Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hearing - Tue: Davis Direct

In a Freudian slip, posts today were mistakenly identified as on "Weds"; we think all are corrected, but it'll be nice to be heading home.

OK, now the exciting part -- the geek testimony. We're going to get Dr. Simon Davis, who looks about as comfortable as Landis in a jacket and tie, with less recent practice. This is Landis' opportunity to slam dunk the case, instead of relying only on the more boring indictments of Goldberger, Amory, and Herr Doktor Professor Wolgang Meier-Augenstein.


This has been set-up by testimony during cross of oddities in procedures, and gaps in processing, and observations made during the alternate B sample testing.

Arnie Baker bounces across the courtroom in his SkyMall shoes -- "with springs inside!", he says.

Brenna kind of slunk into his seat, so he's still here, and may be a rebuttal witness. USADA has not formally said who their witnesses are, preferring to play it by ear after Landis this morning, and Davis this afternoon.

We will not have heard from Dr. de Ceurriz, the director of the LNDD. He is no longer present, so he's not going to have to answer questions about leaks promised by Landis' counsel.

During breaks, Amber Landis is reading a book by Jodi Picoult; the title escaped me. Picoult might be the woman sitting behind Amber in the audience. Paul Landis has given up wearing a jacket, and but has a suit-vest over his shirt for decorum.

Drs. Bowers and Hatton are behind the USADA table, sitting still.

Henson is wandering around, tense. We're already 40 minutes late.

The lawyers and Landis arrive, as do McLaren and Brunet; finally, Campbell. Quiet.

SUH: followup, we have a summary of the blood serum values at the airport, and will provide to USADA; if used, will need calibration information.

[ apparently, Demir is en-route ]

YOUNG: glad to finally get it. Puzzled she had it all the time she was here. If she's a witness, we'll ask.

BRUNET: do you want to call her Mr. Young?

BRUNET: Next witness Dr. Davis. We've been in chambers over an objection by USADA regarding the process the next witness will be using, regarding time. Have comments and arguments. The right for a party to cross-examine is not only fundamental to the party, but also the panel. However, this is an arbitration, pressed for time, and the panel is interested in seeing the evidence and the process. Bearing in mind USADA may not have had time to prepare technically. Counsel has offered the software Dr. Davis will be using will be provided to claimant after 5:00pm today, and their expert may be able to analyze data and work with the data until tomorrow. Assuming that will take place, then the panel has no objection at the present time to receive the testimony of Dr. Davis. The Panel would like to hear how the USADA process with the software happened. These are technical issues, and we understand that. We will proceed with the examination of Dr. Davis using the software.

YOUNG: we understand the ruling.


q: educational background?
a: phd in mass spectrometry.

q: jobs?
a: 2 years in africa for FAO for forestry repopulation; Liverpool John Muirs Univ, 1995 lab manager, using isoprime; moved to Micromass test-install engineer.

q: lab manager responsibilities?
a: equipment function, reagents being correct.

q: gcc-irms insstrument?
a: no, older instrument.

q: as system engineer at micromass, responsibility?
a: take instrument from sub contracters, finish assembly, ship to site, install on-site until accepted by customer.

q: US work?
a: Went to Livermore Labs for two years as a research scientist.

q: later?
a: contract work for Micromass concurrent w/Livermore, then became isoprime development project leader.

q: what is that?
a: stable isotope ratio MS, as used at LNDD and other labs.

q: describe?
a: two development engineeers; other dealt with dual inlet, he worked on continuous flow.

q: after that?
a: offered position at Queens Univ Belfast, under Wolfram.

q: duties?
a: write own grants, do research, develop forms of lab management system; believe it is one of the largest IRMS labs in the world. Five isoprimes, including one identical to the one at LNDD.

q: which?
a: the oldest one, the JA-, the later ones are the JB-

q: after that?
a: we started a new company, MassSpec solutions for continuous flow.

q: were you responsible for designing and devloping the MassSpec device?
a: most of the drawings and the source, a major part of the design of the instrument.

q: work at an anti-doping lab?
a: While at queen's univ, helped IFSA, org behind "world's strongest man" to develop a health program in that field for drug abuse. Along with Tony Banks, ortho surgeon, developed a health program. I did doping control, he did health. Didn't want to do single tests, also physiological tests. Believe it is successful, and believes it changed many attitudes.

q: not WADA?
a: carried out at Hall Analytical; ISO accredited, but not WADA. Other accred's as well.

q: how involved in this case?
a: approached by Jacobs to look at informatoin.

q: what documentS?
a: seen everything?

q: what else have you done?
a: many phone conferences, numerous visits.

q: including lndd?
a: very familiar with that part of paris.

q: explain what the theory of carbon isotope testing is.

[ I will skip ]


Illustration of a GC/IRMS device.

We have an injection port passing through a GC instrument. The urine is injected into the GC; the port is at high temperature to turn it into gas, there's a glass liner there. Then helium flushes the gas into the GC column, which is very long, to separate, and they come out one after another, based on chemical properties. We take the early arriving solvents and burn them off in the "FID"; a valve directs things first that way, then the other into the IRMS. The IRMS starts with a furnace at high temperature, and it gets consumed into CO2, with a chemical mass of 44/45/46. After leaving the furnace, there may be water, which is removed in a cold-trap (now we'd used a membrane system; both are fine) -- then the sample goes into the IRMS spectrometer. At the end there are three detectors. There's an ion source, a magnet, and three detectors. The source has a filament. The ions knock off electrons. The source ionizes and charge the gas, accelerated by plates, and through a magnet. The magnet induces spin, rate and radius depending on mass. The sensors measure the charge of the three buckets. The ions hitting is in nano-amps as measured by the three detectors.

USADA 336 the CG from the GC, and USADA 337 the chromatogram associated with the sample. USADA 338 is the results page. How do you know 336 is the GC page? Scales and possible identifications. This one is a "TIC" total ion count. To identify, you'd have to zoom in and identify the masses. Can't from that alone.

USADA 337 the Y axis values and the square topped reference peaks, blank zone reflects time in the FID combustion.

Why don't the numbers correspond to the peak heights? They are ratios.... there's another trace, the 44/45 that produces these values.

[ Campbell is fighting sleep ]

GDC 1354, the slide of reprocessing data for the S17 samples.

When you produce a ratio, you start with some values with no corrections. Given start/stop, the raw number. From this number, the software applies a background correction, not from the sample. At first, they do this in "auto" mode. Sometimes the routine is not up to the job, and they use something else.

In this case, they manually corrected it, which I don't agree with, because it's without process.

q: were you present during reprocessing?
a: yes.

q: describe.
a: when we arrived, the files came from Dr. Botre. The staff were unable to copy files across; they appear not to have done this before. Lab people loaded files to reprocess. They used varying techniques between operators. They'd move starts and stops, removing data points to and from the background, and could see the isotope numbers throughout the procedure. This isn't necessary, but it was there.

a: the numbers were different than those of the original sample, which was a surprise. The staff claim was because they were unable to save diffent points. That isn't true; there is a save-parameter file available in the software to save all manipulation. If reloaded, you'll get the exact same result.

q: comments from techs?
a: there was talk about pain of reprocessing and manual operation on OS2; they were happy to learn how to move to masslynx which is easier.

q: present during re-testing?

GDC 1364 summary of all tests.

a: yes, except for some automated steps and steps in different rooms.

q: did you leave before retesting was complete?
a: yes, they sent email results at a later date.

q: having looked at the data and results, do you think they are reliable or accurate?
a: totally unreliable.

q: more than one reason?
a: I have lots of reasons.

q: lets start with linearity. explain...
a: one of the problems with gcc irms is that the systems are imperfect. tricky to get accurate results measuring small amounts compared to large amounts. Whether it is "fit for purpose" as Ayotte said, you need to test continually. Multiple ways to do. Ref box and sample test. The ref bottle lets CO2 with a known value is injected. These are the square topped peaks; takes 6-7 minutes to do. Checking linearity involves injecting at varying pressures to see if you get same isotope values.

q: the important range is where the instrument is used?
a: partly; the machine is designed for a range; it should be over the manufacturer range, or it is broken.

GDC 522., Isoprime EA user manual.

Chapter, checking the system, Linearity, "Vary the reference gas pressures to yield pulses ranging from 1E=9 A and 1E-8A.

q: have you seen this?
a: I wrote part of it.

q: explain this page?
a: how to do the linearity test. The isoprime instrument has problems with linearity. I was told they only do linearity once a month, and may not have done that. Dr. Aquilerra was asked if it was unreasonable; he said "no comment". Buisson said at extreme ranges, they did have problems with the isoprime. When we had problems, we saw they did not do the gas at both extremes, truncated values.

LNDD 547 EX 112.

q: what is this?
a: their SOP.

q: Mr. BRUNET, cna you trnaslate the highlighted section.

BRUNET: this is to be run at least once per month, the scope of the linearity field of the instrument.

q: LNDD 313, what is it?
a: JA-10 series linearity test (isoprime1).

q: LNDD 315, when performed
a: 26/6/06

q: LNDD 317?
a: date 26/6/6

q: Turn to LNDD 320,
a: 31/7/06

[ several more ]

q: Turn to LNDD 327
a: 25/9/06 [ sep 25]

[several more ]

q: did they do these monthly, pursuant to their SOP.
a: no.

q: based on observation, do you believe the isoprime is linear?
a: drifts in and out of linearity. If the system is non-linear, the isotope ratio will change solely due to peak height, not according to the actual substance.

q: if it's not correct, what happens?
a: you get wrong results.

q: when at lndd, did you look at the isoprime2?
a: yes.

GDC 734.2

q: what is it.
a: picture of it?

q: is this one you are familiar with. What are therse?
a: magnet lifting rings.

q: what are they?
a: things to help you pick it up and put it onto the machine.

q: there'a a magnet there?
a: this is the analyzer, the most important part of the instrument. If it's wrong, the instrument doesn't work. It's what causes the ions to separate and spin.

q: is the magnet important?
a: most crucial. Faults in source and detectors can be worked around.

q: did it shock you to see the rings there?
a: yes.

a: magnets are produced to .01mm precision, and it's needed for a precise magnetic field. If wrong, ions go all over the place. Those rings affect the magnetic field.

q: are they supposed to be there?
a: no, they are only supposed to be there to move it.

q: USADA brief page 62, paragraph 107 claims they have a light that shows no leak, proper pressure. green light, yellow, red.
a: yes.

q: this picture - this light in the back is a warning light?
a: it shows a complete lack of understanding. that unit is a control unit to switch pumps on and off. The light shows the speed of the pumps. If there's a huge leak, the light will go out. The leaks in question are those at molecular levels.

BRUNET: is out of writing paper, needs a reload.

Discovery response, para c, says they don't have one. Mr. Dunn refused to let him look when there.

q: important to have the manual?
a: it's essential. they aren't washing machines. they are very complex. you can't keep the details in your mind. the best way is in an electronic document. most users are not machine experts, and they require instructions and procedures to ensure the machine is working correctly and properly.

q: does the manual contain useful information for operation. Penning gauge?
a: gives you a reading of pressure in the instrument.

q: what is that?
a: when analyzing atoms, you can't have anything else there, you need a vacuum. If there's CO2 from elsewhere, you'll be contaminated.

[ Brenna looks to be dozing ]

a: the penning guage tells you how much bad stuff is there, in millibars.

GDC 522.204, page from manual items 2 "monitor the pressure" and 3, "operating pressure between 2 and 4 E-6 mbar."

[ suh is smiling ]

q: what are they advising the owner and operator to do?
a: keep the pressures low enough.

q: turn to USADA 176, what is it?
a: screen shot of OS2 s/w showing pressure in the A sample.

q: pressure in range? (5.2E-6 mbar)
a: no.

BRUNET: previous page says the pumping system is operational if does not exceed 1E-6 mbar. Pirani vs. Penning?

a: Priani measures pressure in the first stage of the pump; [ gets very technical ]; [ penning is the other one ]

turbines, molecules, bouncing around, he's excited!

a: previous 1E-6 is a prior setup step anyway.

BRUNET: so if penning is higher, ...

a: pressure there is lower for pirani, which is correct, within spec.

q: effect of running at wrong pressure?
a: I have seen many different effects; could be non-linearity; low pressure and non-linearity seems to coincide at LNDD.

BRUNET: show us the wrong pressure again. Is the penning important?

a: oh yes. it's where the sample is.

a: also concerned pressure changed between screen shots, and Mongongue had seen as high at 5.6 to 6 E-6; what we see over the analysis is a varying source pressure, which is not a good thing.

q: automatic sequencing. explain how irms was designed to be run with QC steps and samples.
a: varies with configuraition. The system at LNDD has an automated autosampler. This is to remove intervention, so you get same order, same sequence; set it up and hit go.

q: why does it matter the sequencing is automatic.
a: removes human error, differences in injection procedures, partial injections. Robot is reproducible, which leads to reproducible results.

q: if you run it automatically you get better results?
a: better chance if done automatically.

USADA 155, the batch data processing result, 157, 163 166 169 172 177 178 179 180 181 and 183. All data results from batch for Sample A.



Anonymous said...

Do they really allow potential witnesses to observe the previous testimony that they may be asked to rebut? I know in civil case I was involved in, the judge specifically forbade anybody who had watched the testimony of other witnesses from being called as a witness. Obviously, that wouldn't apply to FL as the accused, but I am surprised that they would let somebody who had listened to the other witnesses and who had been sitting in on conversations and discussions by the USADA attorneys then go on the stand and present themselves as an unbiased and uncoached witness.

Why not just let Young take the stand as a rebuttal witness? He knows what he wants to say to the panel, why go through the theatrics of making him use another witness as a puppet to say it for him?

Anonymous said...

In an attempt to win Understatement of the year award!

The requirements of the Landis hearing have slightly overtaxed the Courtroom View Network's bandwidth resources.


Anonymous said...

anon 1:42.

the reason is because this is not a "real" court, it is not a "real" justice system, it is not a "real" proceeding. Sure, the people are real, the lawyers are real, the money is real but this is a kangaroo court where the whimsy of the panel is the order. The panel cannot force anyone to appear, they cannot force anyone to testify, they cannot force anyone to answer a question and they have no "real" power.

This is a private contract dispute resolution, that will only determine if Mr Landis will be prohibited from participating in privately license bicycle racing events. This is not court, a legal system or justice. Make no mistake.

Anonymous said...

Any rumor that CVN are handling the next Victoria's Secret webcast is totally unfounded.

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Anonymous said...

I was wondering if Davis would actually demonstrate how to do an analysis. This could have a huge impact on the panel if he is able to show actual errors introduced by LNDD.

Probably going to be a bit tough for TBV to describe, though.

Anonymous said...

If Floyd is fried it is because of the inability of human beings to look beyond the facts and confirm their own bias. I admit that I have been trying to confirm my own "feeling" that Floyd is free. I think the facts confirm this bias. Certainly the previous comments by anonymous are, at least largely, irrelevant to the facts.

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Anonymous said...

Brian, in the language of doping, testosterone is often considered to be an AAS - an anabolic/androgenic steroid. I don't know what the chemical definition of a steroid is, but that is what testosterone is often called.

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Terry21 said...

Experts are allowed to stay in court and hear the other experts. It allows them to rebut and use the information.

These are not witnesses to the scene of the accident, etc. whose stories would be allowed to collaborate.

I think that is why the two French scientists were not in the arbitration room at the same time or reviewed each others testimony (I could be mistaken). Their testimony was important to not hear each others.

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Anonymous said...

Wow! I didn't realize Davis was actually one of the developers of the Isoprime. I bet the people at Micromass are cringing. You don't want your developers (especially former developers) talking in public about all the flaws in your products. Half the job of the sales department is to keep those things secret.

snake said...
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Anonymous said...

Wow! Davis may be uniquely qualified to address how the equipment is to operated to get accurate results and also how results can be jiggered with the evidence of jiggering obscured by poor CoC, operating recording, over writing of files, lack of sequential, progressive printouts.

I use jiggering to mean alteration or deviation from the proper results. They can be intentional, the result of poor training, or by poorly performing operating techs. Hope that this proves out.

An aside: this is the type of person who should be serving as the (truly) independent expert for the panel. There must be others who have similar expertise and are not part of the system.

Anonymous said...

Brunet: Have comments and arguments. The right for a party to cross-examine is not only fundamental to the party, but also the panel.

But for defense to cross examine Lemond. Reminders every day that this is a "fair" hearing.

Cheryl from Maryland said...

Umm, anon 2:20, Clomid is a fertility drug.

Anonymous said...

Defense had the opportunity to cross Lemond. They passed on that opportunity.

Mr. Davis is quite effective here today.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows that fertile cyclists can ride harder. This could be the explanation behind stage 17.

Anonymous said...

Remember that way back on May 11, the WSJ printed this:

"The new evidence is expected to include testimony from an expert who contends that the French lab that tested his urine failed to set up the testing machine correctly. It also includes an independent computer analysis of data from the urine test. The Landis team will argue the analysis suggests tampering or a false positive."

Obviously is was Davis' testimony they got a glimpse of. Too bad it doesn't tell us exactly where this is going. I would bet at this point team Landis is going the "false positive" route, rather than the tampering route.

bullschuck said...

Mickey Mouse ears. Classic.

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Anonymous said...

Anon 3:02, there are limits on cross-examination, just as there are limits on direct examination. Don't worry too much about the lack of cross of LeMond; he was a sideshow to the real issues anyway, and Landis's lawyers know that. They are focusing on the science, not on te sideshow. Kudos to them.

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Anonymous said...

OMG... They never set the thing up properly after moving it in to place!

These idiots couldn't operate a microwave oven.

They believe that the testing is a mere formality, a means to an end, something to fill in the spot in the process which requires 'evidence'. Accuracy, truth, science, justice. These are just so much bother to them.

Anonymous said...

Thinking outside of the box, and given all the testimony, can anyone explain to me, a layperson without the capacity to understand all the scientific jargon and issues: If my or any normal person's urine were tested under the same circumstances as Floyd's, I would have been ruled positive for testosterone at very high levels. Is that the nature of the errors ? Are they that off ?

Anonymous said...

anonymous 314

Bute is frequently used for horses because it as a nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory drug (NSAID).

If you are going to string together nonsensical assertions of drug use, at least identify the drugs correctly.

Anonymous said...

Female fertility hormones act as a lutenizing agent:

Stephen Alfred, Ian Thorpe and Lance Armstrong all had choroinic gondatropin in them. Alfred folded after his third bust and accepted an 8 year ban(LIFETIME/reduced). The IOC is still awaiting Ian Thorpe's excuse. Lance pulled out his Cancer card.

To prevent the testicular atrophy which will occur upon daily testosterone and periodic Deca Durabolin doping.

If you want to abuse steroids and T you better look at the effects of insulin, hGH and female hormones too.

That why Landis' urine samples bounce around. He is an unholy Polypharmacy experiment.

A science project gone horribly wrong.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure that some of you can remember placing a speaker near your CRT monitor and seeing distortion in the image. Same problem with the magnet in this setup.

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Anonymous said...

The cumulative effect of the testimony - cross of USADA/WADA's and Landis' own points in the direction you suggest: false positive.

Much easier for panel to swallow: no conspiracy. However, it also requires them to acknowledge that the WADA system is fallible adn lacks basic safeguards. I still fear the 2-1 with the hidden hand of the "independent expert" on the scale. It will take real guts for one of "the majority" to break ranks unless they both do. If alone he will be seen as a traitor to the cause by Dick Pound and his like, drummed out of the club and lose his status, paid travel to the Olympics, etc., and outside the tent. Unfortunately, I do not think that this is an overstatement. Catlin testified to the pressure/treatment that he received over a relatively low profile case testimony. This is the main event.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:17 - I think the point is that it is totally unpredictable how your test would come out. There doesn't seem to be a pattern to the skew, other than that everything is skewed more negative (and thus more likely to come back as a violation). This may account for why LNDD has three times the amount of adverse analytical findings as other labs - because they don't set up or use the machine properly.

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Anonymous said...

Clomid is commonly used to restart normal testosterone production after a cycle of steroid use. The body will stop producing its own during the cycle and Clomid, Nolvadex or some other estrogen blocker needs to used to restart normal production.

Anonymous said...

pc, I agree totally. My own take is that Brunet is more likely to break with Campbell than McLaren. He has been less involved with the system, only doing three cases before this, as opposed to McLaren's twelve. He is very actively involved in the whole legal side of sports, but more broadly than just with doping. He needs to maintain his cred with athletes too. He's established his own law firm, which may be a sign of independence, rather than group think.

Floyd's witnesses have be VERY persuasive in my opinion. It would take a lot of nerve not to take your "search for the truth" seriously. So we can hope.

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Anonymous said...

From Anon 3:17,
Thanks Swim. I have to say that with the uncertainty there is, that this lab and testing procedure is flawed. The stakes are unfortunately very high for WADA aren't they ? I mean, if this case sets precedence, then all prior convicted dopers could have an avenue for retrial and sue WADA for damages, right ? If you were convicted of anything by WADA, wouldn't you systematically challenge the group running the tests ?

Anonymous said...

Essentially, the things they are doing will propagate random errors of varying magnitude. Without using multiple ions to establish a positive, the random error in any one peak reading (especially when they manually correct) could be enough to create a false positive. Everything that FL's witnesses have pointed out about the sloppy practices by the lab increases the level of error that should be built into the analytical result and accounted for when establishing the threshold for a positive result. I don't think FL's guys are going to end up trying to prove that the S17 result was negative. I think what they are going for is introducing so much evidence of systematic errors by the lab that the result of FL's S17 samples falls well within the margin of error and cannot be considered a positive result. Having the analyst in charge of running the B sample 1) know whose sample it is, 2) know what his original A sample results were because the A was run by the person who trained her to run the machine, 3) admit to making mistakes in the initial calibration of the background prior to running the B sample, 4) admit to manually changing the peak, 5) have sloppy COC and file archiving practices for changes that were made during long periods of time where no activity log entries were available, and 6) be shown to have serious problems in the setup of the samples and understanding of what the basic functions and outputs on the machine mean; leads to only one conclusion in my mind...there can be no confidence placed on any of the samples run by that analyst on that machine.

The lab did not properly train her, did not properly maintain the machine calibration, did not ensure that the sample COC was properly maintained as the sample was transferred within the lab, demonstrated a clear lack of technical knowledge of how the machine was designed to be operated, violated WADA standards in analysis, record keeping, confidentiality, etc., etc.

How many things does the lab have to do wrong before the panel decides that their analysis is meaningless? I think the single most damning statistic in light of all that FL's witnesses have pointed out so far is the 300% higher rate of positive detections by this lab than the other WADA labs doing the same testing. When you look at that statistic in light of all the flaws in their analysis that have been pointed out, there is no sane and unbiased person who could possibly assume that the extra positives are because they are doing better work or getting more positive samples than the other labs. The only reasonable expectation is that they are getting a high rate of false positives because of the errors introduced by their sloppy methodology.

Anonymous said...

Seeing Brunet ask questions is VERY good for Floyd. If he is curious about what could be wrong, it means he is really entertaining the idea the results could be skewed. VERY good.

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Anonymous said...

[re-posting for newcomers]

Dear Rational and Objective Readers,

Ignore the trolls. They pose opinion as fact and play on emotion rather than reason. They thrive on overreaction. Tapping out their hate, while accusing others of being "evil". They have nobody in their lives willing to pay attention to them so they come here to spout unfounded absolutes [i.e., "Floyd has been proven guilty!"] and not-too-subtle hypocrisy ["Will is an evil creep and I hope he burns in hell" (I mean, wow.)].
It's important to learn to spot the trolls early and simply scroll down.

Anonymous said...

Here is an interesting thought. Davis is obviously EXTREMELY knowledgable about the machine and testing procedures and clearly appeared to be scoring points with Brunet right before the recess. Since nobody on the USADA legal team (and probably none of their "experts") is likely to be able to match wits with him about the technical issues of how bad the lab's methodology and machine operations were, do they even try to do a cross? Or do they decline to cross to get him off the stand as quickly as possible to stop the bleeding? Any question they could ask him is simply an opening for him to land another blow against what appears to be indefensible analyses by the lab.

Anonymous said...

TBV and Bill, I just looked back at your "Form Sheet" about the case. With little left to go, it looks like this hearing hasn't been too bad. Probably falls somewhere between "what we should see" and "what we expect to see." USADA has focused too much on the non-scientific stuff (LeMond, Papp, WG, the color of Landis' tie), but overall it has been fairly done procedurally. Do you agree? (Qualification: this evaluation assumes that the panel will be able to mostly ignore the fluff, even though they have admitted it, and focus on the science).

When do we get going again? At least one more hour today right?

bobble said...

As an empirically trained geek, it appears to me that EVERY sample run on that machine since it was set up is highly suspect. Reference the 300% more positives...

Is that an overstatement?

Anonymous said...

Good questions, anon 3:54. In addition to what you say I would note also that they did a terrible job on cross of Amory and M-A yesterday, so they can't be too confident.

However, didn't they say at the beginning they would recess at 5:00, give USADA overnight to look at Davis' software, and then cross tomorrow? It didn't sound like Suh was done with him just yet.

Anonymous said...

The panel, since none of them are experts on this stuff, has to depend on the testimony of the experts to make their decision. I just don't see how they can justifiably give USADA's witnesses more weight than Floyd's. This should be a slam dunk 3-0 decision in Floyd's favor.

There's been a lot of talk about Floyd winning on a technicality, but unfortunately I think USADA may win on a technicality (such as LNDD didn't break any specific rules) in spite of their extremely weak case. That would really be a shame.

~ Cub

Anonymous said...


I don't know if it is an overstatement or not, but the errors pointed out so far are EXTREMELY damning in my eyes. The fact that the manual peak changes on the A were not saved and had to be recreated manually calls into question the result on any sample where a manual correction was performed. The monthly calibrations not being performed, the machine operating with insufficient vacuum, the lifting magnets being left where they could interfere with the system, the sloppy paperwork now being talked about, etc. The lab will be lucky to escape from this with their WADA accreditation intact if the WADA has any shred of integrity left.

The essence of science is reproducibility. The lab has shown that they are unable to properly operate their machinery and their QC appears to be a total mess. If the results cannot be reproduced without manual intervention, then the results are not scientifically defensible.

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Anonymous said...

I have an honest curiosity that nobody responded to-- can the decision of an arbitration panel of this sort establish jurisprudence. For example: If FL get a favorable decision, and exposes inherent errors in the system, can other convicted cyclists point to this case and demand to open litigation, prove their case in a similar manner to settle financial claims against WADA (lost wages, lost reputation...etc). Or is the past the past, and the window to do so is closed ?

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:32:

Your question is a legal one and that is the problem. The arbitration process is not strictly that if I recall correctly (jr., Bill Hue?). Precedent is not treated the same or maybe not at all. I'll leave it at that for someone with real legal knowledge to respond to.

I must say this testimony is mind-boggling in it's potential impact on the whole system. They really have some work to do to address the issues raised on lab competence, regardless of the verdict of the panel. Lot of damage being done to USADA's case right now.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I'm soaking in all the information. The testimony from the latest expert is compelling, indeed. He casts serious doubts on whether or not the machine used for testing was equipped for doing such a test with accuracy. However, I fear that we're moving into a zone that could POSSIBLY clear Floyd, but really damage his character. The Landis Team is essentially saying that the test was flawed. That, unfortunately, is still, in the eyes of the public, a proof based on a technicality. It doesn't say anything about whether or not Floyd took any illegal performance enhancers. We're left to assess for ourselves whether we believe him or not, and I don't know how much those opinions will change, regardless of the outcome of the hearing.

As much as some would like to say that this is 'all about the science', it (unfortunately) is not - and even Landis himself knows this, because he chose to make this a public hearing. It has been suggested that Greg LeMond's involvement in the case is not relevant, and I thought so as well, up until today, when I read through the summation of the cross examination by the USADA. It doesn't hold water.

Indeed this case does come down to science, but as we can clearly see, even by the commentary in brackets that the moderators have posted to take little digs at the prosecution, that people have largely made up their minds - they like to make fun of the prosecution as much as they like to talk about Landis' 'game face'. This isn't a fair summation, but only goes to prove my point that if Landis had chosen better friends, the kind that didn't make threatening phone calls, or if Landis himself didn't make web threats like a high school bully, he'd certainly have more of the public behind him. Even if he wins, what exactly will he win?

Anonymous said...

I disagree that this is "getting off on a technicality". What you are saying is that FL's experts are comparing shades of blue with the WADA experts and arguing over which shade is which. What is really happening is that the WADA lab is claiming the sky is green, and FL's experts are pointing out that the lab doesn't even have a window from which they can see the sky.

It isn't that FL's test result is valid, but we don't know if it is synthetic T. Based on the errors the lab made in their methodology, they don't even really know if they are looking at the right peak.