landis, which appears to be "Thanks, Floyd, for robbing us of our 'natural' look at heros," beginning:
Floyd Landis, we hardly knew you. Unfortunately, though, we did. We knew you for one brief shining moment, a Tour de France win that now has a dark shadow of guilt cast over it. Your envelope addressed to glory has been stamped, "Return To Sender. Conscience Unknown." So we bid you goodbye and good riddance today. Don't let the revolving door of fame hit you on the way out. Just once, wouldn't...

Followed by a "BUY" button for the rest of the article. Thanks, but we'll pass.

Rant discusses a new anti doping program that may be instituted by the UCI. Though there is no Landis content per se, if implemented it will impact Pro Tour riders and thus may effect Landis at some point pending the outcome of his hearing in May. This program has been cooked up in the dark by the UCI, without apparent participation by any of those affected -- riders, teams, or organizers.

Amy's Running Life tells us that Amy got to see the last stage of the ToC where she met Floyd. She wants to know about those sunglasses of his, and promises pictures later.

Steroid Nation appreciates yesterday's Independent UK article and cites some of the more pertinent features of the piece.

Herneweb applauds Phil Liggett's support of Floyd Landis.

My Mobile Blog posts that he will be riding with Floyd Landis tomorrow in the San Diego,CA area. He looks forward to meeting Floyd and getting to know him. This appears to bMatt Shriver at the Jittery Joe's training camp.

Over at the Daily Peloton Forums Michael Hiltzik of the LA Times announces an online Q&A chat scheduled for Tuesday March 6th from 10:00AM to 11:30AM Pacific time on the LAT web site:

As the LA Times reporter who has written extensively about the Landis case and USADA/WADA, and in the hope that I'm not violating a forum rule, I'd like to let everyone know that I'll be doing an online Q&A on the website this Tuesday, March 6, from 10 am to 11:30 am Pacific time. I hope I can expand on and illuminate some of the issues and questions that have been aired in this forum, including the CIRMS issues and the USADA retesting request. All are welcome to participate. URL is, then navigate to Sports Chat. Hope to hear from you all.....

The announcement today has generated no small amount of discussion, so the chat itself should be a lively one.

Thought for the Day

My experience is that people & organizations tend to label facts they don’t like as “technicalities” so as to make those inconvenient facts seem insignificant and unimportant.


blackmingo said...


Your great post yesterday begs to be brought to a larger audience. Along that line, I was wondering if you or any of those following the Floyd fallout have considered gathering a tribunal to answer the questions that will not be addressed at Floyd's hearing -namely, the evidentiary support of the confirmatory GC-IRMS at the time of WADA's approval of this technique.

I was thinking, to add credibility to the tribunal, that it should:
1) be hosted by a credible news organization (LA Times?)
2) benefit education of youth about potential harms of doping (USADA's educational outreach?)
3) have panel experts (including the now infamous TBV & duckstrap) discussing the evidence behind the confirmatory GC-IRMS test (include someone who attended this August 2003 USADA symbosium;
4) invite famous people who may want to contribute to the education of youths about doping (?Govenor Schwarzenegger? and other "clean" political and atheletic personalities)
5) again, in the interest of being perceived as at least somewhat impartial, Floyd should not be present as he would be part of the discussion, and:
6) the conference could happen the week prior to his hearing to drum up the public blowhorn into USADA/WADA that atheletes and the public, although concerned about the tarnish doping is causing atheletic competition, we are not willing to endure harm that an overly vigorous detection program will do to the very atheletes they are trying to protect.

Dream? Does the idea at least have potential?

DBrower said...


There's an idea there, and I think there are two predicates necessary to pull something off.

(1) it needs to be coincident with some sense that Landis really is going to win or get screwed (or it has already happened);

(2) there needs to be some charter for the investigation/discussion by some body that has a significant interest.

My most likely candidate would be some kind of congressional inquiry.

Perhaps a legal conference sponsored by somebody with curiosity but no vested interest.

Otherwise, I don't know that an ad-hoc, unsanctioned "teach in" would have any effect in line with the effort it would take to put on, but I could be mistaken.

It's an intriquing idea, and it would have to be pursued by some people who had no fear of future relations with the parties that would be the inevitable targets of investigation and criticism.



Anonymous said...

The link to "My Mobile Blog" should be "", not ""

Anonymous said...

Poor Hiltzik got a very rude welcome over there on DPF, though he seems to be handling it just fine.

It's embarassing but a little funny to see the self-proclaimed unbiased, level-headed geniuses over there get their panties in a bunch. They have it all figured out, I guess, and Hiltzik couldn't possibly have anything of substance to contribute, even though he, unlike any of them, has actually has first hand information from both sides.

Sheesh! I know arrogance and hyprocacy aren't necessarily tied to being smart, but they do seem to be packaged together fairly often. Makes me glad I'm dumb, but just smart enough to stay out of that minefield.

~ Cub

Anonymous said...

Hey Cub,
I got the business for my interview with Travis Tygart, and I'm not even a journalist. I'm just a guy who backed into the opportunity to interview TT. The problem with a popular online chat is that it usually doesn't allow for an in depth discussion. For citing sources and providing links and writing mult-paragraph responses. We'll see how it goes on Tuesday. I just think it's kinda rude to come to a forum (which is a place for discourse), solicit discussion, and then say "wait until Tuesday". Especially when you've written such a strongly stanced argument in the LA Times. Anyway, I will add that you seem pretty smart yourself.


Thomas A. Fine said...

Hi Ferren,

I think M.H. is getting much worse than you got. Maybe it's harder for you to tell, since it was you.

And, by the way, you have published a journalistic interview in a recognized news source. Congratulations, you're a journalist.