Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hearing - Weds Sign Off

Well, that was interesting.

What seems to be going on is that USADA is trying to

  • Present their theory there is a pattern of doping, with a single metabolite standard.
  • Which, as Loren Mooney observed, appear to be around mountain stages. Bonnie DeSimone of ESPN lays that out in more detail.
  • Deny, deny, deny production of evidence, and try to make it look like Landis' fault.
  • Poke holes in the publicly offered defenses, at some expense of time.
  • rebut holes Landis makes in cross as soon as possible.
  • which seems to be leading other places.
Landis seems to be
  • Laying traps, some of which are sprung, and some of which are unobserved.
  • Establishing processing gaps that may turn out to reflect re-work.
  • Suggest that there are calibration and stability problems.
  • leading you to think the cal/stab problems might lead to the re-work
  • but if they are stability problems, then the re-work isn't reliable either.
  • preparing arguments for mass-spectra data later.
Campbell seemed to be:
  • Laying ground for declaration that the alternate B samples are in fact AAFs, and their admission should be rejected because they may not be used to create AAFs.
  • Catching M. Mongongu in a mistatement of fact by claiming the new IRMS machine went in service after the Stage 17 samples were processed, when there is apparently a report issued the previous year from the new machine. USADA will need to clarify that point at some point.
UPDATE: And nobody gave M. Mongongu the 44/45 plot and chromatogram the Young pretended to offer as a way of answering Suh's question about matrix interference in the blank. Suh didn't take the bait, Young himself didn't go to it in redirect to score a point on Suh, and Campbell didn't either. Basically, nobody wanted to roll the dice with her analytic acumen.

Strategically, Landis must assume the B's will remain; nevertheless, this seems not to concern them. They still seem confident in the hall.


To overcome all the "positives", Landis must kill all the IRMS values that are > 3.8, which are the 5aAs, and one other in an alternate B sample (I forget which, and too lazy to look it up).

To do that, they must:
  1. Demonstrate ISL violations leading to burden shift.
  2. Establish a bunch of facts about the IRMS processing, breaking up USADA's pretty picture.
  3. Demonstrate how the pieces fit together to show systemic problems that invalidates all the IRMS results.
  4. Leave USADA to prove that their theory is wrong.
Parts 1 and 2 are happening now in their cross-examination of the USADA witnesses. Part 3 can only happen with their own witness, presumably Dr. Davis, maybe on Saturday.

Note that should they make a convincing case for systemic error, then every IRMS AAF that LNDD ever reported becomes dubious. And we note that LNDD has a 300% higher rate of IRMS AAFs than other labs. That suggests they either have a dirtier clientele, or they do something systemically different than other labs.

As to today's discovery fluster, I'm not sure what it's about. I think Suh was looking for a chance to bring up the Mass Spectra, and Mongongu handed it up at an unexpected time. He was probably near done with cross of her, and decided to play that card out.

The result was that we got a brou-ha-ha that USADA thinks it won, but I don't have any idea how important it may be. Was it a trump card that lost, or a 5 that was thrown away?

On USADA's "pattern" argument, I wonder how the "pattern" compares to Landis' cortisone shots. I don't know that I've seen the complete schedule of the injections he received before and at the tour, maybe someone can inform me there.

Greg Lemond is supposedly testifying tomorrow. That means the media circus will be back, probably in even greater force than Monday. I can't imagine what he can testify to of any relevance. Is this just rebuttal of more of the public defense (S17 was possible?), a PR move, or does he have a tape recording of a Landis confession?

Bill wants to be in there for it; I'm thinking I'll camp watching the video.

UPDATE: Apparently USADA thinks Lemond is more important to proving their case than M. Frelat, the analyst of the stage 17 B samples, and many of the alternate B samples. She's been dropped from the witness list posted at USOC compared with what we heard at the end of the open hearing today. We don't know if M. Frelat will testify on Friday, or if USADA saw what happened to Mongongu and have decided not to call her at all.

Only Ayotte and Lemond are now scheduled for Thursday, which is looking like USADA's big swing for the fences in front of the press. Lemond is the draw, and Ayotte is the substantive star they are going to rely on for the single metabolite standard and rebutting any other holes they think Landis has already made.

UPDATE: I've gotten the DSL working where I'm staying, so I have no respite. I did get 22 minutes at 185w average in before it got too dark for me to see. Maybe if tomorrow really ends at 5:00 I can go down and up the pepperdine driveway to the law schoo.



Anonymous said...

Thanks, TbV. Have a good dinner, and get back refreshed!

Michael said...

H$%# S&*)...if LeMond has a tape of Landis 'admitting guilt', that would throw this whole thing for a loop.

How cool would it be if LeMond takes the stand and then says, I did it without doping and Floyd could have too. I had good and bad days in the Tour. It was refreshing to see it happen again.

Imagine the 'street cred' LeMond would get back instantaneously...

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for the great coverage. I'd like to do something for you and Bill to express my gratitude for your hard work, but all I can think of is to make another donation to FFF in your honor.

If anyone else wants to follow suit, let's add $0.71 (71 was Floyd's number in the TdF) to the amount we're donating to flag it as a donaton on behalf of Dave and Bill.

FFF donation page

~ Cub

Anonymous said...

Shoot, for all the work they've done, I'll throw in 71.00 (and then some).


PS - the attorneys in Dallas are laughing their butts of about this carnival. This thing is being reviewed real-time at the SMU Law School!

Anonymous said...


Great job again. DB I am in awe of your commitment to bringing real time updates of the hearing in progress.

Mr Hue, I get the feeling that you are somewhat frustrated with the behaviour/actions of "The Majority" has they have labeled themselves. This coupled with a "search for truth" that begins by denying the accussed relevant information, must be difficult. Your writings lead me to believe you have great respect for law and due process; at times perhaps these proceedings sting a bit. Please stay strong, all of us need you and your commentary. It is not over yet.


Jim T said...

If Lemond doesn't say anything relevant, wouldn't the best tactic be to not even bother to cross examine him?

JJ said...

Yes, good job covering this!

Someday explain it all in street-level language, eh?

Aside from Landis' difficulties (which I still don't believe), I think the future of judging cycling is really on trial. The nagging question: would any spectator want to watch a race where this kind of officiating/testing is used? Not moi.

Fix your stinkin test procedures!

Anonymous said...

DGB says:
On the eve of Greg LeMond's possible appearance at Floyd's hearing, I feel the need out of deepest appreciation for Greg's heroic cycling history to interject, "Greg, shut the heck up!" Frankly I don't give a rat's posterior if Landis OR Lance od'd on EPO or synthetic testosterone. Sure this is ignorant, myopic, not PC and otherwise karmically unfit at any speed to say. Wasn't it "Le Blaireau" who commented in effect that it wasn't natural for pro cyclists to do what they do (racing over the freakin' Alps for example)... tongue-in-cheek, hint-hint? I grew up and raced USCF in the era when Eddie B's book was my training bible and Greg was his "gem in the rough". Greg survived some serious stuff in his own right in comparison to Lance. I jumped up and down with LeMond when he whipped Fignon in that '89 Tour ending time trial. Hey, it was finally the beginnings of parity with the Euros with whom Jacques Boyer had first begun to break the ice a few years before (in "modern times" that is).

So please Greg, for the love of Campy or Shimano or whomever, just smile and say kind things about Floyd and Lance. We wanna still love you! Let it go, we'll still buy your bikes (more of 'em if you'll stop climbing down into the muckity-muck). Remember, Floyd's Mom says she believes him when he said he didn't do it. That just flat out proves his innocence doesn't it? Dude you are not forgotten. Unless you know something with your own eyes, be the giant you once were and please stay out of the melee.

Love ya'

Theresa said...

There is no way in hell, that LeMond has anything ON Floyd, other that his active paranoia!! The shop where I bought my new bike last year, carries LeMond. I would not buy one, because his name is on it. Hw made cycling history, but he no longer acts like a cycling hero. Merckyx is a hero, Davis Phinney is a hero, and Lance of course. They are human beings, but LeMond is showing how a legend can end up a bitter man.

And Bill, you are doing an awesome job! Do you feel the need to give a judgement now and then? See the charade USADA goes through to distroy our fine American athletes?? And wonder how this happened, and who let it? We sure didn't get any input, McCathyism at it's full blown worst!

Michael said...

OK, this is were USADA is playing it's cards. The USADA said they were the one's calling the LNDD witness(es) and that Floyd couldn't call them. So they print a list, making the world think that Floyd will get his chance to Cross. But now, M. Frelot has been removed. Floyd won't get his chance to cross. So only one Tech from the LAB THAT FOUND LANDIS GUILTY sits on the stand. What BS.

Once again, USADA has played a great tactic by bending the rule in their 'Search for Truth'. Man, I hope someone up high is watching and ready to bring the hammer down on the USADA.

Nancy Toby said...

Thank you again for all your hard work getting the word out to us on this!

And Lemond... well, it will be interesting watching the media circus around that bitter has-been, but frankly, Greg, we don't give a damn.

Anonymous said...

Dave & Bill,

I think I love you. Seriously.

However,there's a problem. (Oh, there's always problems in "relationships"...). You have now set the bar SO high, I will forever be disappointed in future blog affairs.

Keep up the great work! You are showing the mainstream media "how it's done"!

Anonymous said...

There are not enough superlatives in the dictionary to commend your fine work. And I'm generally stingy in giving praise. Thank you. Just wish the USADA and the arbitrators had as much integrity as you.

Re: Lemond - if he does testify, we shall see very quickly what he is all about. If the past is predictor, he will be all about himself with no more real regard for cycling than the athletes who are doping or the authorities falsely accusing high profile superstars to give the impression they are properly regulating the competitions. It is just a flipping mess. And it is a wonder there is not more injustice in our enlightened times.

If Lemond does testify and shamelessly denigrates Floyd, then I will not patronize any bike seller that carries Lemond products.

Anonymous said...

Starting my chase of events on Thurs. USADA/WADA dropping the 2nd tech is acknowledgment that either she would not add anything or that it would be dangerous to put her on. I think the latter. If Landis was not able to llst all of USADA's witnesses on his witness list (showing ignorance here), then they should try to call her if they have time. The time gaps, lack of oversignt by the "verifying" tech, etc. are all points to ram home.

Hopefully there is a difference between not being able to question fact witnesses/LNDD staff before the hearing and calling adverse witnesses. If not, yet another major instance of structured unfairness.