Bloomberg has an interview in which Landis contemplates filing for bankruptcy to deal with part of the situation. He says he lost $10 million in earnings he should have had as a result of the case, and is thinking about law suits against USADA and LNDD for damages. He also says yesterday's request for delay may already have been denied.
MSNBC and NBC Sports carry a piece stating that Lance Armstrong supports Floyd Landis and his statements that the LNDD is not to be trusted. Armstrong feels the tactic the Landis team is taking in publically stating mistrust in the lab's credibility is a good one.
The Washington Post's Sally Jenkins postulates that a "Gumby like" Floyd Landis is a bad messenger in his own defense, and he may actually be indefensible, but the errors that we know of, as well as potential LNDD errors we have no idea of at least make the labs as suspect as the athlete:
The Landis case has followed a familiar WADA pattern: a high-profile athlete's supposedly confidential test results wind up identified by name in the newspapers, sometimes prematurely. This pattern has been seen at other WADA-accredited labs, not just France's, as in the case of Marion Jones, whose initial positive test for the endurance-boosting drug EPO made the American papers, but was not confirmed by subsequent results at a California lab.
The WADA has long had a fixation on the absoluteness of a positive drug test. It insists on the infallibility of its lab work, no matter how iffy, and on the sacrosanct infallibility of its rules, no matter how harsh. There is little room in its code for the inadvertent, the accidental, or the extenuating circumstance. No matter how an athlete wound up with a banned substance in his or her system, he or she is presumed guilty. There is simply no room for the mistake.
But Landis, whatever you think of him, has jabbed his finger at a central flaw and hypocrisy in the doping system: The WADA accepts all kinds of sloppy mistakes from the Chatenay-Malabry lab that it would never accept from an athlete. Drink from the wrong bottle, take the wrong allergy remedy, make a mistake on a form or forget to show up for a drug test, and you face a two-year ban, maybe worse, regardless of the innocence of your mistake or legitimacy of your excuse.
If you work for an accredited doping lab, on the other hand, you can apparently mislabel, misplace, mishandle, and, for all we know, knock over a glass of fume blanc on the specimen, and the WADA will defend your work.
The IHT's Sam Abt regretably repeats the "seven" mistake, showing there's no stopping misinformation once it gets out. Sam thinks the scandals are better to follow than the racing this year.
ESPN.com Page 2 finds writer Tim Keown musing about the Landis "press conference" held Monday PM after newly tested urine samples at the LNDD allegedly turned up positive. Tim thinks that Landis ' delivery of a prepared statement was clumsy, that the spin doctors were at work, and the Playboy reporter embarrased himself with fawning. That was the reporter we alluded to in our report, "Striking at bait dangled by one reporter, Suh went along with the characterization of anti-doping enforcement as a witch-hunt bordering on McCarthyism." The fish is reeled in by...
The Gazette's David Ramsey wants to believe Floyd Landis, but feels a preponderance of evidence is now stacked up against that belief, and that perhaps, in today's first real snark, the dog ate Floyd's drug test. Ramsey invokes Frank Shorter, former Olympic marathoner, who laughs at Landis attorney Maurice Suh's depiction of the actions of USDA as "McCarthyism", and feels that IF someone is caught in the machinery that's part of the process of cleansing sport:
Sure, there are contradictions in this pursuit. This cleansing is messy. It’s painful to admit that towering home runs, tiny sprint times and amazing cycling feats were counterfeit.
And it appears virtually impossible for athletes to admit their guilt. Nearly all the track athletes and baseball players associated with the BALCO scandal initially proclaimed their innocence before eventually slinking into the shadows with their guilt.
In the end, the Landis saga will be all about the evidence.
Landis will have his day. His appeal is scheduled for May 14 in Malibu, Calif. He’ll face a three-person arbitration panel. He’ll be blessed with the opportunity to prove his innocence.
For some reason, Landis believes running radio ads and embarking on a national tour will help his cause.
He’s wrong, of course. The best PR campaign is useless if the facts aren’t on his side.
The problem with this logic is that due to the handling of this whole affair we may never know what those facts really are.
The San Francisco Chronicle's Gwen Knapp blogs that she is confused by the latest developments in the Landis case, and thinks that a caveat should be used in the description of his "B" samples positives, in that they may not be positive at all. She feels that unfortunately no matter what, the average sports fan will think that Floyd failed an actual drug test. Comments carry a loud "they all dope" mindset.
NBC Sports reports Armstrong is still believing Landis, and that he hasn't gotten a fair shake.
The Star Telegram takes a mishmash of yesterday's wire reports, plus the CBS Morning News interview between Landis and Harry Smith, and folds it in with a very brief summary of the case since last summer.
The Turkish Daily News posts a Reuters piece about Landis and his current struggles with USADA and includes some quotes from Monday afternoon's teleconference. No mention is made of the information disclosed in the Turkish AFP piece from late yesterday.
USAToday SportsScope picks up our head scratching on the AFP story of yesterday, and comments on Jenkins and Knapp above.
The Spokesman Podcast talks about the newly tested B samples.
Podium Cafe isn't sure if Floyd Landis is innocent, but he sure doesn't trust the LNDD's testing procedures, and to use an oft cited idiom thinks there might be "un renard" in the henhouse.
Rant wonders what kind of games the "sinister" USADA is playing, and what are they up to anyway?:
It took more than a bit of gamesmanship to hatch the rather sinister idea to create a rule that Landis’ observers could only be present if USADA’s observers were. In looking over the arbitration panel’s ruling on the B-sample testing, I don’t see any requirement of that sort, so Landis’ observers should have been allowed in on Sunday. But, as we heard on Monday, that was not the case. How convenient, then, that USADA’s observers (puppetmasters?) decided to go home before the testing was done.
What I Believe is busy these days, and she invokes the beloved "X-Files" and applies Occams Razor in her decision to believe Floyd Landis is guilty of doping or innocent and a victim of the system. She partially blames her former support of Tyler Hamilton for what she ultimately thinks, and comes to the conclusion that being "right" in the end is the most important thing so she goes with guilty.
The Dan Gerous Blogspot thinks that Floyd Landis is not fooling anybody, nor is any other dirty cyclist, and he thinks they are ALL dirty.
The Bleacher Report's Ryan Alberti gives us two possibilities concerning the reality of the Floyd Landis case, one is sad, and the other is even sadder:
There are, as I see it, two possible scenarios here. The first is that Floyd is telling the truth. And hey—maybe: Maybe the charges and evidence levied against him—up to and including these seven (!) latest positive B samples—really are the stuff of clandestine francophile conspiracy; maybe Floyd really has been targeted by an international cabal of Legionnaires and pastry chefs and snooty stinking maître-d’s, all of them united in the name of Gaul-knows-what anti-American agenda.
And that would be sad.
Then, of course, there’s that other possibility. You read the papers, so I’ll cut to the rub: that maybe Floyd, alas, is caught in a collapsing ruse of his own invention, and that maybe he is, in fact, nothing either more or less than a lonely lapsed Mennonite, with a bum hip and a big secret and this oh-my-God-so-awful need for someone—anyone—to come along and please just once give him the benefit of the doubt. And that, Bubba, would be infinitely sadder.
Though the sentiment of the piece is touching on some level, the author must realize that Floyd Landis DOES have a lawyer, a few as a matter of fact, and there is no actual known number of alleged positives cited by L'Equipe Monday. Well, he does now if he reads his comments.
Tour Squad fears that all cyclists, including Floyd Landis, are really up against it in a system that is rigged against them from the get go.
Human Hormone Central thinks someone slipped a "Mickey" into one of Landis' drinks during Stage 17 of last year's Tour de France, and then gives us a dead link to another news story on this week's developments. The recent test leaks ought to stick a fork in that theory.
Swap Blog thinks Landis is screwed, even if he is innocent, and he doesn't have any idea what the truth is.
What I think takes the easy way out and says the test are definitive in a piece title "Idiot Landis' Urine"
Monkey Do files his opinions on Armstrong's remarks with the tags, "another Texas asswipe" and "people who cheat and have slept with Sheryl Crow."
The Washington City Paper blog about WashPo columns covers Sally Jenkin's article referenced above. Their roundup has seems to have started on April 10th, and has an eerily familiar format and tone, maybe even (using JohnnyBaseball's word of yesterday) "trenchant."
Thought for the Day
"If science teaches us anything it teaches us to accept our failures as well as our successes with quiet dignity and grace."UPDATE: Our comments are fixed. Somehow, per-post options had been changed to disallow and hide existing comments. We don't think we did this, but it might have been an accident or a Blogger error. We'll know what to do if it re-occurs: edit the post and set the options correctly to "allow".
September 07: Hearing Award
October 07: Hue's Hearing Appraisal
November 07: Major document Release
January 08: Larry's Curb Your Anticipation
Wednesday, April 25, 2007