Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hearing - Weds: Landis Closing

Suh is a the podium, settling in. Brunet and McLaren is present. There are exhibit boards. Campbell shows up.
Brunet moves away; it gets quieter. Brunet is back.




BRUNET: Ready.

SUH: thanks for time, consideration and attention; also to Dr. Botre. A long 8 days. We said the case was a disaster, and a disaster is what we've proven.

We've shown significant errors in every phase of every test. Identification, QC, chromatography, manual processing, deleted data, and other ISL violations.

Perhaps the most important, common sense.

[more]


We have tried to look behind the false positive, and what supports it. Incompetence and

Dr. Botre quote about reliability of the process. Believes in good stuff, not bad labs, cherry picking, and Incorrect results.

Burden of proof discussion; bearing in mind the seriousness of the allegations mace.

"Must present evidence" is not the same as saying the results are good. No speculation, looking for facts. We've left USADA's summary of results, which we've left up, because we want to look behind it.

USADA hasn't even tried to demonstrate, making only conclusory statements.

All these things run together. There's reasons manual processing needed; why data deleted; fabric of QC failure at LNDD. Any one broken link is fatal to the case.

Failed identification. Both the TE and IRMS. If you don't identify correctly, the test is worthless.

ISL Violation -- three diagnostic ions required. LNDD only looked at one. Goldberger brought 10 examples to demonstrate. UCLA shows how to do it right. LNDD chose to do it wrong.

This is not a theoretic problem, we can brush off with "that's OK"

Identification in T/E identified compounds that were not even there. USADA did not even try to prove TE results. Produced summary charts, results only, without supporting information following the results.

All the longitudinal results are invalid because of lack of supporting data; not even addressed.

Response has been it's just corroboration. It's not if it doesn't follow the rules.

Every single S17 TE is unreliable. It's out.

Shouldn't have proceeded to IRMS.

Identification to IRMS. Must do two kinds of identification. The results are sitting here in view, but what about the identification they are doing the right thing?

Whether or not this is the proper method, even though Dr. Brenna tried to suggest it didn't matter this morning. But USADA and the LNDD techs said it was.

And Dr. Brenna said so. They said relative retention is how you do it.

Our table show relative retention times way off what they should be according to the ISL.

Without being able to associate the peaks you don't know what you are looking at. How do you know the forest is what you are looking at.

Should stop here. Failed to identify.

Failed Quality Control.

Mix-cal acetate is not an acceptable positive control.

We've never said the MCA's are bad. It doesn't mean it's accurate. Perfect 6" group off to the left means you are precise, but not accurate. When you turn to others, we see urine a bad matrix. You job as a lab tech is to separate and identify it.

That you can identify things in MCA doesn't mean you can do it in Urine.

MCA cannot be a positive control.

The MCA's are out of range in the blanks and actual samples. Brenna said "there were standards at each level".

Chart by M-A shows affect of inaccuracy on the internal standard.

How do we even know they are the internal standard? The relative retention times are wrong.

We do know there are 2 in the sequences in A and B samples.

We know QC steps not run immediately before and after the samples. Curiously, the time it would take to rerun samples. We don't know. Should be documented.

Errors build one on top of one another. Pattern of mistakes, necessary to cover the previous mistake, which creates a need to do something else.

B sample, another time gap, time to rerun samples to get the result you want.

Both times, the operators signed off -- these are not QC, it's a fraud.

Bad chromatography-- throughout this case. Examples from Goldberger and M-A.

S17, S11, S15, S19, S20; similar problems in all.

Saw study from M-A, shows what can happen to per-mil values. Chart with effects. All over; Showed a 2 mil difference in an example. Mr Young's example was more significant than he imagined when he gave it to M-A.

You can't assume the athlete is guilty and back into it with the science.

Fatal chromatography with 2/1 trace; it doesn't have the resolving power that Dr. Brenna says it does. M-A explained it too. M-A showed you that when background changes, you can't assume background is being integrated correctly.

USADA did not meet burden. Questions were speculation, lawlessness, not rules.

Manual processing. No changing defenses here. "We almost never knew"

Why an audit trail? ISL requires to prevent what we saw here. The software allows you to document matters of subjective judgement.

Deleted Data. Why needed? Which ISL provisions apply? "Another competent analyst could evaluate the data." What's done here is shocking and wrong. Why was this being done and hidden it it's correct.

-32.22 isn't -31.76, and we're that to support quality control. Outrageous.

Just in Sample A? No, also in B.

The pages came from some other sequence. We don't know.

Log Files. It's a pattern and practice at LNDD. We almost didn't get them.

We've had them testify. Sometimes they remembered, sometimes not. Sometimes "the results were not correct."

There is no interpretation of the rule that allows that.

All this needed because of previous failed steps.

All the check marks in USADA briefs of things done correctly.

Other ISL problems -- CoC quotes from rules. The CoC form is a summary only. We have to rely on memory.

We have never claimed the techs are evil geniuses. We think they are neither. Untrained, lack of procedures. Nothing to suggest they are evil. It does surprise us that an operator with 6 months of training was testing the TdF champion's B sample.

CoC quote from Landaluce.

Lab documents, crossouts, improper procedures. Our point has never been that these were someone else's samples. It was about sloppiness and lack of care. Seven errors on one page. What does that tell you about quality and training? It's no good.

In March of this year there was a discovery dispute, and LNDD produced in March. This was one dealing with preparation of reference solutions. We saw some strange things. This is supposed to be a living documents. Supposed to be a conteporanesous log, but the handwriting is the same all the year.

How often in March to you write previous year? I have never written the subsequent year. We got it in March 2007. We think this is fraudulent and made up in response to our request.

This should concern us all.

Strange lab practice.

We're not saying any of these thing alone is enough to invalidate the results we've had up all week.

Can you now have a comfortable satisfaction everything was done right?

We don't.

What happens? GIGO

Same sample, we get a bunch of different T/E values. These make no sense.

These violations have a result.

Inconsistent reprocessing results. This shows what happened during the reprocessing. We shouldn't just cherry pick the results. The mistakes made in one part are

We find it curious that auto processed blanks appear to be positive.

Inconsistent retesting results; Amory's argument. Except for 7/13, the 5a and 5b don't move together. USADA's theory here says Landis took T to parade around the Champs E'Lysee.

No evidence anything can produce those 5a and 5b skews.

The longitudinal-- Catlin said "there is no sign of steroid use until you get to the box"

Marches through Opening statement assertions.

Claim that we shifted theories is simply not true. We didn't have a theory, because we didn't have facts.

USADA has had a shifting theory. It used to be that things were perfect. Now it's "good enough" if we cherry pick the data.

The ugliest part of the argument is that if the ISL doesn't apply to these problems, then the ISL is a fraud. It applies by it's plain language.

Bunch of things in USADA's brief, statments made that are demonstrably not true.

If I were them, I'd have shifted my theory that everything was done perfectly.


WADA Code of silence vs. The Oath.

Mr. Young says they don't have to come, but how are they going to resolve telling the truth with the WADA "ethics".

It is offensive to call it a code of ethics, it's a code of silence, and we've seen it here.

"We'd better be creative" means "we're going to lie."

Two witnesses called and discussed at length by USADA. Joe Papp, who took so many drugs he didn't know what they were. Subject to lifetime ban. Haven't heard about that. They didn't call an andrologist.

Lemond did get an admission.

We were shocked by Geoghegan's actions, it wrong, and disgusting, and there should be no guilt by association, and should have no bearing on the science.

Can we be proud of LNDD's work? It matters not just to Mr. Landis. This is the first case to challenge the systematic failures of a laboratory.

This is a day in court for every athlete that LNDD has accused. Right now at LNDD, we may have lab techs with 6 months training who think what they are doing is right.

Can we approve of this work? Deleting files, changing data, not being able to identify the substances in questions.

If we do, that is what is coming to the 2007, 2008, 2009 tour.

Every athlete deserves to be treated better than this.


-----

REBUTTAL:

YOUNG: When the facts are not on your side, you accuse people, of lying, hiding, trafficing. We trust the panel to reach its own conclusions.

REST.

SUH:

REST.

CAMPBELL: Provide findings of fact and findings of law, please.

SUH: When?

CAMPBELL: sometime after final transcript?

SUH: one week after that?

YOUNG: whatever you want -- could take us a couple of weeks?

SUH: two weeks is fine.

BRUNET: Hearing will be adjourned, not closed; after final documents. This is unusual in arbitration, but I'd like to thank a number of people, the longest arbitration in First Pepperdine personnel, the AAA, Susan Pollakoff the media liaison.

I'd pay special tribute to lawyers on both sides, working on very challenging circumstances. Complicated data, and make it accessible. [ names individuals ] Also Dr. Botre, for Paris analysis and the hearing. Also legal assistance. Thanks to the court reporter.

Because this was a public, I'd like to thank the members of the press who have been respectfull of the panel and the press. We were concerned about possible disruptions, and this did not happen.

ADJOURNED.

87 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm getting the video fine, but the slide show just has a big red x in the top corner. Anyone have an idea how to fix this without losing the connection?

Sachi Wilson said...

Suh's argument is good - much more precise and coherent than Young's.

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Chaz said...
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Anonymous said...

from what is typed here on Suh's closing argument, I find it slightly disjointed and I am waiting for the flow... build up to a creshendo

MX said...

Sounds like Suh was making his closing argument directly to Botre.

Anonymous said...

Is it at least clear that Landis hasn't proven a criminal activity, as he so strongly suggested. (I.e., calling for a federal investigation of USADA for misuse of funds and related criminial activity...)

Anonymous said...

if you can't see the slides, try clicking where the slide should be which should open the slide in a new window, if it is still blank then click "refresh now" i then had to login in again but the slides then appeared.
BTW Suh is giving a much slicker close than Young.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:57,

It wasn't their job to prove that. From what I have seen, there may be some things that may warent an investigation. If for instance they really did continuosly reanalize to get the result they wanted.

Anonymous said...

To anon 4:51:

no explanation as why they fought to have any 'b samples' retested nor asked for a split test by another lab.

This point SAYS IT ALL about this case for me as well. Bravo for bringing it up.

Floyd, thank you again for making this hearing public.

I thought you were being railroaded before this trial but now I realize the only ones being railroaded are the tifosi. You remember us, right? The people who hiked up Brasstown Bald for 2 hours and waited another 2 hours to blindly, cheer you on.

That will NEVER happen again as far as I'm concerned.

Greg LeMond said it best...the house of cards is falling. (ask your friends a TMobile)

Shame on you and your entire ilk.

Anonymous said...

2 doctors admit to giving drugs to riders ...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/cycling/wires/05/23/2080.ap.cyc.germany.doping.1st.ld.writethru.0725/index.html


people wake up and smell the coffee ... EVERYONE in the upper eschelons of cycling (for the last 15-20years) has doped. Landis, Armstrong, LeMonde, Ullrich, Pentani, etc.

You are looking for proof in this trial?

All I see is lawyers manipulating and paying for experts who will say anything for a price (both sides)

Ken (EnvironmentalChemistry.com) said...

I do not know how the TBV has been able to do what they have done for the past 10 days. Just trying to read everything that has been written overwhelmed my time. If I took time to write a comment, it put me behind. If a tried to write a blog post summarizing my feelings I'd end up a day behind in my reading.

My hat is off to TBV and all those who have tried to contribute in a meaningful way towards the common desire to understand as much as we could. I also applaud everyone who has persevered in spreading the science side of this case.

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Anonymous said...

Wow,
It looks like Decanio has nothing better to do than to post anon comments about Floyd, and Lance. Great work, but remember you're just as bad as Papp, you folded to the pressure

Brian said...
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Anonymous said...

tbv throw us a bone here...this is an excruciating wait, and I don't want to leave the office and go home to read the finish! BTW, it is already past 7pm here in central time zone.

Anonymous said...

Suh puts on a good show, and seems to be playing to the press more than the panel. Just the same his summary is quite compelling. (he displays a good sense of humour with some of the graphics too!)

MMan said...

Both times, the operators signed off -- these are not QC, it's a fraud.

Wow. Did he say "fraud" or is that a paraphrase?

Chaz said...
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Anonymous said...

There have been references to opening briefs in the closing . . . are they available online? Couldn't find them on the two Landis sites.

Anonymous said...

Wow what a bizarre move: closing with a quote by one of the founders of the drug movement in the '60s!
"In a article from 1931, Huxley stated that drug-taking "constitutes one of the most curious and also, it seems to me, one of the most significant chapters in the natural history of human beings." THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION (see Jim Morrison), published in 1954, was an influential study of consciousness expansion through mescalineand. Huxley also started to use LSD"
It appears that Suh really does have a sense of humour!
Michael

Anonymous said...

Suh is the man.

hughw said...

Suh should have stipulated to the fact that the peloton *believes* testosterone helps recovery during a stage race. They diffuse their message by maintaining that Landis wouldn'ta done it becuase it doesn't help. Sure he would have, if he believed it might, and lots of cyclists do.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Suh went way overboard to me.

Anonymous said...

"as bad as DeCanio"??

Wow, that's harsh. Matt's said some fairly charged things, but remember that he admitted his doping, of his own volition. He was never caught, never tested positive and was handed a two-year sentence for doing the right thing.

If you want to look at the tragedy of anti-doping code, it's to be found in guys like Matt and, worse, Zach Lund.

Defend Floyd, but don't slam DeCanio for speaking the truth of his own admission. You do that, you unwittingly further the omerta. If you fail to show compassion for others, you're guilty of the same sin you accuse USADA of.

Anonymous said...

I can hardly wait to hear our expert Bill's take on the closing arguments, which i am sure will be more informative than the panel's decision (which it looks like is about a month away).
michael

Anonymous said...

"as bad as DeCanio"

See, the cycling omerta rears its ugly head again

Anonymous said...

cTBV and Judge Hue,

Thank you for all that you have done. Look forward to the book.

Floyd,

Thank you for exposing the unexposed. Congratulations, Floyd, on your win at every level of your struggle.

Floyd, you should receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom for this courageous act on behalf of all Athletes around the World who were unjustly accused of unfairly competing in sporting events under the secretive lawlessness of the WADA and for freeing the accredited labs Worldwide of their Omerta subjugation.

A tremendous example of an American truly defending inalienable rights by opening himself up to public scrutiny in the way he has chosen knowing the possible outcome.

As the broadcast of the 2006 Tour de France speeds through the cosmos at light speed, Floyd, you are The Defending United States of America 2006 Tour de France Champion forever and ever and forevermore. It can not ever be edited, nor altered, despite the despicable historical events that unfolded. Time and the cosmos have recorded that history of the magnificent comeback for all to see, henceforth, for all time...

hughw said...

Oh my god! Deutsche Telekom used EPO from '93-'96! Up till now, I thought Riis' 60% was natural! I've seen the light. This totally means Floyd used testosterone in 2006.

Not.

Chaz said...

Not to be repetative, but thanks so much TBV and Judge Hue. Your efforts have been tremendous and I hope that you are rewarded for them!

Anonymous said...

USADA looks tired out. During the whole exchange over filing findings of fact and conclusions of law, they just looked worn out! I Suh sent a solid message to the panel. We're ready for more.

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Chaz said...

By the way, I feel that a positive outcome is the proper reward. A best blog award would also be appropriate of course.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad this whole thing is over for now. It was disgusting in a lot of ways.

Anonymous said...

TBV Thank you. Wow. Wow. In the end Mr. Young was truely left speechless. I'm sure he now wishes that he wouldn't have been allowed to talk the last time because he really had nothing he could point to to refute.

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Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for everyone who believes lance, believes tyler, believes floyd. As a professional cyclist myself it is really embarrassing to watch them lie over and over again. Imagine what good it could do if they admitted straight away, did the time for their crime, and given all the millions in legal fees to junior development. You have to be really nieve to believe you can win the tour on bread and water; maybe someday I hope, but not right now.

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hughw said...
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Anonymous said...

YOUNG: When the facts are not on your side, you accuse people, of lying, hiding, trafficing. We trust the panel to reach its own conclusions.

Sounds to me like he is talking about USADA. Its only fitting that was Youngs last words.


Thanks again TBV and HUE and the remainder of the TBV team.

Atown, Tx.

the Dragon said...

TBV & Bill,

Deepest thanks for your efforts.

With Gratitude,

Anonymous said...

5:49 (professional cyclist), I agree with you, and I think most people outside of this board do also.

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Michael said...
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Anonymous said...

Good post anon 5:58...

FL fought for himself guilty or innocent.

These Pro-Bikers that are victims cuz every one else dopes makes you puke...

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Anonymous said...

Dave, Bill, strbk, Marco, et al:

Thanks for all your unbelievable hard work bringing this to us. It has been an adventure.

DPF is back up and running, although all posts since the crash on the day before seem to be lost.

BetweenRides

kevin said...
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Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 6:03

6 positve tests?! Have you been paying attention?

labrat said...

to Anon 6:03

you missed the point- are those 6 positive test results real?!

I'm a technician in a research lab- we get all kinds of false positives. If the controls aren't good you can't trust the results.

I'm not much of a cycling fan- I was interested in this hearing because of the sample testing.

If I turned in the data, documentation, and QC that was presented I would be fired from my job.

Thanks tbv for the amazingly thorough reporting that I couldn't find anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is a lot rougher than where I usually go. Don't you GUYS have anything better to do? And what's with the "pro cylists" who keep popping up everywhere claiming to "know" that everyone dopes? That's cool, but why are you remaining anonymous? Don't comment about it if you aren't willing to talk seriously about the subject and offer substantive information.

just a fan, catherine

PS, this is a remarkable site and so incredibly thorough and erudite!

bob the cycle commuter outside boston said...

Mr. Hue, thanks for reporting on this. Great job. If the arbitration goes against Landis, does he have any grounds to bring a civil action against WADA/USADA/LNDD? I thinking breach of standards and duties owed. Surely, by joining the pro's he didn't throw away all his rights, or did he?

Ken (EnvironmentalChemistry.com) said...

YOUNG: When the facts are not on your side, you accuse people, of lying, hiding, trafficing. We trust the panel to reach its own conclusions.

Sounds to me like he is talking about USADA. Its only fitting that was Youngs last words.


One has to wonder what he really believes now that he has gotten to the end of this case. Is it possible that he personally believes that LNDD royally screwed up? This would be an interesting question to ask him years from now. Maybe he was being being ironic ala Catlin.

Anonymous said...

Why wait years? Ask him now:

Young Esq, do you or do you not believe now that LNDD royally screwed up?

Will the Panel direct the witness to answer the question?

Sachi Wilson said...

Ken, speaking as a criminal defense lawyer, I'm very certain many of my clients are guilty. My job (as my client's advocate) is to present the best case for them, not out of a conviction that they are innocent, but out of a conviction that they are entitled to due process and a fair trial. A big difference. But it helps me do a good job for the most scurrilous rascals.

If the State can't get a conviction by doing it fairly, it doesn't deserve to get that conviction. We do our best to make the prosecutors play fair.

Anonymous said...

I think Floyd doped. I hope he walks (rides). No one should get away with lab work that bad. World class events need word class dope controls. This hearing can only help, and it will do the most good if the test results are rejected

Anonymous said...

One simple lesson... Those that strive for the truth are not afraid to stand up and be counted. The rest are just anonymous drivel... You know who you are... Cowards the lot of you...
Mike
Green MTN. Cyclery
Ephrata, Pa.
"Proud to be a FFF Troll"

Ken (EnvironmentalChemistry.com) said...

Anonymous 7:03 PM said: Wow, this is a lot rougher than where I usually go. Don't you GUYS have anything better to do?

Something tells me a lot of people have been calling in sick or have been totally unproductive at work.

Ken (EnvironmentalChemistry.com) said...

Sachi Wilson (7:28), this is why I raised my question. Normally a prosecutor totally believes in the defendants guilt and if they cease to believe in the guilt they drop the case. In this case it isn't a prosecutor but an outside legal team "prosecuting" the case. They don't have the luxury of dropping the charges unless their client agrees, which is unlikely. Like a criminal defense lawyer, Young et al. must continue to advocate for their client to the best of their ability. At the same time they can't disclose their own feelings on this matter at least not for a long time, which is why I'd love the question to be asked of them when they can honestly answer and we can be confident they are honestly answering.

Mike L said...

TBV/Mr Hue,

Thanks for the outstanding work documenting the hearing and evaluating the arguments put forth by the various participants.

Your coverage was incredible.

Sachi Wilson said...

Ken, prosecutors ethically should drop cases if they do not believe a defendant committed a crime. They represent the justice system as a whole, and justice is not served if an innocent person is convicted.

One of the things that disturbs me deeply about WADA is its culture, its assumption, that athletes are guilty of doping. Everything it says and does (listen to the despicable Pound) carries forward that presumption. For an American lawyer, especially a defense lawyer, it is anathema that ANY person is presumed guilty and crucified in the press and in this quasi-legal process rather than being given a fair and impartial overall process *from the beginning*.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I think pride is highly overrated. I'm more of a humility man myself. But there were many people involved in this case that deserve to be proud of themselves.

Dave, Bill, Strbk and Marc thanks for all you've done. I wouldn't have been able to follow events let alone understand them without you.

Daniel (aka Rant) thanks for all the insights and for providing a place where I could vent a little.

Floyd's team of lawyers and experts was magnificent. You may not win but you did a great job.

And I can't believe I'm saying this, but thanks to the arbiters who gave both sides a fair chance to make their cases.

~ Cub

Ken (EnvironmentalChemistry.com) said...

Sachi Wilson said...

Ken, prosecutors ethically should drop cases if they do not believe a defendant committed a crime. They represent the justice system as a whole, and justice is not served if an innocent person is convicted.


Right, but Young isn't a prosecutor in the traditional sense. This is part of the problem with the anti-doping system as it is currently set up. Young et al. are an independent law firm hired to represent their client's interests. This totally clouds what their ethical responsibilities are. Is their primary responsibility to their client or to a greater sense of justice based on a personal opinion?

Sachi Wilson said...

To their client, in this case. And because WADA has (IMHO) no institutional sense of ethical responsibility to do right, Young and Barnett do WADA's bidding and do not seek the truth either.

It is a shame, a damned shame. We are fortunate that Floyd fought so hard and had such competent and knowledgeable people at work for him.

anne lydsay said...

If the lab is that bad why is it not throwing up a lot more positives?? You would think from the defense argument that the lab is that incompetent that you would regularly get false positives. Floyds case seems to be the lab practices led to a positive, and that he was unlucky. OK, maybe. But then for four more samples to be positive after testing too, must make him statistically one of the most unlucky people ever!!

Tim said...

TBV and Bill. I appreciate your hard work. I can't believe the amount of effort you put into this thing. No matter where you stand in this "war" folks here at the site better at least be appreciative of your hard work.

Tim (someone who is thinking yeah, maybe he was on something but probably not what they got him for. But I don't care because I'd rather have 100 doping TdF winners than one honest rider's career ruined by bad WADA policies funded by MY tax dollars.)

Sachi Wilson said...

Anny Lydsay -- the LNDD has three times the rate of positive findings that other labs do. So yes, that is another indication that the lab has a problem.

Anonymous said...

Anne, from what I understand, LNDD's positive rate is 3x that of other labs.

anne lydsay said...

From what I understand about 0.05% of these cases prove positive at LNDD (or was it 0.5%, i can't remember, not a high number anyway). Let's assume you are right and they have 3x the number of positives of other labs. I understand Floyd had 5 negatives out of 8 samples tested (1 A + 7 B's). 0.05% (at 3 times normal rate) against Floyds 62.5%. Like I said, one of the statistically most unlucky people in history!

Adjectiveman said...

I have been reading about (and watching when I can get a connection) these procedings from the beginning because I was interested to see if the truth might be revealed.

I'll admit I want to believe that Floyd didn't dope. However, like so many (particularly the 13 year old trolls whose hostility sullies these comment sections), I suspect that the sport is so rife with doping that Floyd is likely as guilty as any at his level. But I think that there are many here like me who believe that the anti-doping institutions WADA, USADA, LNDD and UCI are not doing the right things to actually solve the doping problem.

I believe that this has been shown here. If Floyd is guilty, These procedings have shown that these institutions can't (objectively)prove it. They can't do their job. If Floyd is guilty, the anti-doping institutions are as culpable as he is. It is they that are ruining the sport with their failures. I believe these failures are obvious here.

kent said...
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Anonymous said...

anne,

you're missing the point. not to mention you math is bad.

IF LNDD is consistently doing the same things incorrectly, they will generate the same sorts of errors, though not the same specific errors, on any given 'test'. the "results" of any given 'test' under these circumstances are worthless.

what, exactly, is a 'positive', anyway?

it appears that a 'positive' is what a given WADA lab says it is, applying the WADA criteria to the data the lab generates. The WADA criteria may be fine, but if the data are poor, nobody really knows if the 'positive' is any good.

the problem with the system is that a reported 'positive' is treated as more than presumptively correct, and teh burden of proving a negative falls to an athlete who apparently is not even entitled to exculpatory data that a WADA lab may have.

nobody has tolerance for cheaters. but the current system undermines the otherwise laudable goals of the anti-doping movement. the best way to take down cheats is via a transparent process that is based on rock solid science and a patient administration that understands that the best way to win the war is NOT to insist on winning every battle at all costs, but rather to both appear and be judicious in winning the clear cut battles that matter.

The current WADA regime fails miserably on all these counts. Like the US in the Vietnam War, WADA keeps delivering body counts, but nobody really thinks they're winning the war. Sooner or later tha press will start asking them tough questions about just who these bodies are, and exactly how they ended up dead. Up until now the press has assumed the dead to be enemy combatants. But if things don't change, sooner or later they're going to find a bunch of dead civilians, and the benefit of positive assumptions WADA has shrewdly developed over all these years will be gone in a flash.

C-Fiddy said...

Thank you TBV, Mr. Hue and everyone associated with this incredible coverage. Your efforts gave all of us a presence in the room that the media reporting just misses out on. First, I'd like to say I'm really disappointed by all of the anonymous/gutless opinions that fill the comments with garbage unrelated to the hearing. Go start a Dick Pound Blog of your own.
The one question I had before the hearing began was never really answered so maybe some of the contributing "experts" can weigh in. The report on the B samples was that they were positive for TRACES of synthetic T. From the peaks and numbers we've been looking at all week, (even if they were good results), do they show amounts consistent with someone who was trying to dope with T, even in the realm of "micro-dosing" that was presented? Is it possible to determine? Whenever I see the word "traces" in a proceeding, I get suspicious. I guess I expected an argument about the amounts being more consistent with a botched or tampered test or sample.
I have been wondering about this especially after learning how easily products like androgel are transmitted through contact with the skin. I think it shows if there was someone who was disapointed by Floyd's stage 17 performance, they would find this an easy way to sabotage another American from winning the(ir) Tour. It sure sounds like anyone could have patted Floyd on the back, or given him a hug after the stage. There is a lot of contact with crazy fans on those mountains. Wait, who has been on the podium shaking Lance's hand for seven years? Bernie, what soft hands you have! Why are you smiling so wide? (Impossible to prove, I know...) If it is possible though, how protected and careful do riders have to be? If Dave Z, Tommy D or any American have an incredible year, they'd better live in a bubble and not touch anyone. And I thought Lance was just really paranoid hiring bodyguards and the like.
One more point. I remember the story that Lance donated a bunch of money to some anti-doping establishment, then I learn the lab that was testing his samples was running a 486 with OS2??? That one really surprised me. Can the FFF send LNDD a new Mac?
Thanks again TBV/Hue for all the love!
Jeff

randy said...

Jeff-you ask about the "traces" of exo-T that L'Equipe reported/leaked after the April B sample tests. Tom A. Fine did some reporting both here and at the DPF saying that there is no such thing as "traces" of exo-T. the tests don't quantify they just show the presence of T with more C13 than "normal". Can't give you the exact cite but if you follow back to the L'Equipe leak there was lots of discussion. L'Equipe obviously doesn't know much science.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Dick Pound has nothing better to do than post comments on this website! Well done, sir, you've found an anonymous way to smear an accused athlete! What happened, your lawyers talked you out of another public statement? Well, get some sleep, you'll want to rest up for that upcoming trial in Austria!

Anonymous said...

What bothers me is the fact that Lemond seems to know a few intelligence agent techniques, and uses them well. One of the oldest techniques in intelligence gathering is the "I've confessed, now you confess" technique. He was also able to "confess" something without admitting to any wrongdoing - very smart. Whether his story is true or not is irrelevant - certainly no-one's going to investigate it's truthfulness. He acted as both a saboteur and provocateur in this case. Certainly he provoked Landis in many ways. He may have provoked Geoghegan, unless Geoghegan was on Lemond's side in the first place, and is himself a saboteur.

There's a lot of money and power at stake in this hearing. Where there's money and power, there's lying and subterfuge. Landis may well have doped, and is lying about it also.

Either way, I don't trust Lemond to tell the truth ever since his statements about "every Tour winner" since himself, etc. One shouldn't make these statements without proof.

Greg Lemond used to be a role model for me. Now, even if he's telling the truth, he still appears to be a shady blowhard. It's really not surprising that he can't even speak about various things because he's being sued by his "fellow cyclists".

At the same time, Landis should have told Mr. Geoghegan IMMEDIATELY not to let the door hit him in the backside on his way out of town. Talk about someone who looks like a saboteur - I wouldn't ever talk to that creep again for the rest of my life if I were Landis. Geoghegan certainly made him look guilty by association. He and Lemond did a great job of shifting the media's focus away from the facts at hand, eh?

Also, Floyd should have also realized a little quicker that Lemond wasn't his friend. Many people will act like one's friend in order to get what they want.

Thomas said...

LeMond wasn't Landis' friend? Landis certainly wasn't LeMond's. I think LeMond genuinely wants the sport cleaned up. Friend of mine who was on U.S. cycling team said, "you watch, it'll come out on Lance." The sport is drenched. Needs to take a beating. Needs to have a title stripped. Sorry, Floyd, that means you.

Anonymous said...

Either way, I don't trust Lemond to tell the truth ever since his statements about "every Tour winner" since himself, etc. One shouldn't make these statements without proof.

Why not? Lemond is entitled to his opinion. The Dr. Ferrari trial showed that Indurain was using EPO. It also showed that Riis was using EPO. As of this week we know that Ullrich was on a team with an EPO program. Pantani's hematocrit was measured at 55% after an accident, and Armstrong's retrotested urine shows EPO use. It seems like Lemond's statements are perfectly reasonable.

Face it, when EPO entered cycling, the sport became one big dopefest.

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