Monday, May 21, 2007

Email asks where the USADA Mass Spec experts are?

An emailer sends:

Monday morning will be very interesting.So far we have had WADA experts patting each other on the back but they are not experts in Mass Spec.Bit like the engineers on F1,they get the info from the onboard telemetry but have very little experience in the theory behind the machines that send them the data.

Hidden within the ISL is a ref to ISO 17025,not one on the prosecution side has made any real ref to this.Ayotte said that ISL was for reporting harmonisation and individual labs have responsibility for their owm methods and thus nothing to do with WADA.She is wrong,WADA refers to ISO 17025 and thus the labs do have an external standard to comply with and this is set out by ISL.

Why have the prosecution got no expert on Mass specs;is it because they cannot find anyone to justify the methods used at LNND.Afterall they knew full well what Landis was going to throw at them.

It is not just Landis that is one trial but the WADA procedures.Will the panel have the guts to clear Landis whilst at the same time condeming WADA labs and indeed WADA for not policing them correctly.

Well, Brenna is offered as their expert, and he's being cited by the Landis expert, so they aren't that uncovered. On the other hand, the Landis expert appears to be demonstrating that Brenna gave LNDD a very cursory review before blessing. I'd expect to see Brenna back in Rebuttal of the Landis experts.


Thomas A. Fine said...

Both Brenna and Meier-Augenstein are very well-respected in the field. When someone asks for general references on stable isotope mass spectrometry, any reply is likely to include papers from both of these scientists.

They also know each other at least professionally, and have interacted in the past, with no obvious conflicts that I could find. One has to wonder how comfortable it is for them to be on opposite sides of the argument here.

This is all based on my impressions of various messages in an online forum they both participate in occasionally.

At any rate, they'll most likely simply disagree professionally, leaving the arbitrators free to decide as they please. It is possible that M-A could make such a compelling argument that he changes Brenna's mind, in which case Brenna would become unusable as a rebuttal witness. So if M-A's testimony is not rebutted by Brenna, then that could be viewed as a major victory for Landis.


Anonymous said...


In a normal case these would be dueling experts and the most credible would have additional weight. Unfortunately, the panel has its "independent expert" who is part of the WADA lab system and, as noted in testimony, can be drummed out of the club for being critical of another lab - even if that prohibition is in the form of not giving testimony on behalf of an athlete. Catlin testified that he was criticized and leaned on when he was called as a WADA witness and gave testimony that did not support WADA 100%.

The panel is not going to debate the expert testimony in an unifluenced manner. The "independent expert" is going to be called on to evaluate the testimony and, from the record so far, he is likely to downplay any criticism of LNDD and advise that any sloppiness had no effect.

This is one of the elements of the structure that needs to be changed. I am sure he is being paid by the hour; a truly independent expert probably would not be more expensive.

Anonymous said...

Are the conversations between the ARBs and the "Independent Expert" documented in the court records? If not then the expert could be very honest and there would be nothing WADA could say since they have no evidence to prove he did not "Tow the line". Unless the ARBs reference/quote him in there final decision. Just asking, don't know the rules but it was stated that their conversations are behind closed doors so I assume no documentation of what is being said. Correct?