Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday Roundup

The Chattanooga Times Free Press (free subscription may be necessary) publishes an extensive primer on doping in sports with emphasis on cycling. It concentrates on current cases such as that of Floyd Landis with comments by USDA official Travis Tygart, Team Landis representatives, doctors, cycling team owners, and current riders:

Fellow embattled American cyclist Tyler Hamilton said he believed Landis was innocent, and that 95 percent of his fellow Tour de Georgia riders agree.

"If Floyd showed up to the start line, if he showed to fire the gun, I think all the riders would applaud him," Hamilton said.

Jonathan Vaughters, the director sportif for 2007 Tour de Georgia participant Team Slipstream powered by Chipotle, said hypothetically he would "be interested" in signing Landis if he is cleared in the impending case. Asked if he thought Landis was innocent, Vaughters -- who calls Landis "my friend" -- said "I hope so, but the only people who know for sure are him and God."

And from Travis Tygart:

"We have more than just simple drug-testing," said Travis Tygart, the senior managing director of the United States Anti-Doping Agency. "We have the ability to do much more. ... And you can't use positive tests alone. If you can prove doping offenses in any way possible, I think we should support that.

"I think it's a fight, but it's not as difficult as people think it is. And It's absolutely a fight we have to continue fighting. It's sports fraud. It's fraud on clean athletes, and fraud to young athletes, and a fraud to the American way."

Tygart said "I think we all may have been a little bit naive"

PezCycling News EuroTrash Thursday gives thumbnail descriptions of Floyd Landis case happenings during the past week, and appears to express a bit of shock that he recently did some bike shop fundraising by charging $25.00 for a photo with himself.

MSNBC ,among many other media outlets, seems to be catching up with last week's revelation that Floyd Landis will compete in this year's Teva Mountain Games. He is excited to be testing his "new hip."

Rant read the Chattanooga Times Free Press article this morning (see above) and has some real concerns about what Travis Tygart is quoted as saying about using "non-analytical positives" to combat doping offenses:

What becomes contentious is just how to go about doing so. In recent years, the idea of a “non-analytical positive” has taken hold, which allows anti-doping agencies to go after athletes they suspect of doping. Travis Tygart speaks to this issue when he says:

[Y]ou can’t use positive tests alone. If you can prove doping offenses in any way possible, I think we should support that

Imagine you own an early-1980s Porsche 911 that you occasionally like to take out on the highway. Now, if it’s in good shape and the engine is tweaked just right, you might be able to top the beast out at about 160 miles per hour at red line. Certainly, the car is built to go that fast. But say you’re driving along at the speed limit and a cop pulls you over.And when you ask him what’s wrong, he tells you he’s giving you a speeding ticket.

“But I wasn’t speeding!” you protest.

“Yes,” the officer replies, “that’s true. But you have a car capable of speeding, so you must have intended to. That’s why I’m writing you up. It’s what we call a non-analytical speeding ticket, and you’re going to have to pay the price.”

Now imagine a court system that would uphold such a ticket, and not only that, impose a hefty fine, or suspend your license for a period of time. Such is the power of the non-analytical conviction.

Racejunkie leaves an intriguing question, which he will not ask due to its rudeness factor and his support for Floyd, about Landis' recent fundraising practices. His unexpressed inquiry lingers in the speculative imagination of each reader, including this one!

BitchKittie was at the Tour of Georgia yesterday, and has proof! She was resplendent in Floyd Landis yellow, loud and proud!

Smithers ,in a day that seems to be starting out with its share of snarks, gives us perhaps THE snark of the week.

Some Pedestrian Blog snarks that something strange happened yesterday, and no it wasn't Floyd Landis being cleared of doping charges.

PruDogBlog summarizes last week's announcement that the first decision had been made by the Landis arbitration panel, and wonders if they ever studied logic, OR science.

VeloSwiss is looking forward to Landis' book.

FasterJim is puzzled and annoyed by things that are saying Landis is charging for pictures at fundraising events. The truth is a little unclear to us. At the one's we've been to, admission covered everything, but we haven't been to a no-admission signing.

NewPersuasion communication/PR blog talks a tad skeptically about the Wiki Defense, and gives us a link.


At DPF, Kitty on Wheels figures out what happened with the leaks from LNDD:

It's quite simple. They gave all their employees a spelling test. The only one who couldn't spell "Chatenay- Malabry" was immediately exiled to another WADA-accredited lab Down Under, where s/he promptly launched the Thorpedogate scandal.

Elsewhere, ORG relates some history of document production by USADA -- as hearsay only:

Back in January the panel directed USADA to provide the a-sample data within 10 days. After 10 days USADA did not. When Landis complained, they held another confernece call with the panel. USADA then said they were not sure what exactly the panel told then to provide. USADA then requested that the panel provide them with a transcript of the previous directive (stall) and then they would study it (more stalling). Then after USADA as satisfied they fully understood the directive, they would request the production of exactly those documents to begin (go sequently to eat up more time) and then once the docuemnts were reproduced (stall) and inspected to see if they complyed with the request (another stall) they would then arrange for delivery of the documents (yet another stall). All of this was from a conversation with Hensen at the FFF in Chicago on March 10.

You should expect USADA to cherry pick whatever helps their case and ignore the rest. You should expect them to offer Landis nothing except what they will use in the hearing. You should expect them to only offer Landis any additional results only after the panel forces them. You should expect them to find legal ways to stall in the delievery of this request.

Thought for the Day

Injustice is relatively easy to bear, what stings is justice

-hl mencken-


Anonymous said...

95% of riders believe Floyd innocent.
Jury of peers?

pommi said...

RE: FasterJim's comment

Aside from the cover charge, at the SF event there was an extra charge for autographed pictures and autographs in general, not for the picture ( per se. I assume that FJ was referring to autographed pictures.

hughw said...

Non-analytical, actually, is far preferable to the pseudoscientific analytic findings they have now. If they catch David Millar with vials of EPO, I believe that way more than an EPO test.