Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wednesday Roundup

News
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.

Web
The Spokesman Podcast talks about the newly tested B samples.

Blogs
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 maĆ®tre-d’s, all of them united in the name of Gaul-knows-what anti-American agenda.

Maybe.

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."
-Young Frankenstein

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".

17 comments:

PatsFan said...

Great article by Sally Jenkins in today's Washington Post. Takes it from the angle that regardless of Floyd's guilt or innocence, USADA and WADA "...officials can't properly control the evidence, or their own mouths, it shakes our confidence in their control of the entire process."

You can read it here (registration might be required): http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/24/AR2007042402594.html

strbuk said...

Thanks for the link Patsfan!

str

Anonymous said...

Here's some observations and discussions about breaking news from Monday 4/23 and then from Today 4/25


Monday 4/23/2007:
Anonymous said...
Some points about today:

1). Landis camp issues a press release stating that the analysis of prior TDF Landis samples was conducted in the lab without the presence of Mr. Scott and Mr. Davis, Landis defense team representatives. The USADA, LNDD Lab director and French anti-doping head deny and state in public that all testing and analysis was with representatives of both the Landis and USADA camps. Mr. Scott and Mr. Davis, it is reported, were not allowed access to the lab on Sunday 4/22 because no representatives were present from USADA. Sounds right to me. The Landis camp press release seemed to me to be very misleading and actually stated that the analysis and testing was conducted without their presence. Now they are backtracking a bit by saying they were there during the testing last week.

2). Landis defense team whines about "private conversations" between USADA representatives and LNDD Lab personnel. Remember, the USADA requested to undertake these tests, so they needed to direct the testing procedure that they feel will hold up during the hearing in three weeks. They requested these tests, presumably, because the Landis defense team continued to state that only one TDF urine sample turned up with artificial testosterone. This test was conducted to confirm or deny that. Well, well, well? Also, remember that the Landis defense team could have at any time taken the bull by the horns and commissioned a similar test themselves. But THEY DID NOT. Instead, they requested that the test be undertaken at the UCLA lab, which they know was unable to perform the test in time for the May 14th hearing. They put in a request that they knew would be denied. Sort of like having your representatives showing up to the Lab on a Sunday and asking to go in, knowing that the USADA representatives were not there. Sort of makes them out to be the victims huh.

3). Landis defense team is upset that the results leaked to the public by L'Equipe. From what is coming out now, the L'Equipe news report was accurate. In addition, the Landis defense team knew that the test results were positive for artificial testosterone, sometime last week. They can't claim that they were ambushed by the information this time! I do find it troubling that a newspaper would secure access to this information. I do find it comforting however that the info that they reported was ACCURATE and was known by the Landis camp.

4). The news report by L'Equipe can only help the Landis defense by perpetuating their French conspiracy theory. It also gives them adequate time to gauge public response and prepare a defense by May 14th. That was great news for Landis that L'Equipe reported those results rather than them having to issue a news release themselves.

5). The Landis defense team states that they want to try the case in the court of public opinion and they are interested in the truth. Then, why didn't they complain about unequal access to testing last week, when it was happening? Why didn't they come public with the test results from the other TDF B samples (which came back positive) when they were communicated to THEM last week? Why didn't they come up with the idea to retest the Landis B samples (blindly, along with others) to prove their point that the stage 17 TDF results were a one time occurrence? Why do they say that they are pushing for a speedy hearing and then make numerous voluminous data requests, and now talk about wanting to postpone the hearing from May 14th?


I think the Landis folks, with their road shows, media consultants, high priced legal team and drug testing experts thought that they could win the battle of public opinion. Especially when going against an agency (USADA) that cannot comment publicly on any pending cases. Too bad, for this one member of the public, they are losing the battle. We'll see who wins the war?!
2:24 PM
Anonymous said...
Hey Anon...

In point #2....you state that the Landis camp could have commissioned retesting themselves... Have you forgotten that those samples are no longer property of Landis once he pees in the cup??? What makes you think the Arb board would have allowed Landis to test on his own??? They wouldn't even allow splitting of the samples for backup testing at a different lab.

You are eager to chop away the UCLA lab request...and yet it was USADA that made the unprecedented request to retest the samples, and an untimely SPLIT decision by the arbitration board to retest at all...that ruling was made at a time when it was known the UCLA lab would be closed....so you can't pin blame on Landis for that....the door swings both directions.

You wrote (direct copy/paste):

"Remember, the USADA requested to undertake these tests, so they needed to direct the testing procedure that they feel will hold up during the hearing in three weeks."

Can you not understand that this is the exact testing procedure that they are fighting??? Can you not see that a "directed" scientific test is NOT scientific? Why would WADA certified techs need directing??? Unless, of course,it's fixed, tampered with to get the information, as you say, "that they feel will hold up during the hearing in three weeks." Where's the fairness to the accused in that??????? How about....testing to allow the truth to come out for a fair hearing in 3 weeks' time, instead of directed to get the outcome they are looking for????


BTW: You have the right to remain anonymous here....that was supposed to be Floyd's right as an athlete for the drug testing, and yet he was denied that basic right. Here you are, making accusations and slants with a basic right that your accused was never allowed. How would you feel if Blogger suddenly printed your name under your posting without your permission??? Or attributed someone else's posting to you with which you vehemently disagreed?

Oh, lastly, point #4....I've not heard the Official Landis camp EVER talk about a French conspiracy. Might want to brush up on your research.....

Kate
4:31 PM
Anonymous said...
Sorry Kate, but the "anonymous" always stay that way. It is easy to accuse when you are not known. That way you cannot hold them accountable for what they say...
Mike
Green MTN.
5:27 PM
jbro said...
Nice Kate. Anon's post is as full of the slanted assumptions and half-truths for which (s)he accuses the Landis camp of deploying.
7:35 AM



From Today 4/25/2007:
Anonymous said...
This comment is from anon from 2:24pm on 4/23. Back with a few more thoughts to ponder:

1. To anon at 4:31pm/kate,
The Landis defense team NEVER petitioned the arbitration board to retest any prior TDF stage B samples. They had every opportunity to do so. They chose to fight to avoid any testing of prior stage B samples (with IRMS) first. Then, chose to ask that the testing be done at a location that they new was unable to conduct the test in a timely fashion.

2. It was indeed a split decision by the arbitration board to allow retesting of the prior stage B samples. The dissenter (Campbell) was chosen by the Landis defense team. He is the same arbitration board member who Jacobs chose for his unsuccessful defense of Tyler Hamilton. He was the only arbitration board member to rule in favor of Tyler Hamilton in his case. In fact, after the Hamilton case move from arbitration to the CAS, the CAS found him to be guilty unanimously. I guess Campbell was a firm believer in the Jacobs/Hamilton "vanishing twin" defense. No other arb members or CAS members voted similarly!! Figure it out for yourself.

3. My point about the testing procedure being "directed" by the USADA. My choice of the word directed was a bad one. What I ment to say was that you and I know that when the hearing takes place (presumably May 14th) both sides will examine in great detail how the TDF stage 17 urine sample IRMS tests were conducted and what the data said. I would think that the USADA would want to make sure that the lab conducted the second round of IRMS tests (on other TDF stage Landis urine samples) in a way that is bulletproof and able to withstand any holes that the Landis defense team might poke in it during the hearing. They have a vested interest to make sure the test was conducted in a clear and indisputable manner. It makes their case easier to prove.

4. As for Landis and his defense team's claims that the Lab or USADA leaked the second testing results to L'Equipe, I say prove it! Unless they have proof, they are condemning two different organizations of doing something without basis. Who's to say the Landis team didn't leak the results? Maybe it was the Lab's telecommunications company? Maybe a courier? Maybe someone spied through a window with binoculars? I'm not suggesting any of these happened. I am suggesting and stating that the Landis defense team is making accusations toward LNDD and USADA, WITHOUT PROOF.

5. I find it very interesting to note two recent developments. First, the Landis defense team has now formally requested an extension on the hearing date. Surprise, surprise. Secondly, they have made their IRMS testing expert witnesses (Mr. Scott and Mr. Davis) unavailable to the Press to answer questions.

6. In many ways I really feel sorry for Floyd Landis. I think that he has been ill advised all along by his team, especially Jacobs. Why anyone would hire Jacobs to represent themself (from the beginning) is beyond me. Jacobs ran up HUGE legal fees for Tyler Hamilton to get him what? Jacobs left that case fat, dumb and happy. Hamilton left that case convicted and perceived by a good portion of the public as someone who chose not to come clean but rather to fight his case using far fetched explanations (Chimera) and nit picking over procedural technicalities. In my opinion, that was dubious legal advice at best. Oh well, no skin off Jacobs' back. Then Landis hires him and the Landis defense miscues begin. They continue as we speak, and so do his legal/P.R. team's billable hours! Landis ought to than his lucky stars for Dr. Arnie Baker, the one member of his team with a pure motive in this case.

7. As for anonymity. Since you were so big and posted your name, Kate, I'll post mine. Matthew. I am just a regular person expressing my opinion and my version of the truth, as I see it.
7:04 AM
Anonymous said...
One typo on the post above:

Landis ought to THANK his lucky stars for Dr. Arnie Baker!! A real hero.

Jacobs, Henson, et al , my hat is off to you for soaking Floyd and the FFF for all they are worth.
7:10 AM

Anonymous said...

Re: Sally's article in the post is probably one of the best articles, since the latest "b" sample leaks so far.
If you read It I encourage you to write her and give her a pat on the back for not just repeating the leaked, unverified crap from France.

A-town, Tx.

tbv@trustbut.com said...

test comment

Yol said...

So the original "A"s were negative.
But the criminal retesting of some of the "B"s [without a Landis observer present] came up positive? Convenient, I'd say.

...and Prudhomme is "not surprised." No shit.

Every cyclist should be concerned at this point. If you win a race, you beat "dopers" and are, therefore, a doper.

Bill Hue said...

Let me take a crack at matthews 2nd set of observations:

1) Landis does not own or have standing to request additional testing on other "B" samples. The samples belong to UCI, not Landis. Until the Landis Panel ordered additional samples tested, no other CAS Arbitration Panel in history had ever ordered such tests and, in fact, no ADA had ever requested a Panel to order such test nor had any ADA independently tested additional "B" samples.
The Landis Panel has ruled Landis motions for additional testing out of order on more than 1 occasion.
2)Arbitrator Campbell is a former athlete (oldest freestyle Olympic wrestling medal winner in history). he has found AGAINST athletes more times than any other Arbitrator in CAS-AAA history. In fact, were on to exclude 2 other Arbitrators, he has himself convicted more athletes in the process more than ALL other Arbitrators, combined.
3)The Arbiotrators at paragraph 25 explicitely rules that Landis representatives were to be present at all "B" sample retesting proceedures, specifically to deny USADA the very opportunity you suggest it has to present a bullet-proof case.
4) The l'Equipe and LNDD have a historical connection to leaked information. While one does not know who leaked, a French criminal court has actually indicted a L'Equipe reporter for involvement in leaks at that lab and at the French anti-doping government agency in the Miller/Confidis matter that concluded in early 2007. so, the leak might have also come from the French agency, as well. in any event, the leak violates the WADA Code and French Law.
5) Scott probably has violated the Panel's "gag" Order in effect in the Arbitration case. They were wrong to make any comment, probably, except to complain to the Panel. the fact that someone has called thenm on their mistake isn't surpring.
The adjournment comes as no surprise, if it happens. two isssues:
1) the Panel will ahve to amke a ruling as promised in their Interlocutory Order and undoubtedly, the Landis camp may be considering removing the case to US court, which is within their rights.
This moves as quickly as it can but testing and reporting reports 3 weeks before hearing was always going to be problematic in this case.
6) Lawyers often get a bad rap from people who do not hire them. They have to make strategic choices all the time and hindsight is the best seat in the house.
Arnie Baker is an honorable man, i agree.
7) My name is Bill Hue. I am a huge fan of cycling as recreation and as a sport.

Anonymous said...

To anon/Matthew 7:10,

Just a couple of points.

"I would think that the USADA would want to make sure that the lab conducted the second round of IRMS tests (on other TDF stage Landis urine samples) in a way that is bulletproof and able to withstand any holes that the Landis defense team might poke in it during the hearing".

Can't you see if the USADA has to direct or coach or point out which vial is Floyd's or whatever, there is a real problem. This is malfeasance! This is not science!If the lab needs help from the USADA to do accurate tests they need to be shut down immediately. The lab should be able to do the tests with no one holding their hands and telling them the results they want. Otherwise why bother testing or for that matter, why have any hearings? Just ban him and put another notch in USADA six-shooter. They do have a vested interest and that IS the problem.

"As for Landis and his defense team's claims that the Lab or USADA leaked the second testing results to L'Equipe, I say prove it! Unless they have proof, they are condemning two different organizations of doing something without basis. Who's to say the Landis team didn't leak the results? Maybe it was the Lab's telecommunications company? Maybe a courier? Maybe someone spied through a window with binoculars? I'm not suggesting any of these happened. I am suggesting and stating that the Landis defense team is making accusations toward LNDD and USADA, WITHOUT PROOF."

I don't think any specific charges were made. But only the people who have the information can leak it. It is a really simple concept. So if it is said the information came from either one of the only two prople to have the test results, it is not rocket science. And it is a fact that any significant test coming out of the French excuse of a lab WILL be leaked. It is so bad the UCI has to leak things on purpose so that it can try to beat the lab to the punch.

I can't know if Floyd did anything wrong or not, but I do know he is getting a official screwing. THE OFFICIALS HAVE TO HAVE MORE INTEGRITY THAN A DOPER. Plain and simple.

kre

Anonymous said...

Hey YOL, the original "A" samples were tested for T/E. The second testing of the B samples was IRMS for Artificial testosterone. Just FYI, it is very easy to use masking agents and other means to "fool" T/E test results to come out pass, but acutally be using illegal testosterone/testosterone deriviatives for performance enhancement purposes. Just do an Internet search and you can learn how to do it. The IRMS test, however, is a bit more difficult to "fool."

-IB

Yol said...

And how easy is it to dial a machine [or simply fail to dial a machine, as the case may be] so that [alleged] non-blinded samples indicate desired results? LNDD has opportunity and motive.

swimyouidiot said...

Geez, TBV, how do you keep up with all this? Do you still have a "day job?"

Thanks for your work!

swimyouidiot/Mike

kate said...

Anonymous Matthew:

1) WHY would they petition the board to test the other B samples??? The A samples had screened negative, AND previous protocol would exclude them from using it as evidence, since the other side was supposedly banned from using it as evidence (until this board decided to grant the testing process, though the decision is not yet known as to whether it will be admissible or how will it be used) Of course they chose to fight it first, it had never been done or granted before...DOH!!! AND it was the arb board that delayed the decision until THEY knew that the UCLA lab would be closed. I also (perhaps mistakingly...anyone know???) seem to remember that at one point Landis had asked merely for access to the previous test results, and that was denied. I searched a bit, but couldn't document that, so I could be wrong.

Item 4) You're right, we don't know where the leak came from. But you are taking the word of an anonymous source, from an unknown background and calling it "truth as you see it" ( your quote: "I do find it comforting however that the info that they reported was ACCURATE and was known by the Landis camp.") How do you know it was accurate?????? Where's your source...??? Back to anonymous???? USADA is really the only organization that knows what came of those tests, aside from those doing the actual testing....Mr Bourdry (sorry if misspelled) even said that he hasn't seen the results, all the papers were sent to USADA...NOT to the Landis camp. We don't know what the Landis camp knows about all of this. Remember, Mr Scott was denied access for some of the testing (USADA wasn't there either), but at least USADA is getting paperwork....who knows what/when the Landis Camp will recieve any of this from USADA??


Item 7) Therein is the crux of all of this...your "version of the truth as" you "see it" means nothing in the short term. Neither does mine. My opinion doesn't matter, nor does yours. We aren't on the arb board. Short term, this means nothing. HOWEVER, long term, arguments like this help to raise public awareness, and as awareness rises, the light will shine more brightly onto USADA and WADA, and hopefully, change will occur so that other athletes won't have to bear what Floyd is going through. The US bears most of the financial burden for these organizations (all for USADA), therefore, we in the US have a responsibility to see that these organizations are policed properly and use proper checks and balances in their dealings.

I am, "Big" Kate...just a regular girl (and below avg cyclist, LOL)...a military wife whose husband has served in Iraq and other areas defending other people's rights to freedom of speech, liberty, and life (and fair trials....). But apparently, the battle still needs to be fought here at home, as even one citizen not getting a fair shot at defending themselves is one citizen too many.

Anonymous said...

Dear Yol,

What IS the LNDD's motive?

tbv@trustbut.com said...

At this point, LNDD is trying to save face and whatever dignity can be salvaged.

TBV

Yol said...

LNDD is apparently willing to cover up gross negligence with willful incompetence. The crazy thing is that the evidence is stacked against each party in this case. So who has the most to lose? Floyd loses a jersey. WADA, USADA and LNDD face monumental upheaval. It's becoming more obvious that they are willing to do anything, including breaking their own rules, to "bury this body."

Carlton Reid said...

Win or lose, Floyd has helped shape the future of anti-doping testing.

Come November, when Dick Pound leaves WADA, there will be a root and branch overhaul of the system.

Sadly, I can't back up anything in the two paragraphs above. It's merely my conjecture nut after interviewing current and former WADA officials I know there's a lot of anti-doping folks unhappy with the way the Floyd Landis case has been (mis)handled.

I'm Carlton Reid and I'm the editor of BikeBiz.com, a UK trade mag that has followed the ups and downs on TBV for way too many months already.

Anonymous said...

This is Matthew back for what are probably my final ramblings about this case. I just don’t have the time to devote to posting and reading all this right now. First of all, THANK YOU TVB for amassing such a wonderful repository of information and discussion about this doping case. People like you are what make America great!

Now, onto the comments:

1). The reason why I am saying that the L’Equipe report is correct and that the Landis team had those results LAST WEEK are the following quotes for Landis attorney, Maurice Suh,

QUOTE BEGINS: Landis’ lawyer, Maurice Suh, said Monday he has received some documentation from the test done on the “B” samples at the Chatenaey-Malabry lab outside of Paris, but it was not complete. “We need to understand fully from the lab what they did before we’re comfortable about saying what they declared to be ‘adverse.” Suh said. QUOTE ENDS That means two things which are indisputable:

a). He stated publicly that he had the test results last week
b). He stated that the results were declared to be adverse

That’s my basis for saying that the L’Equipe report was correct. That’s also my basis for saying that the results were known by the Landis team before the L’Equipe article went out on 4/23. That also means that there are (at least) three parties who had the information who could have “leaked” it to the newspaper; the LNDD, the USADA and the Landis defense team. Which of the three is building a case tearing down the credibility of the LNDD? Which of the three is pointing the finger at the other two? Which really leaked it? Who knows?

2) On to the finger pointing. Here is a quote from the San Francisco Chronicle, pF – 6 (4/23 or 4/24)

QUOTE BEGINS “Landis’ defense also contended that the results were improperly leaded tot he French newspaper, L’Equipe by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) which is prosecuting the case, or by the lab.

Suh’s co-council, Howard Jacobs, noted that L’Equipe has frequently published leaded results of tests performed at the French lab LNDD. Under anti-doping program rules, test results are supposed to remain confidential until an athlete has had an opportunity to review them.
‘This is a recurring problem’ he said ‘The leak could only have come from the USADA or LNDD” QUOTE ENDS

Landis goes on to say, “ I don’t think anyone who’s been watching all of this would be surprised not only by the results but by the leak.”

So, . . . not surprised by the results or by the leak?

Elsewhere, Landis’ team was quoted as saying that this was like McCarthyism and it was a witch-hunt. Pretty strong words. Two points here:

a. Landis and Jacobs are making strong public accusations toward both USADA and LNDD without proof.
b. Just be aware that the Landis team did have the information before 4/23 so they COULD have been part of the “leak” As someone said, it’s not rocket science. The leak had to come from someone who had the information. Suh publicly stated that he had results last week.

3) Let me go over this unprecedented “B” sample retesting. Landis comes up with an Adverse Analytical Finding for T/E and for synthetic testosterone from his TDF stage 17 urine sample. “B” sample testing confirms this. The Landis defense team came out with the statement that this was a one-time adverse test and how did Landis pass his other drug tests during the TDF? The thinking was that how could an athlete have testosterone (synthetic or not) is his system during stage 17 but not during other stages of the TDF where he was tested? The USADA petitioned the arbitration board to retest the “B “ samples from other TDF stages using IRMS to find out whether or not there were traces of synthetic testosterone in his system at other points in the race. The board ruled that the LNDD lab could run those tests but the USADA could not use the results to bring new charges against Landis for doping during any other stages than 17. The board also said that they would determine at a later time whether or not these other B sample tests would be admitted into the hearing. The reasons, I believe, they allowed the testing to proceed were:

a). The Landis defense team kept hitting the point that the Stage 17 positive test for testosterone was the ONLY positive for Landis during the Tour and how could that be.
b). All parties are searching for the truth so why not have more information available from which to make decisions.
c). It is well know that the T/E tests are easy for athletes to manipulate using masking agents and through other means. The IRMS test has been labeled “almost foolproof” by the scientific community, however.

My point is that if the Landis team felt so sure that the stage 17 IRMS test for synthetic testosterone was incorrect, why not petition the arbitration board to retest other samples from the race with IRMS? If you were confident there was no artificial testosterone in the system during stage 17, why not retest for other stages of the race to prove your point?

4) I think the headlines from last night and today speak to the fact that the Landis defense team’s strategy of dragging this on and on has put an enormous strain on Floyd’s resources and on the FFF. Whatever happens, the Landis defense team will be well compensated. The longer it goes, the happier they are. Civil suits, sure no problem. Lawsuits to recover damages from lost endorsements. Sure no problem. Let’s take on the whole system of athlete’s rights and all that is wrong with the WADA and USADA. Sure, no problem. Just sign the check here Floyd.

5) Onto Kate’s point about America, freedoms and athlete rights. I don’t think there is anyone out there who does not want athletes to be treated with justice in any doping proceedings. I will be outraged too if Landis was framed by either the TDF organizers, the UCI, the WADA, the LNDD or the USADA. I will withhold judgment until the case has been heard.

I do want to point out that Landis’ defense team is generating a lot of press, accusations, name calling and the like. They have spent a boatload of time, effort and money on their public campaign of calling out the USADA, WADA, LNDD, etc. for their “Outrage” “McCarthyism” “Gross Negligence” Injustice.” They are going against a prosecuting agency (USADA) that does not comment on active cases. Talk about a one sided battle. I just want to hear the facts of the case about what the test results were. How they were derived. And, what is the likelihood that they were false positive. The rest to me is just rhetoric.

I also want to point out that when an athlete enters into a professional competition like the Tour de France and agrees to abide by the WADA’s code against doping in competition, they are stating that they will abide by the WADA rules for testing and adjudication. That is in return for the opportunity to make large sums of prize money and opportunities for endorsements. It is a completely different system of justice that the normal US civil or criminal system. The WADA code was drafted and approved with input from athletes. I think changes to that system will come through that process rather than attacks from one athlete’s attorneys floating inflammatory and baseless press releases every couple of days condemning the USADA, WADA and every other organization involved.