The last day.
It's clear and the sun is shining, and the press room is empty. The TV folks who were here on a Floyd-watch are nowhere to be found. We're away from dancing monkeys, and back to scientists and lawyers.
(Not entirely true -- channel 11's camera guy walked in after I started writing)
None of the interesting documents are on the USOC pressbox site yet. We are particularly waiting for Herr Doktor Professor Wolfram Meier-Augenstein's powerpoint.
I got hit with a cluestick, and realized this morning I can take pictures of exhibits from the screen in the press-room, so if I remember, I'll do that and get around to inserting them when convenient.
USADA has lots of time -- so much they volunteered some to Landis if needed. So I expect to see them try to do damage to Davis in cross. If they don't get anywhere, they may try to put up Brenna, but cross on him might be ugly for him now that facts have been presented that show his initial analysis and observation of the reprocessing to have been perhaps not as thorough as they might have been.
I think the press will all entertain the fantasy that when Davis is done, USADA does little cross, and offers no rebuttal, only so we can get closing arguments and be wrapped up today.
Using the "law of most inconvenience", the press is also completely convinced closings will be deferred to some other time and location.
It's been curious to observe how the focus of the trial for USADA and most of the press has changed from science to "character" issues. Certainly the call was a large distraction, but it really doesn't have anything to do with whether these tests of these samples show what they are claimed to show. This isn't a trial about whether Landis is a nice guy, or about how much doping there is in cycling generally. It is about specific tests done by a specific lab, and the rest is insinuation and innuendo, of no probative value.
One of the things Bill Hue noted in Malibu Views bears repeating. Once USADA turned the case over to outside counsel, the search for truth on their side was lost, in favor of winning!
USADA seems to rarely have been in a position of having a bad case, and doesn't know how to handle them. Dr. Catlin is probably right -- the cases that come out of UCLA are very good, and those athletes are cheaters. He's said UCLA runs a tight ship because a false-positive would be disastrous.
LNDD, on the other hand, has demonstrated a certain relaxed attitude towards things. They are in the "good enough" frame of mind, and don't particularly express concerns about errors.
Then USADA gets a politically charged case built on LNDD evidence, and all they know how to do is proceed full speed ahead, like it was a UCLA case. Well, not entirely true -- they learned how to scorch the earth on a non-UCLA case with Hamilton.
It's pretty clear that Landis knew most of the basic problems in the LNDD provided evidence before the ADRB met. Between the unanswered questions of Dr. de Boer at the B sample test (last three pages of the LDP, here, here and here), and the filing way back then, in October, the major issues discussed by Goldberger, Amory and Herr Doktor were already identified. The observation of the new B sample testing and reprocessing of the S17 data have only revealed more problems, not generated more evidence in USADA's favor.
In the meantime, Landis has been under tremendous pressure, and has lashed out at times. His manager, who used the "war" analogy openly, himself became a casualty, and seriously hurt others while cracking.
It's ugly all around.
How did it come to this?
September 07: Hearing Award
October 07: Hue's Hearing Appraisal
November 07: Major document Release
January 08: Larry's Curb Your Anticipation
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
The last day.