The Australian reports that FINA, the international swimming and diving federation,will hire a private investigator to discover just where the leaks of the results of Ian Thorpe's drug screening originated:
Swimming Australia executive director Glenn Tasker said yesterday FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu had pledged to employ a professional investigator for the case as soon as he returned to Switzerland.
However, Mr Tasker does not believe FINA is the source of the leak. The French journalist who disclosed details of Thorpe's test had previously received confidential information about the drug tests of US cyclists Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis.
FINA had asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland to review the case to determine if Thorpe had a case to answer. Under the international anti-doping code rules, any test that registers a testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) ratio of more than 4:1 must be investigated further.
These levels can occur naturally due to a range of pathological and physiological reasons. Thorpe's T/E ratio on the relevant test was said to be between 4:1 and 6:1.
An eminent sports physician, who asked not to be named, said it was not uncommon for athletes to register ratios above 4:1.
"It's quite possible to have quite significant changes in the test levels - there are a lot of things that can make that fluctuate radically, including the time of day," he said. "I have had athletes who have been in that range and been tested, and I know they are not on steroids, and they have been cleared. There are people who have had over 6:1 and been cleared.
"I don't think there's been enough research done on these levels. It's almost pick a figure out of the air and make that the acceptable level."
AP via ESPN says that WADA is unhappy about the confidentiality violations with Thorpe:
The agency expressed "its great concern and disappointment" Monday following a report in the French sports daily L'Equipe on the results of Thorpe's drug test last May.
"The apparent provision of an athlete's name to the media when it should have been kept confidential is unacceptable," WADA said in a statement. "This particular case has not led to an analytical positive result, but is rather an unusual situation which is subject to further inquiry."
This will probably infuriate Lance Armstrong, who Mr. Pound says still has "something to answer for" by way of the research tests of the '99 tour samples, for which there could not be an analytical positive result. Thorpe's problem is somewhere between Armstrong's and Landis -- Armstrong could never have been a positive, and he was tainted with no recourse; Landis had an AAF that was going to come out eventually, though confidentiality may have improved the quality of his response. Thorpe has hit the mine of premature publicity the same as both cyclists, and there is the possibility of a case being brought forward by FINA over ASADA's objections. If the agencies are willing to take Landis case to the wall, why not Thorpe too?
(pointer by Ferren)
The Canberra Times thinks Thorpe is the victim of vindictiveness, but can't help taint Landis with slanted and slightly incorrect facts:
The most notorious example of testosterone use in recent professional sports history occurred last year, when American cyclist Floyd Landis was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title after returning a positive result. Landis denied taking the hormone, even though the test revealed a testosterone to epitestosterone ratio of 11:1 (normally the ratio in males is between 1:1 or 2:1. The Thorpe sample is believed to have a ratio of more than 4:1).
Sydney Morning Herald suggests Thorpe may use a Turnbull/Landis alcohol defense, and notes he was not an IRMS/CIR positive -- this is a pure T/E case. We haven't seen the actual reported numbers, only cites of the 4:1 threshold limit.
The Marion Daily Republican informs us that Rob Landes is 85% of the way towards his fund raising goal as he rides his bicycle across America in dedication to his mom who suffers from MS. He feels a real kinship to Floyd Landis who he thinks may be a relative due to common Lancaster Co, PA family origins.
The Fanhouse thinks that the excuse Ian Thorpe is using for his alleged positive for PEDs sounds very familiar. This is snarkworthy to be sure.
Dugard hopes that once his hearing takes place Floyd Landis comes out swinging, and gives it all he has.
Rant laments that now Floyd Landis and Ian Thorpe have much in common, including reputations that may never be fully restored. What they also have in common is the will to fight!
UltraRob hears the word on the street is that Floyd Landis will be making an FFF appearance in Colorado Springs,CO sometime in May with the actual date TBA. What he finds more curious though is the Leadville 100 logo on the Floyd Landis web site even though at this time Landis' name does not appear on the expansive entrant list.
DShen was at the Friday night M2 Revolution event where Floyd Landis put up the spectacular wattage number of 520. He also includes some fine pictures.
An emailer also at the event was paying close attention to the power, and says that there were some minutes at 600w, followed by saner 420-440 for 5-7, recovering at 300w. He was taking out some frustrations on the bike. By way of contrast, TBV, with much to be humble about, is doing good to hit 300w for two minutes, and five seems like a dream.
Living Odyssey is looking forward to seeing the Tour de France live this year instead of on his TV, this despite the soiled reputation he feels the race has sustained over the past few years.
T-GuyJ do NOT think either Floyd Landis OR Tyler Hamilton took performance enhancing substances, it's just what he believes.
Pommi notes yesterday's warped reality in Landis Land and thinks things may get back to normal now that April 1 has passed. He also had a tiring ride up but a great descent from Mt. Diablo.
VeloGal observes fingers on the leak of Thorpe's data to L'Equipe that are pointing to CAS. That'll be good for institutional credibility.
Le Grimpeur talks of Pantani, and Armstrong, and Ferrari and EPO, and notes last year's fast time by Landis up L'Alpe was a minute slower than Marco and Lance's best.
In search of levity, we find on Youtube part I of Landis calling a roller race final in Brooklyn a few months back. We'd missed the video before, and only posted stills.
At DPF, You3 continues his fascinating look at the CIR, answering reasoned criticisms of his analysis, largely by OMJ. We're considering a view that there may be software in the instrument that is broken in predictable ways.