Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday Roundup

The Arizona Republic as well as AZ promote this evening's appearance by Floyd Landis at the FFF Town Hall at Teakwoods in Scottsdale AZ.

The Vail Daily notes that Floyd Landis will be a participant in this year's Teva Mountain Games to be held at the beginning of June:

Landis, who had his hip replaced in September, will be racing at the Teva Mountain Games as part of Team Athletes for a Cure, a program for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Along with Landis, Tao Berman and Simon Guitierrez will comprise the team taking part in the Ultimate Mountain Challenge, a new two-day, four-event competition new to the Teva Mountain Games.

"I have a relationship with (Landis' attorney) Howard Jacobs and have met Floyd casually a few times," said Scott Zagarino, managing director of sports marketing for the Prostate Cancer foundation. "(Floyd) said, 'If there's any way I can help, I will.'"

Zagarino said there were some internal questions as to the decision to tap Landis.
"There was a lot of back and forth on whether or not to do it," Zagarino said. "But Itold them I'm banking my reputation on Floyd's character.

Sportingo takes note of this week's discouraging arbitration ruling, and USADA requests for personal documents in the Landis case.

The CyclingNews reports today from a release that was "circulated" on Thursday that Landis wants his "B" samples from last summer's Tour de France split. Landis is quoted as saying:

"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 defence - 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."

Cycopaths contributor Platogrande wants to know why we should trust the dope testers any more than they trust the peloton? On the other hand, contributor Mr 60% thinks Landis is a scumbag, and that, "Plato, you're Rainbow Brite on this one."

Bicycle.NET tells us that Floyd Landis does not want his now to be tested "B" samples from last summer's Tour de France taken to LNDD. We trust the photo along with the blog entry does not depict an actual lab technician.

At DPF, former Olympian Jellotrip lays into what he calls "apologists for the drug testing authorities" over the issue of athletic participation as a right, not a privilege, and that of fairness. We quote at length, because it is both eloquent and important:

I'm not hiding behind my participation at the Olympics - I am wearing it as a badge of honour.

I'm pretty proud of the fact that I have been to the top of that particular mountain, and I mentioned it because of the flames that were trying to burn my ability to voice the philosophy of the Olympic Charter with any kind of authority, and the flames that were trying to discount my ability to call participation in sport a right.

You can choose to believe whatever you like, but I assure you that I didn't borrow the pin or buy it on eBay. I earned it with sweat, and not a few tears. I understand that it doesn't give me the ability or the right to assume that I'm always correct, or expect anybody to defer to my opinion, but for you to take the position that it means nothing is shockingly insulting.

To that point, thank you for your insinuation that "I know nothing", and that my participation in the Olympic Games provides me with no credibility with which to address issues in sport - I humbly disagree.

I have intimate knowledge of what it takes to be an Olympian, and that alone gives me the absolute right (not the priviledge) of speaking from a position of authority when I see the Olympic Charter being violated. To take that to the logical end, my shouldering of that particular mantle also forces me to wear a cloak of responsibility as well.

I honestly feel a responsibility to tell people that they are mistaken when they say that sport is anything but a right, and I lean on the Olympic Charter to support me in that position.

To be clear with all of the apologists for the drug testing authorities (nice little turn of the card, n'est ce pas?), and those of you who poo-poo the idea that basic human rights should be available to athletes, I submit the following:

If you shrug your shoulders at a twenty-something year old athlete getting burned for a year for missing a third test essentially because of getting caught in traffic, you shrug your shoulders at justice.

If you suggest that somebody should roll over and accept a sanction of any kind in the face of glaring errors in the testing process, you suggest that apathy should have dominion over truth.

When you discount the idea that sport is a right and call it a priviledge, you devalue sport and those who participate in sport at every level, and you take a position that is counter to the Olympic Charter and ideal.

When you tell athletes that they are not valuable enough to warrant human rights, you absolutely owe them all an apology. (an apology is due to any person being told that they do not warrant fair treatment and basic human rights).

Participating in Sport is a right - I know this because the Olympic Charter tells us that.

At point 4 it says: "The practice of sport is a human right....."

Working in your chosen field is a right - I know this because the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) tells us that.

At Article 23, it says: "Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment."

The drug testing authorities are acting on behalf of governments - I know this because WADA says so.

On their website, they say: "WADA is a unique hybrid organization that is governed and funded equally by the Sports Movement and Governments."

If you can read all of that and still say that the standard by which WADA, USADA, the UCI and others should be able to operate, both technically and morally is under a threshold that reaches the level of basic human rights, then I guess I'll start trying to explain to you why water is wet, because it will be less frustrating.

If after reading all of this, you still think it's funny or somehow fair that an athlete got suspended for a year for getting caught in traffic, then I offer to you my most sincere condolence for the sheer number of future lifetimes that you'll have to live just to get to the beginning of your journey to enlightened humanity.

If after reading all of this, you still find yourself able to not only tell me that I know nothing, but feel able to place yourself in a position to lecture me on the Olympic ideal and the rights of athletes, and insinuate that I know nothing, then go right ahead, I have an amazing ability to evaluate the source.

If after all of this you think that USADA isn't screwing Floyd, and every other athlete they have power and control over, then I pray you are never in a position of authority that could affect another human being.


Anonymous said...

I can only offer a sincere thank you for posting Jellotrip's DPF post here on TBV.

Jeff from Newark, DE

Richard said...

Jellotrip is putting the shame on some of the haters, as is DB, which is good. They're the ones we need to root out and skewer.

DB - you should post Judge Hue's comment about how he's ending his neutrality and going to work for the Landis side. It's also pretty eloquent, and damning.

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


Whoever you are in real life, you're an eloquent writer. You, much more so than anyone who's never been to that pinnacle of sporting achievement, have great authority to speak about the meaning of the Olympic Charter. I hope all who read this pause for a moment to reflect on what you've said.

- Rant

Gary said...

I have a new hero. After so many months, of so many people trying to put it into words Jellotrip has beautifully summed it all up for us. He has put it on the pure human level and, to everything he said, I offer a hearty AMEN.

Cheryl from Maryland said...

When I was in high school and in my early years of college in the Southern part of the U.S.A., there WERE NO ORGANZIED TEAMS available to me as a girl/woman until Title IX arrived in my sophomore year. Excuses include money, lack of spectators, lack of interest from female competitors, inappropriate activities for females, etc. I still feel cheated after all these years. Thank you, Jellotrip -- athletic competion is a right, not a priveledge.

Cal said...

Wow, Jello spoke with such passion and conviction. I simply say, "Way to go." This is a breath of fresh air from the same old, same old. Did you also note Vaughn's post? It also was well done.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought about the testing of the B samples by LNDD. Why the fuss? Surely Landis can't lose and there is no point in spending money having people attend the testing? What's the worst that can happen? Either they retest and get another clean bill of health in which case nothing has changed. Or they retest and get some positives, in which case Landis will be able to point to further evidence of testing inconsistency at LNDD. Seems to me that the worst outcome is no change and the best is in Landis' favour. So why isn't Landis enthusiastically welcoming this move (and why are USDA who can only lose, doing it)?