Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hearing - Tues Finger Stretch

The satellite trucks are already here, and the media guys have learned the drill. Today is USADA's cross-examination of Landis.

USADA has plenty of clock time, so they can grill him as much as they like, and for all we know it can go all day. I expect a tag-team of Mr. Young as the nice cop, presenting logical traps, slowly and calmly; and Mr. Barnett as the bad cop, asking "when did you stop beating your wife" questions to provoke Landis into some kind of outburst.

I expect absolutely zero to come out of the examination of Landis that has any relevance to the question of whether the tests in question show doping or massive laboratory error. But it will be chopped up for your viewing pleasure, and be the first 80% of most print stories.


The real meat of the day will come from Landis' expert Dr. Simon Davis. He's the technical director of Mass Spec solutions, a company that makes Mass spectrometry instruments. He is also one of the two Landis experts who was present at the LNDD for the testing of the other Tour B samples.

We expect Davis to present a story, tied up with a bow. It will explain details of bad process at the LNDD, making clear how and why all these results were obtained; that this will also reveal why LNDD has a 300% higher AAF rate for steroids than any other lab; and probably why all testosterone AAFs from LNDD for the last several years are of dubious veracity. Much ground work for this has been laid by previous examination, but Davis should bring it all together in a coherent picture.

The surprise is going to be the details. This is a big part of what we've been 10 months waiting for. If it's a good story, the Landis side will have made their case well. If it's not a convincing story, then we fall back to the previous "looks good to me!" vs. "the data doesn't clearly show" arguments.

Following testimony, we'll get some as-yet-unidentified rebuttal witnesses from USADA. I expect Dr. Brenna to re-appear; if he does not, it would seem to be a white flag by USADA on the science presented by Goldberger and Herr Doktor Professor Wolfram Meier-Augenstein.

(And I wish I could sneak a "von" in there as vell.)

If the science case isn't there, and USADA ends up arguing legal points of the code, and how things are "close enough", that will say something about their proclaimed "search for truth."

One of the striking undercurrents of the hearing has been what Dr. Catlin crystallized as "WADA good citizenship."

This more or less translates to "Omerta" among people associated with WADA. The WADA "ethics" prohibit people from saying anything bad about WADA, a lab or any tests. So here they are, giving testimony that it "looks good to me!" and "the test results are reliable" as if there were any other words that would come from their mouths because of the "ethics" rules.

And we have an "independant" expert for the Panel who is, wait for it, the Director of the Rome WADA laboratory, Dr. Botre. Is he going to tell the panel anything that would call results or practice at LNDD into question?

With the exception of Dr. Shackleton and Mr. Papp, every single one of USADA's witnesses has been an employee of a WADA lab or a recipient of a WADA grant. And Dr. Shackleton had an IOC grant, and Mr. Papp has cut some deal with USADA on his sanction.

Having tried and failed before, I'm not going to try to do a Q and A summary of the Landis testimony. It just moves too fast for me to follow, and I can only do it reasonably for the technical witnesses. I also expect the other media to do a very good job of that, because it is what they do best. Look there for the stories.

Instead, I'll try running impressions, more like Bill was doing while he was here. I'll try to get a seat inside so I can collect impressions, and hope this will meet the demands of the readers who can't get into the webcast.


Anonymous said...

What is the reference for LNDD having a "300% higher AAF rate for steroids than any other lab"?

Thanks for the coverage TBV and Judge Hue. This is almost as good as watching the tour.

Anonymous said...

Do you know if the video of the hearing will be preserved and publicly available after the hearing is over? Is it considered public property or is it owned by CVN? I'd hate to see it erased like it was so much trivial lab data.

Anonymous said...

Get out your BBQ sauce.

Now Mr. Landis, why did you choose a black tie after threatening Greg Lemond?

Why did you agree to work for a doper team Phonak?

Why did you fib about the LNDD lab?

Where is Lance Armstrong?

Did you order the Code Red??????

Laura Challoner, DVM said...

Suh said it in opening. I believe it is undisputed and has not been at issue in trial.

The genesis of the "fact" initiates way before this trial. I might be able to track it down, but I'm now in dual "job" mode, trying to do my day job and this one without compromising either.

Maybe some of our helpers out there can post the source here? hint, hint!

Anonymous said...

The real mofia is WADA ... Pay everyone and allow no one to speak out.

Anonymous said...

Serious question. Can a judge and a blogger-who-never-sleeps be eligible for a Pulitzer Prize? I'll check into this.

I've previously said TBV needs a 'best blog' award but, now, that doesn't seem grand enough for the work, expertise and colour that's been in to this clearinghouse since the start of the hearing.

Whether FL wins or loses (and, by rights, he should win) TBV has allowed us all to see how WADA and the ADAs operate. It's not a pretty picture. Omerta indeed.

Anonymous said...

PLease explain something. Didnt I hear one of the witnesses for FL make the statement "someting is in there. what is it?" referring to his urine sample? It struck me as if he felt something was present but it wasnt T. Is this all a bad dream?

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Anonymous said...

"that this will also reveal why LNDD has a 300% higher AAF rate for steroids than any other lab"

Hmm, perhaps because this is where the French test all of their cyclists' samples?

Anonymous said...

uh, yeah, maybe it is where they test all "their cyclists" sample. BUT, funny thing, the French cyclists never come up positive or with issues leaked to the French press. Just those Americans who have the audacity to win "their" race.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if the LNDD had performed the Paternity test on Anna Nicole’s baby. They would have said that Floyd was the Father!!!! If not him it must be Lance!!! Who is next? This years winner of the tour?

Anonymous said...

Imagine if Disney/ESPN's Mickey Mouse won the 2006 Tour de Farce?

If he was there---he won, cause Floyd failed.