Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday Roundup

Photo of the Day

(noted by an emailer)

USADA finally announced Joe Papp's suspension. It was signed on May 17. He's getting two years, and DQ of results back to 2001. So "the deal" is they treated all his admissions as a single offense. Naturally no word on the traffiking angle that came out when he testified at the Landis hearing.

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Phil Sheridan feels that no matter the outcome of the recently completed Landis hearings, Floyd Landis is a loser and cycling is a filthy sport.

World News and Christian Views
prints Floyd Landis' reputation , no matter the final outcome of the hearings recently completed in California, will be forever marred.

FoxSports On MSN says that a time bomb has been lit and that 6 weeks or so from now, when the Landis arbitration panel is expected to render its decision it may go off. In a piece filled with alleged French conspiracy theories, and the mud that was created by the LeMond fiasco Floyd Landis is seen as someone whose reputation may have been besmirched by that mud. He scored points with accusations that the LNDD was badly run, as were some of his tests, but whether that will be enough to produce a favorable outcome remains to be seen.

Sportinggo has a doctor write about how sick cycling really is in light of the current revelations, but has this to say about Landis:

Let it be known that I would be happy to ‘pull my head in’ if the court finds in favour of Landis. I have just as much disdain for sloppy laboratory processes because in my game, Medical Science, sloppy lab procedures could end up killing patients. The standards should be no different in anti-doping labs.

CyclingNews Letters go back and forth, less pro-Lemond than you might have expected.

Not sure we got this before. A comment points to a good piece by Bob Ford about the hearing, and how the results seem fore-ordained to be a 2-1 conviction.

Rant tales a look at the "call" referenced last week in the Landis hearing by Greg LeMond and ruminates about why LeMond would testify. In a later post Rant takes a look at the suspension that Joe Papp received from USADA and that he signed off on it the day before his testimony in the Landis hearings.

The First 100 Miles
is waiting patiently for a Landis decision, and while she is saddened by all of the Telekom doping admissions, she is not looking forward to defending cycling to friends. Such is the current cross cycling fans bear.

misterbicycle wants his subscription canceled, they all cheat.

Sirened says it's now official,cycling should just legalize doping.

Who Sport What reflects that there are No heroes in cycling after the admission of doping by
Bjarne Riis, and he may be right.

Ajiva feels that the admissions of doping from European riders, such as Riis, make the "Circus Landis" hearings look absurd, and that Floyd should feel shame.

Environmental Chemisty, who we credited with a READ THIS standalone, follows up with a rebuke of LNDD's Chain of Custody:

[M]y connection to drug testing and COC protocols has drawn me to the drug doping hearings of last year's Tour de France winner Floyd Landis. Given what has been exposed during the hearings over the past week and a half, if I were being tested now, by the WADA accredited French testing laboratory LNDD I might not be so confident my tests were being handled properly. I was absolutely horrified to read the testimony of the witnesses and what it has exposed about LNDD. I was especially appalled by what was exposed during the testimony of Dr. Simon Davis

Phantom Reflections passes on the state of the coffers:
Velonews is reporting that Floyd Landis has all but exhausted his legal defense funds. This means that if he is found guilty, he doesn't have the cash for an appeal. You can add driving riders to poverty right after character assassination, which apparently are both in the charters of the USADA, WADA, and at least hinted at by the UCI.

(We're reminded we don't link as many Velonews stories as we should, and I think it has something to do with they're not showing up well in various searches. Don't be surprised to see a bunch of links to Jason Sumners's good reports all at once.)

I'm Pretty Sure We've Heard This One Before thinks that the Landis hearing was like watching "The Big Lebowski", and he still thinks Floyd is guilty, and wants him to be honest and come clean.

Who Sport What
talks about TBV in his latest blog entry.

Blame the D*** Computer thinks that the whole Landis saga is very sad. Thanks for the plug.
wants everyone to vote, and thanks for the compliment.

The FredCast Podcast has an update on the completed Landis hearings, and other cycling topics.

Bicycle Races are coming Your Way is convinced that that it takes two and that not only do the cyclists need to come clean, but so do the governing bodies controlled the sport.

An Athlete's Rise and Fall in the World feels that the alleged intimidation tactics used by Floyd Landis' former manager are confusing at best, and that if synthetic testosterone was found in Landis' sample it was there, period.

Agent Holly notes what seems to be book tour:
..Floyd Landis, winner of the 2006 Tour de France, signing copies of Positively False

  • 6/27/07 12:30 PM at Bryant Park Reading Room - 42nd Street. New York, NY.
  • 6/27/07 7:00 PM at Bookends - East Ridgewood Ave. Ridgewood, NJ.
  • 6/29/07 7:00 PM at Barnes & Noble – Red Rose Commons. Lancaster, PA.
  • 7/2/07 7:00 PM at Chester County Book & Music Co. – Paoli Pike. West Chester, PA.

Oz Report complains about Landis hearing coverage by the mainstream media. We don't rate, but the echo chamber takes over and our note gets picked up by HighClearing.

Proleptic Life thinks Landis has imploded, from both the call and by the post.

Ordinary Bo just laughs at the Telekom revelations, and wonders:
If the Tour officials don't take Riis' championship away from him, then what does that say about their unrelenting threats and attacks on Floyd Landis?

Dugard talks cycling and Tlekom and Riis and throws up his hands.

Jody has taken some pictures of Landis for publication, and shares some thoughts.

Thought Mill think's Riis's admission today takes some heat off Landis, a contrarian view.


Anonymous said...

Has anyone thought about discussing doping reform? How can we get both sides to come out of their respective garrisons?

I have a thought about how to stop the "code of silence" cycle in the peloton. The ADA would need to agree to an amnesty period. Let everyone come clean and give them a fresh start. This way the ADA can maybe draw from what has been going on by hearing it directly from the participants. Once everyone has come clean, I think if you get caught doping after that, it's a life ban.

Now in order for that to work WADA/UCI and the other ADA's and labs need to restructer their practices to a more equitable and transperant system. All B samples done at a seperate lab from the A samples, encourage the a nonpunitive environment if somebody in a lab sees something that is wrong to come forward on the athletes behalf.

This is just a start, I'm sure more particulars would need to be worked out. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

It seems I can't read any article now without pondering 'what if "the call" had not been made?'

And Yes, I can tell myself it is a waste of time to wonder.

But wow!!! The momentum, the energy, the history and the future might just have turned in an instant..


strbuk said...

Jason, this is why you should always stop, count to ten and count to ten again, then either write or call.


daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...


Good suggestions. I truly hope that both sides can come together to do something like that. It would be better for cycling to be able to put the past firmly in the past, and for all parties to move forward with a system that is fair to the accused, while still ensuring punishment for those who are guilty.

To make that change, we need a system of checks and balances to ensure that the process is equitable, and that the science behind the testing is beyond reproach, as is the lab's work.

Unfortunately, we have a long way to go. Perhaps the biggest legacy of the Landis case will be to push things in the direction of positive change.

- Rant

JAM said...

The New York Times has a brief article about the 1996 TdF winner confessing to doping. I don't know if you've seen it yet.

Anonymous said...

This is what you can expect from a public trial. It holds both sides under a microscope. You can be guaranteed that both ends will come out losing, in some big or small fashion.

Landis: Great cyclist. I don't think he knowingly doped this time. Maybe one of his managers or team-mates wanted that win/comeback so badly they took matters into their own hands (unknown to Landis). I do know, after stage 17, Landis was fired up, I remember watching the end of the stage telling my wife, "wow, Landis looks mad..". So much so, it made an impression to me of "out of character". But that isn't enough to convict the guy. He did threaten Lemond in the web post. And if the court of public opinion is swayed negatively from that, that's his own fault.

LNDD: No scientific basis for a positive. Ignoring the details. Details are everything.

FL/LA/GL. Wouldn't surprise me if sometime earlier in their careers they took something (may have not been illegal substance at the time, but is now). In the last couple years, I think the technology and science of sports nutrition is at a level that similar results can be attained without having to dope. So, they wouldn't risk it, being at the top level. (yeah, I know, Basso, Jan)

So.. I'm no the fence, 50/50 whether Landis had T in his system.. But he shouldn't be stripped of the title based on the work LNDD did. I would like to see the results from a the same (messed up test) on a sample on normal ppl.. Tell LNDD they are testing FL for synthetic.. guessing it would come back +.

Changes from this. LNDD will either go away or improve. Cyclists at the top level will possibly need to take their "own sample" at the same time they give it to a lab. They also will have to have tighter control on where their food/drink/IV comes from.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Here is the sad truth of doping: If you were a decent competitive cyclist with a respectable resume - some wins and some high finishes, and the chance to race against the top competition, the doping revelations offer a Pandora's box of second guessing and bitterness. You were clean and now you find out that everyone who won appears to have doped. So was the guy who won that Cat 4 race on steroids? Was the guy who beat you for that last qualifying spot at nationals on amphetamines? Those guys in Europe who did a two-up break at thirty miles an hour into a twenty mile an hour head wind and took the race - what were they on? Fortunately, for most cyclists, cycling is about personal discipline and the enjoyment of it, but if you raced, you cannot deny that you had your ego and pride on the line, and to find out later that apparently everyone but you was on some kind of juice makes you wonder, at least for a moment, if you could have exerted your energies better elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Judge Hue - Although the arbitration hearing is completed do you think the recent press on Telekom doping will weigh on the Landis outcome? It’s been pointed out we are all humans and there are elements of this case the arbitrators must consider verse press and public option. But certainly these recent admonitions could play into this. It must create additional strain on all parties involved in the Landis case. Thanks for your had work here. Riding in Washington State

Anonymous said...

I ment "HARD" work!
Riding in Washington State

Anonymous said...

With the Riis admission, it gets harder and harder to believe Landis, not that I believed him to begin with. If people want to have this arbitration a referendum on strict testing procedures, that's one thing, and I can appreciate that. But to truly believe Landis didn't dope, and that he's otherwise some hero, I don't really understand.

Anonymous said...

Remember what Dr Amory said, in his opinion EPO would help a cyclist...testosterone wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

If someone thought T would help, they'd take it. It's been posted here before about how much T has been used by cyclists. Also, Papp I believe said it did help.

Anonymous said...

Nothing upsets me more then the ingnorance of an aritcle like in the Philadelphia Inquirer by Phil Sheridan saying, "...cycling is a filthy sport." Do people really live in such a secluded world to think cycling is the only sport on drugs? It blows my mind people can be in such denial to single out cycling in the world of doped up sports. It almost feels personal like Mr. Sheridan has a hard time riding a bike. I'm sure doping or "cheating" makes people angry and they want to see justice but is it any better for the organization accusing cheating to be cheating themselves?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:56,

I guess to me, the question is the testosterone Landis is accused of doping with.

I don't think any of the current admissions relate to testosterone. It's questionable benefit for the supposed purpose used. If I, an out of shape accountant know that, wouldn't the top athletes know as well. If the accusation was for a substance which is KNOWN beneficial, I might start with a different opinion.

It appears the testing by LNDD was only 1 step above using darts.

The steroid cases (ala Baseball), seem to have more direct benefits for the supposed purpose.

The problem with the system IMHO, is that it seems quite easy to have confirmed/refuted with an independent test at a different lab, IF WADA/USADA had wanted a definitive answer. Since this easy, cost saving process could have been used. Why Not? Who is being protected?

LNDD has been in the eye of the questionable testing storm for awhile, which makes me curious why their paperwork is still lax (Do they KNOW the system will protect them?). I don't remember hearing similar complaints about UCLA (for instance). Doesn't mean there aren't any, I just never heard any.

Too many questions, few if any good answers.


Anonymous said...

Anon 10:27

Isn't the reason cycling seems singled out, I would add Track. While I haven't done research on ALL cases, yet these are primarily Individual Sports, with NO strong league/team structure. NO entity to protect/deflect the sport's franchise ala, FIFA, NFL, MLB, NBA.


Anonymous said...

Has Botre ever been the independent expert before?

Anonymous said...

Want some insight as to what interests the general public? Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the TBV page and look at the chart. The spike in visitors [and trolls] occurred in response to the WG/GL drama. Science? "Booorrring." Facts? They can perceive their own facts, thankyouverymuch. The origin of the problems being addressed? No time to give that any attention. There are tie-colors to describe and interpret.

The facts aren't captivating to casual observers - they want FIRE, MURDER, SEX, CAR CHASES. Like children, most people want the icing, not the cake.

Some people take great pleasure in seeing somebody hit rock bottom because, *whew* once again, it's not them up there on the stand. "That guy is a jerk."

I can't say how grateful I am to have a font of actual legitimate and informed description [rather than inflammatory and sensationalized opinion] in TBV.

Thanks again for all the hard work. I only hope that, years from now, the absolute truth will come to light and the TBV crew will likely be the only ones to report it.

Anonymous said...

My local paper had an opinion piece by Bob Ford a Philadelphia Inquirer sports columnist that was surprisingly well informed - I suspect that he read here. I don't know how to provide a link. He closes saying that he thinks the outcome was foreordained, 2-1 against Landis and closes with the following:

"Does he deserve it? Maybe, but it is impossible to say for sure.

'Even cheaters desereve a fair hearing,' one witness told the arbitrators.

Floyd Landis isn't getting one, though. He has been caught in the sealous hunt for witches, and in inernational sports, unlike in major league baseball, that requires only a pointey hat and some bad luck."

To Rant and Gatordawg: Someon with some web skills needs to craft a site that can be used by the "little" people in the many affected sports to assist in putting pressure on natinoal sport federations to take the issue of change seriously and also to identify one or a few federal legislators who can be focused on to bring about the change that is needed.

Depending on how you feel, this may be an overstatement: All it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing. The internet is proving to be a new, effective tool for organizing and channeling outrage. I would love to see a congressional hearing probe into how LNDD got accredited to run the tests while its equipment was visibly defectively installed (i.e. the failure to remove the lfting rings from the magnet).

I do not have the skills, the TBV team has to be burnt to the waterline, but I am sure that they would make their library of resources available. The postings alone are valuable.

LNDD may be embarassed enough to clean up its act - but to whose standards? And there are other changes needed, some simple (test a and b samples at different labs, establish what a positive lab result is by (real) peer review) and others are tougher (burdens of proof, rules of evidence and procedure, independence of arbiters and their "independent experts").

Don't let this be a momentary splash that sends a single, small ripple across the view of those who need to deal with the issues. Sorry for the rant,

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...


First off, anyone who wants to read Bob Ford's article, click here.

That's a good idea, setting up a clearinghouse site for people who want to get involved in pushing for change. Something to mull over.

In the meantime, there's the Get Involved page at the FFF.

- Rant

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:19,

Does anyone realize who Joe Papp is? He was labled during the arbitration as a "mid-level pro". I'm insulted as a professional cyclist to think this guy is considered to be anywhere close to a professional. It's ridiculous to think his testimony has any validity to anyone let alone the arbitration panel. Apparently Papp was trying to race on everything he could get his hands on (T,epo,hgh,etc.) and still he could barely finish a respectable race let alone get a result anyone cared about. Basically the only thing Papp was being used for was to justify using testosterone made a difference. Of course it made a difference for him, he sucked!Imagine how slow this guy was riding his bike around without any pharmaceutical help.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much the articles that "cycling is filthy" in the US press is due to the fact the cycling is not considered to be a traditional US sport. Every 4 years there is a lot of soccer bashing in the US press, who looks with glee for things like the Zanideen (sp?) head-butt. Most US sports writers/TV commentators know little about cycling (or soccer) and hence are not comfortable with them. It was so easier pre Greg, when you could safely ignore the TdF.

Perhaps Marc could enlighten us on how Europeans feel about cycling at this point.

Anonymous said...

RIP Floyd's reputation
RIP LNDD's reputation
RIP USADA's reputation
RIP WADA's reputation
RIP Dick Pound

Everyone's a loser !. What an outcome. Couldn't give a f**k about the rest of the casualties, they brought it upon themselves. Floyd should have won here. No question about it, the sooner he gets back into pro racing, the sooner cycling can move on. The authorities who set up WADA in the first place should be going back to the drawing board and trying to figure how to redefine WADA without the inclusion of a dick as WADA's head. The performance of every aspect of the anti-doping authorities in this case was unprofessional, embarrassing, corrupt and biased. That beats a clean athlete every time.

Anonymous said...
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Ken ( said...

TBV, per your request I added the qualifying words "unofficial non-literal" to the comment about full transcripts being on the TBV site in the blog article you cite above. I also added a link to the video archive.

As a point of disclosure in regards to the two Landis articles we published:

People should note that our two articles on the Landis hearings were written by different individuals. I wrote the first post and enjoy watching the Tour de France on TV each year (last year I was cheering for George Hincapie figuring that if anyone deserved to win he did after being so loyal to Lance all those years).

Roberta Barbalace (Bio) wrote the second article. She became involved because I asked her to help edit my first Landis article. She was pretty appalled by the CoC issues she was seeing being disclosed in the testimony by prosecution wittinesses and subsequently agreed to write this article.

As she stated, Roberta is not a cycling enthusiast and would have no clue what a green jersey means in the TDF. What Roberta does care about is due process and sound scientific procedures. Given how many times she has been drug tested in her life and how many times she has had others drug tested, an unbroken CoC and proper lab procedures is a very near and dear thing to her.

Anonymous said...

Due process versus media hype.

Media hype always prevails. Landis demanded an open hearing and he got what he deserved, black tie and all.

If a cheat can still sell product--they are protected.

OJ Simpson out
Kobe Bryant in

Shawne Merriman in
Ricky Williams out

CSC/ Bjarne Riis still in?
Ivan Basso out

Due process does not exist in real life. Too expensive, Judges, attorneys, consultants, paid experts, all feeding off a dysfunctaional system marketed by perry mason reruns. Fairness is what is sold to the public.

In the end---only commercial appearances matter.

Landis appears as damaged goods.

Cheryl from Maryland said...

Re: Joe Papp's cocktail of drugs & drug use in the peleton in general. I was talking to my husband, who works for the FDA, about the cocktail, and he said he was shocked Mr. Papp could get out of bed in the morning with all of that stuff in his system.

He then proceeded to look up the side effects of EPO in his reference material for me. Did you know common side effects of EPO include fatigue, weakness of muscles, and sleepiness? So, one may have more red blood cells, but the rest of the body can be toast.

This is not to say that cyclists don't use these substances or believe in their effectiveness, but it is quite possible that use of PEDs, except for blood transfusions, degrades performance if the cyclist suffers from side effects rather than enhances it. So just because a cyclist outperforms an admitted PED user doesn't mean he doped. It might mean that he is clean.

Mr. Zabel might have been correct in his statement that he stopped EPO after a week because he felt bad. That might not be an excuse to mitigate his PED use.

Ken ( said...

Cheryl from Maryland,

You bring up some very good points about the side effects of PEDs. This is why I think any otherwise legitimate pharmaceutical that is added to the banned drug list, whether because it is a PED or masking agent, should only be added to the list if true peer reviewed (e.g. not peer reviewed by the standards defined in these hearings) studies show that the pharmaceutical is truly a significant PED or masking agent.

Having athletes banned because the hair growth medication they were using MIGHT be a masking agent is ridiculous.

There has got to be some kind of sanity to this.

Anonymous said...

Just read Bob Ford's article and it got me thinking. The arbs may have already decided against Floyd 2-1, but I don't see how they can just let LNDD off the hook. If they decide against Floyd, they've pretty much told WADA labs that they can do whatever they want (Muppet Labs might as well apply for WADA accreditation).

How can the arbs find against Floyd and simultaneously condemn LNDD? Or can they?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cheryl from Maryland said...

Dear Ken:

I understand your points, especially eliminating true PEDs from hair products, but I would be loathe to see WADA produce a "PED cookbook" with guidelines as to what works.

I do think that WADA and the sports associations should promote health and performance as well as fairness, truth, beauty, etc. to their roster of why one should not use PEDs. Why -- all drugs have side effects, many of which can depress performance. The more drugs one takes, the more likely there are additional or more intense side effects from the drugs interacting with each other. This includes aspirin or other OTC drugs. Drug interaction can include eliminating any beneficial effect of the drug.

The bottom line is that a drug is a poison given in a small enough dose that one is less likely to die from the drug than from the disease. That's why they are only prescribed if one is ILL. Messing around with something that can kill you even under a doctor's care is a horrible idea.

Finally, while the term of art is PED for performance enhancing, I think it is important for fans NOT to assume that when a rider confesses to PED use that the PED actually helped them improve and that superior riders must have also doped. I also think we fans should try to take each case individually, if only for proper respect for the rider as a human being. It will be difficult to have this frame of reference in these times, especially with the confessions of Mr. Rijs and the entire Telekom team, but I'm going to try.

Anonymous said...

----- Original Message -----
From: Davis Straub
To: Hersh, Phillip
Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2007 12:13 AM
Subject: Re: Can you name one science reporter who was assigned to the Landis hearing?

Hi Phil,

Thanks for your kind reply.

Like you, I am smart enough to ask questions, science questions, having graduated in Physics from UCSC. I am taking nothing away from your reporting and commentary when I point out that something else is missing.

I certainly agree with you that the lay public would not be interested in the fine scientific points of drug testing. And that is exactly why the lay public would have been greatly served by a genuine science reporter who had a deep background in these issues explaining the science in understandable terms to them. Not all would be interested, but a great many would.

I believe that it is to the great discredit of our national media that apparently not one of them sent a trained science reporter to what I think may turn out to be a pivotal hearing (where was Ira Flatow from NPR?). For the first time we got a glimpse of the inner workings of a now discredited WADA accredited laboratory. We also got to see that dark side of WADA and the USADA.

Our society appears to take great interest in whether athletes take drugs or not. Personally this is not as important to me as many other issues. But, given this general interest, it seems only reasonable that we would benefit from having some knowledgeable guides as to exactly how these athletes are being tested and judged. That we were denied the benefit of such a reasoned and thoughtful analysis based on the actual science is an indictment of our social institutions and our general level of cultural dysfunction.

Thanks again for your time and thoughts.

BTW, Ira's show on Friday was really poor given what had happened in the previous week.

Davis Straub
On the road, USA

----- Original Message -----
From: Hersh, Phillip
To: Davis Straub
Sent: Saturday, May 26, 2007 11:41 AM
Subject: RE: Can you name one science reporter who was assigned to the Landis hearing?

I do not have a strong background in chemistry, but I am smart enough to ask questions about what I do not understand. And a lengthy debate on fine scientic points is not likely to take place in any general interest publication.

The crux of the Landis argument -- bad science, sloppy bureaucracy -- was clear to me. If he wins on those merits, that is all my readership needs to know. The debate over whether the science is good or bad, beyond what the arbitrators decide, is best left for blogs, scientific journals and academic fora. The larger question of the credibility of doping control undoubtedly will not be resolved by this case, no matter what the outcome.


From: Davis Straub []
Sent: Sat 5/26/2007 9:32 AM
To: Hersh, Phillip
Subject: Can you name one science reporter who was assigned to the Landis hearing?

This hearing was the first time that the public had access to the inner workings of WADA and the drug testing procedures used by one of their certified laboratories. Given how much ink is spilled on this issue of drug taking and drug testing don't you think it would have been prudent for some newspaper, perhaps like the Chicago Tribune, to at least send a knowledgeable science reporter to hearing to judge the veracity of the testimony?

I suspect that very few reporters have a strong background in chemistry. How about you?

It's fine to hear the "human interest" side of the story, and the condemnations of drug taking, but where is the science investigation?

Davis Straub
On the road, USA

Anonymous said...

All the money is on the side of the drug cheats, sponsors, TV media, life science and pharmaceutical firms.

WADA has no money.

UCI has very little testing money and does not even test for exogenous testsoterone unless the cheat overdoses. eg: 11:1

Besides, the fans and sponsors demand excitement and will deny the cheating anyway.

Confirmation of the obvious (they all dope) is hardly necessary.

Soon Landis will be DQed and we will move on with another lying drug cheat. No big deal at all.

Score another win for USADA!