Thursday, April 12, 2007

Landis Statement on B Sample Testing

Received from the FFF today:

USADA DENIES LANDIS REQUEST THAT Sample RETesting Take Place at UCLA Olympic Laboratory, LANDIS To SEEK Split of Remaining “B” Samples

USADA Insists on Retesting Negative Tour de France Samples In France, Violating Wada Code

New York / Murietta, Ca., April 12, 2007 – Responding to an unprecedented request late last year by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the Laboratoire National Depistage de Dopage (LNDD) has agreed to test Floyd Landis’ already cleared samples from the 2006 Tour de France. The retesting is scheduled to commence on April 16, less than four weeks from the May 14 hearing date.


Considering the history of grave testing errors committed by the LNDD, Landis has asked that USADA move the testing venue to the world-class facility at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a request rejected by USADA. Given USADA’s position that the retesting take place at the LNDD, Landis will ask for a split of all of the samples that are scheduled for testing at the LNDD for independent analysis in a neutral and uncompromised facility.

The original request for retesting came from USADA general counsel Travis Tygart and proposed further testing of the “B” portion of cleared “A” samples at the LNDD in Chatenay-Malabry rather than at the WADA accredited lab contracted by USADA at UCLA. Additionally, USADA has taken the unusual step of transferring Landis’ out-of-competition samples from UCLA to the LNDD laboratory.

USADA’s highly irregular actions constitute an effort to further burden Landis’ defense team with additional costs and distraction, as well as produce lab results which could only prove confusing and contradictory at best.

Landis: “Test the Samples at UCLA”

“Putting aside the fact that the retesting shows just how far USADA will go in breaking its own rules to support it’s ‘win at all costs’ mentality, I’m amazed that they insist on having the LNDD test these samples. Judging by their actions, USADA is on a fishing expedition, trying to elicit a result that confuses the clear scientific evidence that refutes the allegations against me by having these samples tested at a compromised and conflicted lab.”

The UCLA lab is widely regarded as the best in the world and I have full confidence that if these samples were tested there that they would come back negative, as would have my Stage 17 test from the Tour de France. This is why I’ve requested that they test the samples at UCLA, a request that USADA has repeatedly denied.”

USADA Disregards the Rights of Athletes

By authorizing testing on “B” samples, USADA is undermining the “A” and “B” sample system that, according to the WADA Code, was designed to safeguard the rights of athletes against repeated errors in testing outcome and analysis. In pursuing a course of retesting, USADA is demonstrating its willingness to deny athletes’ basic due process rights by violating both WADA regulations and International Standards. By violating the established procedures and rules of evidence, USADA is making an attempt to obfuscate, rather than find, truth. This attempt will cause the Landis team to expend unnecessary resources to monitor a clearly prohibited activity – resources that have already been unduly and unfairly stretched by USADA’s unethical approach to their pursuit of unsubstantiated allegations against Landis.

Given USADA's consistent defiance in providing relevant discovery documentation despite the Arbitration Panel's order to do so, Landis' defense team has no expectation it would receive appropriate documentation from any proposed retesting with reasonable time to review the analysis in advance of the hearing scheduled for May 14.

LNDD Knows Samples Belong to Landis

Athlete confidentiality is essential to the integrity of the testing process. In asking the LNDD to retest “B” samples, USADA does so with full knowledge that the LNDD knows the samples belong to Landis. The sample retesting at the LNDD will be conducted:

  • with total disregard to the core principle of sample blinding;
  • will take place at a laboratory with a documented history of ignorance to the scientific rules and protocols designed to protect athletes;
  • with full awareness of USADA’s desire to obtain a positive result from additional specimens;
  • and with knowledge that a second positive result would validate their own flawed results from Landis’ stage 17 sample.

Landis: “Preserve My Rights. Split The Samples”

“I continue to be very concerned about how my Tour de France samples have been handled by the LNDD over the past six months. They got it wrong once, now they have seven opportunities to get it wrong again. If USADA refuses to test the samples at their own laboratory at UCLA, then in order to protect my rights and to preserve evidence that may be valuable to my defense – evidence that USADA is willing to destroy in order to attain a result that they desire – I will request half of the samples so that we can have them tested in a lab that is beyond reproach. The results will show that I won the Tour de France fair and square.”

End of statement from the FFF


Anonymous said...

ORG here ....

TBV/Bill Hue,

Did the AAA ruling over spliting the sample or is this an open issue? (traveling and on my blackberry - cannot access teh ruling from it)

Anonymous said...

ORG again ....

Do we know who Landis witness will be (Deboer again)? And who the independent witness will be?

What about the ground rules of the arb appointed independent witness? If he/she sees a mistake or ISO violation are they to yell "stop" and instruct the lab trechnician as to the proper procedure? Or, are they to just note the screw ups, let the flawed test go through (with the subsequent leak to l'equipe) and report back to the arbs on what they saw?

Bill Hue said...

It loks like only LNDD is authorized and it will do all the B sample testing.

Bill Hue said...

I really don't believe there will be an "independant" witness present. It would not surprise me if testing has already occured.
Sorry to be so pessimistic.

Anonymous said...

ORG again ...


The press release notes the test will be April 16. Can they test without a Lansis witness present? Of course the answer is "yes" but can they "admit" they have been testing his samples without a witness and not be in violation of the March 16 arb ruling?

Anonymous said...

Trislax here: The absurdity of this is remarkable in a free society. What is most disconcerting is the decision to allow the heavy fingers of LNDD to test (basically, a do-over to confirm their own data) the B samples. Can anyone say collusion?

Bill Hue said...

I think they have to allow Landis' representative to be present. But I also thought there was no way the Panel would find authority to test the B sanples in the first place,
I am not batting with a very good average, here.

Bill Hue said...

Did you catch the possible ways the 2 Panel members indicated that the re-tested B samples might be entered into evidence exclude FL using them to prove innocence?

Mind Boggling. My comments in parenthesis.

“B” samples CIR analysis results are admissible as evidence:

(i) to test the credibility of the Athlete and other witnesses

(USADA can use them if Landis testifies he didn't dope but they won't be relevant to the testimony of anyone else that
I can envision testifying)

(ii) to satisfy the shifting burden of proof arising from the
rebuttable presumptions that a departure from an
International Standard with regard to analytical or custodial
procedures of a laboratory has occurred as provided by
Article 3 of the WADA Code;

(This goes to USADA's ability to use them on the 3rd burden shift)

(iii) to corroborate [see footnote 3 below] the analysis of the “B” sample that was
performed by the Lab by providing additional scientific
evidence, albeit insufficient to establish an adverse analytical

(USADA can use it to bolster the weak B sample results)

(iv) to establish the fact of doping by another reliable means;

(USADA can use it in lieu of the B sample they already have)


(v) may be admissible for reasons unknown at this time.

(Might apply to Landis use but none of the others do)

3 Note that such corroboration may not overrule or out weigh the anti-doping rules of the UCI or the WADA
International Standards that are applicable to the Lab procedures and are alleged by the Respondent to have
been violated.

(Footnote means the B sample use by USADA to corroborate the current B sample result will not trump any other Lab standard deviations Landis may prove up..... in other words, it will be admissible to bolster the fact that he doped, even if he pulls out a Landaluze type win and the Panel can use the samples to talk about how a doper went free through no small effort of their own.... just like the Panel did in Landaluze).

Cheryl from Maryland said...

First of all, my respect to Judge Hue for his stamina in responding to the DPF. A good forum, but I don't have the intestinal fortitude to cope with it.

Second, I also noticed that the arbitration seemed to imply that the "B" results would not be used for a NEW adverse finding. I read that as they could use it to buttress their current finding.

Finally, what good can testing samples for which one does not know the outcome do anyone? If the LNDD lab has flaws, it needs to be given samples for which the outcome is secretly known to the testers to see if the lab arrives at the proper outcome. My spouse of the FDA tells me there are companies which make a good living providing samples with a known outcome for drug companies to test the reliablility of their chromatographs, mass specs, etc. Good practices in the testing industry don't seem to be standard here.

I can't help but come to the conclusion that the request for additional data (when is asking your congressman to do something objectionable?) and the "B" sample testing (yes, Judge Hue, I bet it happened in December when the samples were sent) bode poorly for the USADA taking the high road and suggest and end game of having adverse data if the ruling is in Mr. Landis' favor.