Sunday, April 29, 2007

Deleted/Tampered files at LNDD

Team Landis sent the following release late this afternoon...

CRITICAL LANDIS STAGE 17 EVIDENCE ERASED
FROM HARD DRIVE AT LNDD,
ORIGINAL DATA DESTROYED
Landis Examines Legal Options, Including
Appeal to Department of Justice

New York / Paris., April 29, 2007 – Simon Davis, technical director of Mass Spec Solutions and expert consultant to Floyd Landis, today reported that critical evidence stored as electronic data files (EDF) had been erased from the hard drive and the original data destroyed at the Laboratoire National de D├ępistage du Dopage (LNDD). The existing data bears indication of alteration.



The EDFs are electronically preserved records of the Isotope Ratio Mass Spectometry (IRMS) tests conducted on Landis’ Stage 17 samples. Davis was at the LNDD last Thursday along with representatives from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to witness the extraction of the data files by an independent expert tasked with retrieving and analyzing the EDFs.

Originally run by the LNDD on outdated OS2 software, the Landis defense team had first requested access to the original EDFs last December in order to process them on more modern and accurate software.

Prior to the arrival of Davis and the independent expert on April 26, the LNDD, under the authority of USADA, extracted the EDFs from the machinery. The LNDD took the following steps in the absence of oversight by the independent expert or Davis:
  • The hard drive from the Isoprime OS2 machine had been “wiped” by the LNDD and all of the original files destroyed, thereby providing no way to verify the authenticity of the EDFs from Landis’ Stage 17 analysis.
  • Relevant files for Landis’ Stage 17 sample analysis had been opened and re-saved by the LNDD, corrupting the integrity of the files’ time stamp authentication and exposing the files to potential tampering. The data concerning the Stage 17 “A” samples were re-saved on 1/30/2007. Landis’ “B” sample data bore a time stamp of 4/26/07, 9:51 a.m. CET, prior to the scheduled arrival of the independent expert and Davis later that day.
  • The altered EDFs from the Isoprime OS2 hard drive had been removed by the LNDD and transferred to a CD-ROM.
  • Other critical data from Stage 17 were missing from the files copied to disk.

“Protecting and assuring electronic files are required by every certifying laboratory authority, as the International Standards of Laboratories clearly define,” said Arnie Baker, M.D., scientific advisor to Landis’ defense team. “With the erasure of original evidence contained on the hard drive, the lab simply cannot document its findings.”

In light of recent events at the LNDD, including the exclusion of Landis’ experts during the recent re-testing of previously cleared samples and the destruction of critical computer files, Floyd Landis is considering an appeal to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the use of Federal funds in the adjudication of his anti-doping proceedings.

"Since the Federal Government is funding this and other proceedings at USADA, it makes sense for them to be responsible for it," Landis said. "Over the past few months, we have learned of disturbing facts regarding the protection and production of key evidence in my case and I hope to call on the DOJ to investigate the handling of this matter. I have every confidence that they can determine if any misuse of federal funds and any resulting criminal activity has taken place on the part of USADA in my case."

"I find it highly suspicious that of all the files on the LNDD computer equipment, only the data relating to my alleged positive shows signs of potential tampering," Landis added. "It is my impression that USADA's goal is to secure a conviction by any means available whereas the DOJ will be more determined to arrive at the truth."

Landis is also examining a request for the Justice Department to review whether USADA has violated criminal statutes in using Federal funds in relation to the conduct that has occurred in this case. "Make no mistake about it; I support tough anti-doping measures, enforcement and education. But, if the Federal Government is going to fund the adjudication of anti-doping actions, then the defendants in those cases should be afforded the due process protections of anyone accused of a crime in America. No more and certainly no less," Landis said. "Under the USADA process, I have repeatedly been denied critical evidence, I have been denied the opportunity to depose critical witnesses and I have been denied a jury of my peers. Everything they have done, including this continued denial of discovery, the retesting of already cleared samples and the subsequent leak of scientifically unsupported results to L’Equipe, simply reconfirms every contention that my team and I have been making about USADA’s ‘win at all costs’ mentality. Their behavior is nothing short of criminal."

end of Press Release.

25 comments:

Mr. Topix said...

What is this now? Why do they keep thinking we will just eat up lie after lie?

this is shameful.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit.

Does anyone remember Nixon?

I think USADA and LNDD are crooks.

Michael said...

If what Landis' team is saying is accurate and the LNDD couldn't produce critical documents with experts onsite, LNDD and USADA have some serious explaining to do.

I'm sure Mr. Tygarts will post his appropriate response...I can't comment on the case. Well, that response no longer holds water. Time for the USADA to step up and prove they are 'LOOKING FOR THE TRUTH'.

bill hue said...

Unbelievable.What is next?

We will be told it isn't a big deal.
It is.

Anonymous said...

This is the most public yet of my many humiliations.

LNDD - represented by Kramer's lawyer, Jackie Childs

tbv@trustbut.com said...

Mr Topix, I'm not sure who you are referring to when you write, "What is this now? Why do they keep thinking we will just eat up lie after lie?"

Do you mean USADA/LNDD or Landis?

Bill, this would be serious if it was your court. It seems to me that McLaren and Brunet can resolve this to their "comfortable satistifaction" by asking,

"Are these true and correct copies of the files on the instrument?"

"Yes."

"Fine by us, proceed."

The safe move, unless there is stuff we don't know about, would be for Landis to treat them as correct, and do the analysis necessary to show/not show the problems they suspect. They still need to prove something. If they fail to find what they want, they can still claim tampering; but if they find what they want, then it doesn't matter.

TBV

Michael said...

TBV,

But isn't one of Landis' biggest obstacles is that he can't question the 'science' of the test according to 'WADA Rules'?

If he can't do this, what better way to prove something by proving that the data that found him guilty doesn't exist or has been tampered?

I'm sure Landis wanted to wait to use this ammo at the hearing, but I have a feeling that his request for a delay has been denied and he said screw it, go public with everything now. I wouldn't be surprised if we learn more and more about Floyd's defense as we get closer to the hearing.

How long before Cyclingnews and Velonews picks this up? I bet it gets buried by them. But if IHT, the LA Times and ESPN pick it up, it'll get some serious publicity.

Mike

Bill Hue said...

TBV,
We are both probably right. By a 2 to 1 vote, celebrated throughout the world, we will be told this is perfectly fine.
Your suggestions as to how Landis camp should proceed are also correct.
But I must tell you, this one strikes me as too much even for USADA. How can we search for the truth when the truth has been erased?
Bill

Anonymous said...

Whether or not data has been destroyed and/or altered, I wonder if Landis' team is returning the serve of USDA's recent hardball tactics (e.g. demanding names of Floyd Fairness Fund donors , etc.). A DOJ investigation of the USADA's actions could easily result in large legal bills for various USADA individuals...

Jesperio
Northern Virginia

Anonymous said...

ORG here ....

Becuase of the slanted rules, USADA may win this battle but they are going to lose the war.

Landis should march out of the hearing room everyday after adjournment and pound the process to the press everytime they get what is perceived as an unfair ruling. And, by laying the groundwork now for the reporters so they understand the issues, he will get some sympathy for people like Hiltzik and Sally Jenkins.

In the end the Floyd will be found guilty but it will be viewed as the results of screwed up system, not the search for truth.

Then WADA will go about saying everything is fine, Dick Pound will say the system worked and they will then immmediately start dismantling this Frankenstein for a more fair process.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong for Floyd's sake.

hughw said...

I sure hope team Floyd isn't blowing something simple out of proportion. Having correct file dates isn't any guarantee against tampering -- any boob can change a date on an OS/2 computer. And having a copy of the file remain on the PC hard disk isn't any kind of verification that the file on the CD is accurate.

TBV gives the right prescription -- assume they're valid, run your analyses on them, and see what you get.

WDS said...

The USADA prosecuter is reminding me more daily of Mike Nifong from the infamous Duke Rape case.

Anonymous said...

Do LNDD not run data backups like any other organisation I know. How about requesting the backup files from before the latest file change and see if there is a difference between them?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the sort of 'defense' put up by Landis would be accepted in any law court? Just imagine if CCTV evidence were ruled inadmissible simply because it was presented to the jury on a DVD rather than on the original security monitor and tape.

Unfortunately it seems that Landis is just another Hamilton, or are some so deluded that they still think Hamilton was 'innocent' too?

Despite all the hoo-ha about being 'innocent until proven guilty', in reality it seems that no one (well no one who can afford high-flying lawyers) is held to be 'guilty' these days even when they have been shown to be guilty until their lawyers have been give a year or so to find any minor technicality which they will argue justifies having the case thrown out.

Perhaps even Landis believes he is genuinely innocent until his lawyers have failed to get him off, even if he also remembers taking the stuff! Orwell would have loved such a vindication of the concept of 'Doublethink'!

Anonymous said...

"A man is known by the books he reads, by the company he keeps, by the praise he gives. . . ." Ralph Waldo Emerson.

CyclingNews.com
News feature, July 29, 2006
Six years, 11 doping scandals: The Phonak legacy


By Tim Maloney, European Editor

The cycling team with the most doping scandals; is this how Phonak will be remembered?

Although the definitive results of American Floyd Landis' "B" sample from Stage 17 of the 2006 Tour de France are not yet available, and may not be communicated for a few weeks, it's now clear that Phonak can claim the dubious prize as the cycling team with the greatest frequency of doping scandals in the sport...

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=features/2006/phonak_legacy

ArchPundit said...

===I wonder if the sort of 'defense' put up by Landis would be accepted in any law court? Just imagine if CCTV evidence were ruled inadmissible simply because it was presented to the jury on a DVD rather than on the original security monitor and tape.

Any case in a court of law would have been thrown out already. Forensic labs have set procedures to maintain the chain of custody and the mislabeled samples and especially the white out may have been enough to throw it out in the first place.

The lab has violated basic chain of custody in several instances and no prosecutor would attempt to try this case in the United States.

Furthermore, a test that is positive in one lab and negative in another would open a huge gaping hole in any criminal case.

Finally, electronic record keeping in the case of labs is pretty detailed:

For example the FDA rule:
http://pubs.acs.org/hotartcl/tcaw/97/nov/comp.html

There are rules that should govern LLND as well. In criminal cases the minimum is that the lab would be expected to adhere to its rules--Landis, if correct, is pointing out that the lab didn't do this.

The point of what Landis is saying is that they haven't followed basic rules set for handling this data and so essentially it's another break in the chain of custody.

I've made the point before, and I'll make the point again, but we will never have a satisfactory decision on whether Landis doped or not. The multiple breaks in the chain of custody--a very basic requirement of any such testing program--means no one can make an accurate assessment.

I'd feel better if Landis could be shown to have doped, or that the tests are truly crap, but regardless of any of this, there is no way to make a reasonable determination at this point. As a fan, that's perhaps the worst situation to be in.

Anonymous said...

The firm I work for recently lost a case in which our client was proved to have tampered with documents by a computer forensic expert. The document metatags tracked all of the dates that the file was opened, dates of edits, even what was edited. So the other side was able to prove that our client had knowledge of the claims he was making well in advance of when he claimed to have first become aware. I don't know whether that's a Word function or a Windows function or general computing, though... maybe it wouldn't apply here.

Anonymous said...

archpundit wrote:

"The point of what Landis is saying is that they haven't followed basic rules set for handling this data and so essentially it's another break in the chain of custody."

So are you suggesting that the presence of synthetic testosterone in all those samples be ignored simply because of some minor technical breach of protocol? (This seems to be the line Landis's lawyers seem to be taking). If so this in itself admits to his guilt. That is that he did dope, irrespective of the outcome of any legal case.

Alternatively are you suggesting that there is some sort of conspiracy which accounts for the presence of that testosterone? If so I might point out that another doping scandal, especially one involving the winner of the Tour, is the very last thing the race organizers, the sport, cycling and even the French nation wants. Anyone who believes otherwise had better lay of whatever drugs they are taking for a while!

The way Landis has strung out this affair is harming the image of the sport a little more every day it goes on, and I note that, because of the doping issue, the British media have already questioned whether The Tour is the sort of event that should be staged in the UK, where it starts this year. I have also seen some very blinkered people trying to suggest that there is some sort of 'Anti-Americanism' at work. I feel it would be much fairer to say that many are actually expressing some very ill-informed and prejudiced anti-French attitudes and I am sure that ASO would have rather seen a little green man from Mars win, so long as he was clean, than see this scandal further undermine the credibility of their event. If anything the organizers deserve praise for not brushing this thing under the carpet in order to save face. If cycling is to survive as a sport, drastic action is needed regarding doping, and every rider must know that no matter who they are, they will be held to account.

Anonymous said...

Floyd Landis wrote:

I have been denied the opportunity to depose critical witnesses and I have been denied a jury of my peers.


OK, who of his 'peers' does everyone think Landis's legal team would like to see sit on his jury? How about Hamilton, Museuuw, 'Mr 60%' himself Bjarne Riis, Ullrich, Basso... in fact 95% of the pro peleton might be seen as fitting the role perfectly!

Yol said...

Uh-oh.
Last I checked, destroying evidence is a big no-no. Although... I guess it can't be any more or less morally repugnant than fabricating it in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Yol said...

Last I checked, destroying evidence is a big no-no. Although... I guess it can't be any more or less morally repugnant than fabricating it in the first place.

Pray, what has your statement got to do with the Landis case? Oh I see, LNDD, in cahoots with ASO and USADA (and probably the CIA and The New World Order) are fabricating data so as to undermine the credibility of the Tour and bring the sport of cycling to it's knees, after all that is just the sort of thing they would want to do, isn't it? Anyhow, I must go now as I am shortly due back on planet Earth.

Thomas A. Fine said...

Let me point out a couple of things.

First, the bad timestamps on the files can mean only one of two things. Either the files have been tampered with, or the data that proves they were not tampered with was lost or destroyed.

LNDD's job is to create and preserve evidence for use in hearings.

And finally, there is data that is missing, and the press release seems to hint that by sheer conincidence it is the exact data that was requested by Floyd but never turned over.

tom

Yol said...

Pray, what has your statement got to do with the Landis case? Oh I see, LNDD, in cahoots with ASO and USADA (and probably the CIA and The New World Order) are fabricating data so as to undermine the credibility of the Tour and bring the sport of cycling to it's knees, after all that is just the sort of thing they would want to do, isn't it? Anyhow, I must go now as I am shortly due back on planet Earth.

I didn't say a thing about undermining the Tour. The lab F'd up, plain and simple. Before Dick Pound could say, "I don't need no stinking B samples!", those "results" were leaked. Everything, since that morning, has been damage-control on the part of the LNDD and the -ADA's, and they have repeatedly demonstrated an inability to follow the rules [unless those rules are their own and therefore subject to change without notice] or act with any sort of responsibility.

I don't accuse anybody of conspiracy, only failure.

p.s. Welcome back to planet Earth.

zarghev said...

I'm sorry to say but the whole story looks like typical defense lawyer handwaving, for the fact that LNDD transfered files from hard-disk to CD-ROM in a standard procedure. And the transfered data has the date from the day it was copied.

Remember the scandal last week when it was spinned that Landis' lawyers was prevented to enter the lab by order of the USADA.

Anonymous said...

yol said:

I didn't say a thing about undermining the Tour. The lab F'd up, plain and simple.

Yeah, right! The Lab managed to 'F' up all 7 tests! The chance of all 7 tests being 'F'd' up is practically zero, and to claim that they made one mistake and then tried to back this up with false data or similar is a claim of conspiracy.

What are we supposed to believe, that the French test lab, knowing the impact doing something like this would have on cycling, The Tour and the reputation of themselves and even France would do such a thing?

What you say sounds just like another variation on the 'Landis doped, but we should let him off on a technicality' argument.