Friday, May 18, 2007

Early Friday Roundup

News's Austin Murphy was observing the Greg LeMond testimony yesterday and admires LeMond for being courageous. He also notes that much of the science that was testified to yesterday favored Landis, and that is now lost in the sensationalism. Still when he spoke with Floyd's Dad, Paul Landis, he found that Paul was shocked and hurt by what Will Geoghegan had done, but chose to forgive him:

Sometimes things come up and there's nowhere to turn," he explained, "and the Word is such a comfort."

His voice cracked. "I was just talking to Will" during the recess, "and of course we love and forgive him, but there's a mark that will never be erased."

The Carlisle Sentinel Online publishes Will Geoghegan's apology to Greg LeMond.

ESPN's Bonnie DeSimone writes about yesterday's stunning and sad revelations at the Landis hearings in which Greg Lemond testified about an incriminating phone call between himself and Floyd Landis last summer , and a threatening phone call he received from former Landis manager Will Geoghegan on Wednesday evening of this week prior to LeMond's schedueld appearance at the hearings. It is not known whether this information will effect the decision made by the arbitrators in the Landis case, but it is likely that Landis has lost a great deal in the court of public opinion. It was pointed out that in the past LeMond had made similar accusations against former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, but when the Landis lawyers tried to bring this up yesterday after the revelations LeMond refused to answer and left the courtroom:

Still, without Geoghegan's phone call, it's likely that LeMond would have added drama and not much more to the case against Landis. The logic for USADA's tactic, other than breaking up the stultifying but critical deluge of scientific evidence that has streamed by over the previous three days, is unknown to observers.

Here is a transcript of Greg LeMond's statements after his testimony yesterday.

The San Francisco Chronicle prints an Eddie Pells AP piece about how Greg LeMond stole the Landis hearings right out from under Landis and USADA yesterday, and he observes that after LeMond's the following witness Christiane Ayotte, director of the World Anti-Doping Agency accredited lab in Montreal, might as well have been speaking to a closed hearing.

USA Today posts a review of yesterdays incredible turn of events at the Landis hearing, and largely summarizing what has been written about the testimony of Greg LeMond to this point. And USA Today SportsScope wonders how the appearance yesterday of Greg LeMond will affect the rest of the Landis hearings.

The IHT gives us the Reuters version of yesterday's events at the Landis USADA hearings.

The LA Times Michael Hiltzik writes about yesterday's bombshell revelations that Floyd Landis allegedly admitted doping to Greg LeMond in a phone call last August, and that LeMond was threatened by former Landis manager Will Geoghegan:

But in the court of public opinion, in which Landis has waged an aggressive public relations campaign, the testimony may undermine his emerging image as a straight-shooting athlete facing an unfair inquisition. It also could backfire against the USADA if the agency is seen to have resorted to gossip and innuendo to compensate for a weak technical case.

The upshot of all of the controversy over the LeMond accusations are that they eclipsed what was turning into a pivotal and positive day for the Landis defense:

The furor overshadowed what had been shaping up as one of the Landis defense's most effective days. A lab technician acknowledged she knew she was working with Landis' urine sample when she did the testing to confirm her lab's original positive finding.

She also acknowledged making various technical mistakes, including overwriting and obliterating data in violation of World Anti-Doping Agency lab standards.

The VeloNew's
Jason Sumner reports what Greg LeMond said after his sensational testimony at yesterday's Landis hearing at Pepperdine University. In a related issue the VeloNews reports that Pat McQuaid of the UCI will appeal any descision that does not impose the stiffest punishments on Floyd Landis and Ivan Basso.

Supercyling says that Oscar Pereiro will quit cycling if he has to prove his non involvement in OP through DNA testing. has what would have been the story the day in the Landis hearings without the LeMond testimony, and that is the Floyd Landis scored technical points in his defense against doping allegations.

The VeloNews Antonio Gallegos thinks that the LeMond testimony likely will not have a lot of impact on the arbitration panel's decision on Landis, but that today's science with testimony from Claire Frelat could have more significance:

Landis's team again went on the attack during cross examination, highlighting several points made during Cynthia Mongongu's testimony from Wednesday - missing information from the chain of custody log, time gaps in lab documents, and the sequence for reprocessing electronic data files. On redirect examination, Frelat explained that other lab documents, not just the chain of custody log, can account for time gaps and transfers of samples from one person to another that are not reflected in the chain of custody log.

Bicycling's Loren Mooney reports on yesterday's bombshell laden Landis hearing and thinks that it's a PR disaster for Landis with unknown implications:

The scholars are definitely going to be studying this one," said Pepperdine law professor Thomas Stanowich, who along with several other arbitration experts has been observing the hearing. (Part of the reason Pepperdine agreed to host the hearing is so it's law faculty and students can watch.) Stanowich stopped by the still-feverish press room hours after the hearing to see what was going on in here, and got sucked into an impromtu interview. "This is getting pretty complicated," he said of LeMond's appearance, noting not only the apparent attempted tampering, but also LeMond's refusal to answer questions involving his previous deposition in the Armstrong case with no legal basis-in a judicial proceding, this is grounds to strike the witness's testimony. The arbitrators must now decide whether to admit LeMond's testimony at all, and, if they do, how much weight to give it.

On the witness stand today will be:

Finishing cross-examination of Christine Ayotte, the head of Montreal's WADA lab, whose afternoon testimony was pretty much lost in the LeMond shuffle.

A technical supervisor at the French lab

Joe Papp, a pro cyclist expected to testify to the cycling performance benefits that come with using exogenous testosterone

The Washington Post writes that the sleepy Landis hearings morphed into "Pulp Fiction" with today's Greg LeMond revelations.

The San Diego Union Tribune is representative of most media outlets this morning in printing the updated AP story about the testimony of Greg LeMond at the Landis hearings today, and how it has overshadowed the scientific evidence the seemed to be tipping in Landis's favor. Attorneys for Landis were unable to cross examine Mr LeMond after he made accusations of witness tampering by former Landis manager Will Geoghegan. LeMond in a statement made after the testimony said:

What I felt was right was to come here and tell the truth,” he said as he walked to his car. “People say it's the message that hurts this sport, but it's not that. It's cheating that hurts this sport, and that's all I have to say." His appearance at Pepperdine, however, made the sport look every bit the unseemly circus he's been trying to fix all these years. Still, he had no remorse

The CyclingNews prints its weekly letters column in which one by Charlie Mack wonders who is telling the truth. Floyd Landis or the LNDD.

Dugard says take away the phone call made to Greg LeMond by former Landis manager Will Geoghegan and all you have left is an unsympathetic loser. Still the call was made and since Floyd and Will are best friends Dugard is not certain how the ill considered call came up, and is disturbed by the whole incident.

The Sweet Buettery Taste of Fear and Waffles wants Lance Armstrong to come back and rescue cycling from the likes of yesterday's Landis hearing happenings.

Mizzou Sanity thinks that compared to cycling's troubles, as exemplified by yesterday's happening at the Landis hearings, baseball has nothing to worry about.

Unmuted Horn conjures up the liked of Tonya Harding when speaking of yesterday's Landis hearing which turned to a soap opera.

The Wah Report notes that unfortunately yesterday's Landis hearing was instead a circus.

The First 100 Miles' Sara Best is asking the question: with friends like Will Geoghegan does Floyd Landis need enemies?

Watching Politics wonders who the bad guys really are?

Librapaj's blog thinks that Will Geoghegan threw a wrench into the Landis defense.

Rant's Friday warm up is out, and we hardly need warming up after yesterday's LeMond bombshell. Rant is thinking we have a he said/he said situation, and that we may never know the truth, or not for a long time. Still we have hearings to get through and much more to come:

No one came out of yesterday’s hearings a winner. Not Team Landis. Not Team USADA. Not the anti-doping process. Not cycling fans. No one.

What was missed in the ruckus was the testimony by Claire Frelat that she knew whose B sample was being tested last August. That’s a direct breach of confidentiality, in part due to the leaks to the media shortly after the A sample had been tested. Frelat said she knew whose sample it was by the reports in the media. Knowing that she’s testing Landis’ sample is a breach of WADA protocols, although I don’t know how seriously it will affect the case. But it was a breach, nonetheless.

In a follow up to this morning's rant writes that fired Landis manager Will Geoghegan had no connection whatsoever to the FFF. Here is a statement of apology released through Geoghegan's lawyesr:

I apologize to Greg LeMond and his family for the distress I caused by my call. I also apologize to the arbitration panel and to Floyd Landis and his legal team for the distraction. I have been very angry about how unfair this whole proceeding is to Floyd, a great friend and a greater champion, and stupidly tried to take out my anger on Greg. I acted on my own, impulsively, after a beer or two. I never thought about keeping Greg from testifying. If I had, I would have concluded that since Greg is such a fierce competitor my stunt would likely make him more resolved to testify. What I did was wrong and very unfair to Greg. I am very sorry about and embarrassed by my conduct

The Poop thinks that that Landis hearings are interesting to say the least, and that Greg LeMond has little credibility in this matter before the phone call he got from Will Geoghegan. Now Floyd looks culpable.

Spinopsys wants to know who wants their money back from Floyd Landis, and sums yesterday up in one phrase: "holy crap".
thought that the Landis case needed a sex scandal to get more media attention, and he got it.

The DPF is bustling with talk about yesterdays events at the Landis hearings. one is called "Why does Landis have the High moral ground beside LeMond"?


cam said...

not to make light of anything, but figured everybody could use a chuckle.

This gem is the opening line from The Mercury News:

"A tip for all potential arbitration witnesses out there: Never take to the mike after Greg LeMond."

strbuk said...

Cam can you point me to that article? I can;t find it on the Mercury News web site. Thanks, and thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

Sooooo, if Periero quits cycling by refusing to submit DNA evidence, who do they give the crown to if Floyd also loses his appeal? Strange times.....

cam said...

strbuk --

Anonymous said...

ORG here ...

TBV, as I post on DPF, I just got an blackberry message from a friend that said "Did you see Landis on 'Today'?"

I have the show on, and nothing about him (yet?) Was he on TV this morning?

Anonymous said...

The Death of U.S. Cycling

It occured on May 17, about 1:30 PST. Cause - "Landis"

Craig said...

The Today show did a piece on Lemond's appearance, it was on around 7:40 eastern. There was a still photo of Floyd and Amber with Floyd dressed in black, along with some 2006 TdF footage. He wasn't interviewed. There was a shot of Lemond testifying that looked like it was taken from the hall through an open door. And Lemond was interviewed on camera after his testimony. It was only a sentence or two and it reiterated what he said on the stand about Will G's phone call.

Anonymous said...

Is this Will G. guy also the person who hacked into the LNDD e-mail server?

Anonymous said...

I live in Switzerland, always a pleasure to spend a week or two in July to follow the Tour with some firends.
For us, what Landis did last year was just fabulous. Incredible...

Now, with what's happening, I must say that most of my friends, here in Switzerland, are just disgusted by him, this new Le Mond story, and the way he acted since the accusation began. Sad, more than angry, in fact. Don't know if we'll stay on the road on the Tour this year, but at least, John Landis won't be there. That's a start...

Anonymous said...

No cross, you must toss.

Anonymous said...

They had the opportunity to cross. They simply fumbled.

Anonymous said...

I get the strong feeling that USADA people are trying to quickly spin this LeMond story out to the media, and even here in the comments at TBV, so as to appear to have hijacked the arbitration in their favor. I'm not buying it, but the general public might, probably will. Still, this case should be about THE SCIENCE. Look past the Enquirer aspects, people, and focus on THE TESTING--- IS IT ACCURATE? ARE CLEAN CYCLISTS BEING TOSSED OUT WITH THE TRASH?


Anonymous said...

agree, yesterdays sad and bad day took all the focus away from the silence..

Anonymous said...

7:01 - Who's John Landis?

Anonymous said...

I think it is that John Gault guy. He got married.

Anonymous said...

Its all about the SCIENCE!!!!

Its the SCIENCE, nothing else matters! Who called who 9 months after the race is IRRELEVANT to the question at hand.

Sheeesh...sad to see a race turned into Peyton flippin' Place.