Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Roundup

More Sports News 24 (SA) ,among many other outlets, picks up last night's AP story concerning the reasons why Floyd Landis' now to be tested "B" samples from last summer's Tour can't be tested at the Landis team's preferred UCLA WADA lab.

The New York Times
picks up yesterday's arb announcement from the AFP and gives it a couple of sentences in its "Sports Briefs" section.

USA Today SportsScope runs over the current brouhaha with comparison to the Duke Lacrosse case, and extensively refers to our coverage.

CyclingNews' letters today reveal concern from one writer about the advisability of testing Floyd Landis "B" samples from last summer's Tour at the LNDD. Christopher Stammer writes:

Floyd Landis 'B' sample fiasco

As the head of a company that analyzes and improves work practices based on best practices across industries - including the pharmaceutical industry - I am confounded by the report that the same lab in Chatenay-Malabry will be responsible for analyzing Mr. Landis' 'B' sample in pursuit of finding errors in their testing method.

Surely, I am missing something. While accredited by WADA, the French lab's testing method itself could be flawed. But compared to what methodology? Variances to the lab's own protocols would undermine the validity of the test, but of even more significance would be variances between the testing process followed by the Chatenay-Malabry lab and some other WADA-accredited anti-doping laboratory (ADL).

Even if an individual followed all of Chatenay-Malabry's testing procedures, because of a self-admitted lack of standardization of process and protocols across all WADA-accredited ADLs, the French lab's process itself could be flawed. This being the case, an outside audit would show that the proper procedures were followed for that lab, but the test result would still be unreliable when compared to other ADLs.

Since the authorities have four or more urine samples, to conduct a truly fair test and to eliminate every party's ability to call to question the test results, the test would have to be done completely blind and each sample would have to be tested by two or more ADLs.

While logistically cumbersome, the process would be easy to coordinate and would be far less costly to all the parties involved (and to the sport) than it would be to deal with the fallout resulting from an uncertain and fallible testing process.

WADA should demand that all samples (including several non-suspected samples) be immediately surrendered and blind-tested by an objective, third-party laboratory (WADA-accredited or not) with the understanding that the samples will be divided for redundant testing by multiple labs.

Why can't WADA and all of their accredited anti-doping labs get their act together?

Paul on Podium relates a study done in the UK on pain and it's effects on and from the cycling experience. The article written recently for the Podium Sports Journal in the UK was authored by Dr. Phillip Moore. In this piece pain has been broken down into two main subsets, one is exertion pain which all cyclists will experience through the act of riding, and injury pain which is obviously related to a specific injury. Each type of pain has its own reactions from the individual, and Floyd Lanids' reaction to injury pain was atypical:

Although rare individuals like Landis (and his collapsing hip) seem to dispel what we know about injury pain; it is commonly experienced as chronic, long lasting, uncontrollable, a risk to physical well-being and motivation for athletes to protect the injured area. Typically, an athlete will respond with a loss in self-confidence and motivation, increased anxiety and/or depression, and feelings of fear. Injury pain is thus seen as a negative and discouraging

This type of pain experience may lead to the phenomenon of habituation:


So our experience of pain is not sensation per se, but a product of how we perceive it. Tajet-Foxell and Rose (1995) have suggested that repeated exposure to painful stimuli may reduce pain response in some individuals (process of habituation).

The study goes on to further interpret pain as a means to an end IF success is perceived as something achievable through the pain experience:

For example, if Landis’ efforts at the Tour de France result in success, he is more likely to interpret the pain as a means to a successful end, and is likely to repeat his efforts. An athlete, whose experiences of pain are coupled with defeat or relative failure may be at risk of associating emotions of fear. makes it official, Floyd is participating in the Teva Mountain Games.

Triple Crankset thinks that Floyd Landis (a.k.a. Nell, see Dudley Do-Right) is being "railroaded" and that by sending the "B" samples from last summer's Tour de France to LNDD USADA is giving the lab the answer key to the final exam. Pictorially:

The Arbs (Dudley), Landis (Nell), and USADA (Snidely).
It's usually up to Horse to rescue Nell, but the part is not cast in our drama.

He also issues the warning:

To all those who are supporters of Floyd, that light at the end of the tunnel is actually a train.

Pommi notes that among yesterday's rather distressing Landis news there is the interesting item about Floyd's participation in the Teva games in June.

Smogranch is very confused to see that the Landis case is still out there after all this time, and he is tired of getting no answers from the mainstream media who may have "doping fatigue".

CrystelZENmud has many questions for USADA. He won't get answers, because they don't comment on pending cases, but they are worth looking at to see how you think USADA should answer if they were being honest with themselves.

Rant wonders if the wrong mushrooms have been on the pizza they are eating late at night over at USADA.

Travis Tygart and his ilk, for all their good intentions, have crafted a system more in line with a fascist totalitarian dictatorship than a democracy.

Uh oh, fast approaching the Godwin Line.

Lou Waugaman thinks Landis is STILL the man, even though they all dope, which he knows because a friend told him so. He really dug the strong/smart case analysis in the August Bicycling interview.

Which reminds me, the FreeFloyd store at CafePress STILL doesn't have mugs!

Primary0 talks about the B flap, and has a snarky illustration.

The USADA Digs Deeper thread over at DPF still seems to be active this AM. In the First arbitration ruling thread, Bill Hue writes:

People might have wondered why I've been somewhat uncharacteristically combative since Wednesday.

Every time I look closer at that decision, which disturbed me from the beginning, it gets more and more disheartening in its transparent unfairness. At least the 2 Arbiters are up front about it. Bold, in fact. This is devastating for all athletes. They have changed the basic rules. ALL SAMPLES everywhere that might be relevant to the issue of test accuracy (to demonstrate additional positives, not prosecutable) can now be both tested and used for a broad list of purposes and under a broad catch-all fostering further admission by an ADA but not by the athlete.

It makes me sad and also mad for all athletes but for FL in particular because the rules of the game changed a month from his hearing, after 8 months had gone by.

Also, with a further emphasis on the use of decisions as precedent, this decision will be applicable in all future cases unless WADA makes a rule change to undo what this Panel has done.


Anonymous said...

It was posted late yesterday the Catlin said their machine was down for maintenance so they couldn't conduct the test's when required.

To that I say, Bullsheite, Catlin's no fool: he is aware of the mess that has been created by LNDD and the last thing he wants to do is get caught in that tangled web of deceit and sully the reputation of the UCLA Lab. He's seen how Lands fights and knows if there are any errors in his Techs methodology or reports it will be Inspected with a high powered dose of public release. Catlin doesn't have a dog in this fight and does not want to stick his dog in the middle of it. There will be a ton of figurative, Blood in the water when this is over, folks. Catlin doesn't have any skin in the game, and the best way to keep it that way is, Oh, I'm sorry our machine is down for maintenance. Looks good from a PR stand point (he stays out and shows good standards). And if the Machine is actually down it would surprise me if it was planned that way in order to stay out of this mess.
I'm not sure if Landis could get any other WADA lab test this independently its to hot of a potato.

Atown, Tx.

Burt Friggin' Hoovis said...

Catlin's response is definitely bullshit.

We have laboratory instruments down for routine maintenance all the time...when the maintenance is complete, and after we do whatever requalification is necessary to demonstrate that the machine and assays are performing again, we start up again. If routine maintenance of a laboratory instrument takes more than a few days, then there's probably a serious problem.

ArchPundit said...

A fairly basic point most people are missing is that the search if for positives in samples already tested negative.

Think very simply about that concept.

If the tests of the B samples come back positive when A samples tested negative, this, in any sane world, would further call into question the reliability of the lab.

USADA might win this case, but they are demonstrating what a sham this entire system is.

I'm agnostic as to whether Landis doped, though the kid in me still hopes he didn't, but what is clear is that if he is guilty, it's exactly like the Forrest Whitaker in the Shield this week--they framed a guilty guy at best.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have a nice worded, well written letter to their congressman(woman)? If you do let me know I will make sure to spam it to my congressman everyday to get them to look at USDA closer!

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...


Actually, they're performing different, more "sophisticated" tests on the B samples. Only the screening tests were done on the A samples. For the Bs, it looks like they will be doing the CIR test to see if there's any supposed exogenous testosterone.


It's a bit out of date, but try this one:

You'll need to change some of the dates to reflect that it's now 2007, and maybe tweak a few things to be more current. But feel free ...

- Rant said...


I'm not up on current TV, but when you mention framing the right guy, I think of Quinlan in "A Touch of Evil."


Anonymous said...

Thanks Rant, modifying the dates now and will have this off today to the state reps and senators.

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...


No problem. Keep up the good work.


Good catch. But notice that I managed not to skate over the line. ;-)

- Rant

Anonymous said...

Primary0 is stealing content and continues to do so.