Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hearing - Weds: USADA Closing Argument

Where will the emphasis be, science, rules, or monkeys?

Jacobs seems to be smiling, but it might be his forced one. Dunn is wrapping some things up to clear the decks, focused and with a blank expression.

There's eight water bottles on the Landis table. I see now the attorney chairs, though straight backed, have cushions. Paul Landis is wearing his vest and his jacket, but no tie, sorry Futterman.

There are exhibit boards being brought in, of course, shrouded in secrecy until the unveiling of each. We just say a flash of a USADA powerpoint, and the sound is up in the press room. Amber is reading the book we think is by the redhead sitting behind her. Mrs. Landis is nibbling a finger, and doesn't appear to be many pages in.

Young is hunched over the table, and McLaren shuffles paper, moves to the podium. The audience seats look perhaps 2/3 full. Landis is present, and here are McLaren and Campbell.

Show time.

BRUNET: Mr Young, let's begin.

[ think I won't do literal ]

BRUNET: before you begin, referring to GDC 1368, the isoprime manual, the 0.3 standard pointed to the newer instrument, not the instrument at LNDD. Clarification Mr. Davis?

DAVIS Identifies document at LNDD, only part of which has been produced.


Thanks Panel and Botre for wise hand, making this a fair process. We said it was a standard case, and we've shown it is. They said conspiracies, bad acts and attempts to hide the truth. We've done what we've told you we'd do. But the bad acts and attempts to hide truth were by Mr. Landis and his business manager.

Typical doping case all you get to here is what was in the urine. Here the events and evidence also show a glimpse into respondants mind. The win at all cost attitude we have seen from him and his manager were displayed. It gives you an insight into "the principles and decision making process". Same as when he decided to dope in the TdF.


Also unusual in that Joe Papp broke the code of silence. The idea that it would have made no sense for Mr. Landis is different that Joe Papp describes. It also different than what you saw at Phonak. Desire to win is real, risk of trying to win at all costs is real. Simply, the respondant got caught on S17. Don't know what he did different, but his TE spiked enough to go through IRMS and you saw the results.

[slide 2 - metabolite(s) ]

"Single metabolite greater than 3". Difference here more than 6. Panel is entitled to rely on the WADA criteria.

[slide of USADA 173; chart of summary table ]

Hard to follow the chromatograms and samples straight. What's important is the clarity of what you're looking at. It's about a positive A and B sample for the 5a-pdiol metabolites. All of Ayotte, Catlin, Schanzer and Brenna, when they looked at the analysis, they had no issue whatsoever with the chromatograms.

There are two of them. The question is whether they can be believed.

The only attack on either of these chromatograms was when Meieir-Augustein said he saw a small peak. Theoretically, that small peak could have been in the IRMS analysis instead of where it should be. He didn't know whether it was, or how much it contributed. Using his extremes it made a 2 delta unit difference. But his assumption of which adjacent peak shift in value is wrong

[he's confused about that]

The speculation by M-A was directly refuted by "it is not included" by Dr. Brenna, showing background on either side of the peak.

The other thing worth noting in all the discussion of chromatograms is that there are before and after CG's for mix-cal-acetate are clean. Dr. M-A said they show the instrument is working.

[no, he didn't]

If there was no problem with the MCA's, then the instrument is working.

[slide about burden of proof]

USADA need to proof to comfortable satisfaction. ISL compliance is you've done your job. Presumption is the results are correct. Way to rebut by respondent is to show departure from ISL. Not a general problem, a departure from ISL. If there is departure, lab can show it didn't cause the positive case.

What we've seen here is very little for departures from ISL. None of their witnesses has expereicne with ISL, or ISO 170025, or in some cases any laboratory experience.

An example of that is the micky mouse ears, which isn't the isoprime insterument but the isoprime2. The evidence isn't to a violation of the ISL, but what they view as not good lab practices. Except it's not the Panel's job to make a decision on whether the lab should be accredited, or whether they do their work well, or even for IRMS. A accreditation body decides that.

Manual reprocessing, or QC, as Dr. Brenna descibes it, it not a violation of the ISL. What Dr. Brenna, the SOP and the technicians say, it's a mechanical process. It's not subjective. It follows a mathmaticla formula. Dr. Brenna said someone could program that into a computer.

The criticism is that when they got the raw data, and did manyal reprocessing QC, they could have taken a snapshot to save everytime they reset baseline and peaks. First, why would they do that? Second, it is required?

The ISL, and Dr. Ayotte said it's not changing the recorded data, it's processing the data. They are not required to document and initial in the margin every step in processing. If they record final data and then change it, that's a different matter.

[ The standard doesn't say "final"; it does say "reported data" ]

Whether you would expect in common sense that they'd hit the save button. In the history of anti-doping cases -- the reason now is if you got the EDFs you could see the changes maed -- no one has ever gone back and gotten the EDFs. Under the WADA document, this isn't anywhere near what they are required to produce, and it isn't EDFS.

Dr. Goldberg, who said he'd testified in 125 or more criminal cases, has never had to produce data files. No lab has ever done it. It's wrong to fault them for not doing it.

Some of the defenses we've heard, and I will anticipate some. But that's hard because there are so many thrown up against the wall that went away when exposed to the light of day.

The first was "same person involved in A and B". As a result of that, Cynthia and Esther got their names in the world press.

Sample deterioration. Major point in briefs, haven't heard here.

Allegation that Mongongu, when performing analysis knew it was Mr. Landis because of TUE. That's gone away when they asked.

Correction factor, removing acetate. Didn't hear about that here.

It's little hard to guess what they may talk about, but let me try.

A general comment about briefing schedule, so we can exchange arguments and prepare.

The point they made yesterday about batch number being not-blank and numbers not matching is the very first time it has been raised in the case. You can go back and look in the briefs.

They insisted and we flew 6 people from paris. None of those people were asked about this point. This is pretty clear that this is not an attempt to aid the panel in finding the truth. It's about putting rabbits out of the hat at the last minute, so LNDD cannot respond, and the light of day cannot be show.

Classic that that argument is not based on the EDFs, but based on the LDP that they've had for more than six months.

Let me talk about linearity. Why is it that we just see a posting off the internet for the first time today? In terms of the merits of linearity. First the timing of measurements, the SOP says done monthly; in one case it was done within a month of respondants sample; in the other it was done within a week. The thing that matters is the 5a and the pdiol, roughtly the same size, where linearity makes the least difference.

Retention time. [ ex 12 ] First, if we're talking about the ISL. It does not talk about relative retention time, but retention time. says 1% or .2 minutes. If you look at the analysis on the instrument, all of the measurements are incredibly consistent, and well within that range.

What respondent is arguing isn't part of the ISL. That is the gist of Dr. Brenna's testimony is that you don't do that.

Let me talk about the defense, and Dr. Amory was a credible guy. I was surprised he's testifying as an expert on an anti-doping matter when he's never heard of a Berlinger bottle. His point was it makes no sense to use Testoterone for anything other than muscle mass. That's his opinion. He may be right. But if he's right, the cyclists of the world are listening to the doctor in germany. This is a letter from UCI showing testosterone cases from 2002-2006, USADA 1523, EX 98.

UCI's table of Testosterone positives

It was also interesting Dr. Amory agreed, yes your T goes down during a stage race. That's what Joe Papp said is why he and others used low doses of T to get it back up.

Let me look at the pattern argument Dr Amory and maybe others have made. When you look at the T/E results, does this show that something is wrong with the analysis? Should the endogenous profile be surpressed? Mr. Campbell asked Dr. Catlin about this. He said if you were talking THG or other Balco, you'd see suppression of T and E in the T/E ratio. If you were taking T in small amounts, which is why doping athletes would take T.

Dr. Amory's opinion as best I can tell is that based on 3 studies, Shackleton, Aquilerra and Schanzer. You've heard from the authors of those studies. Their opinion whether this pattern indicates an error with the measure or an indication of doping is that it indicates doping. So a guy who looks at studies by people who wrote the papers is coming to different conclusions than the offers.

Counsel took Dr. Amory the Saugy and Shackleton study, person by person, and asked if they looked by Mr. Landis, and answered "no." The point of Dr. Shackleton is is that everyone is different, and that the subjects were not dopers trying to conceal their doping. No mix and match of products, no efforts to evade detection.

What there was was a single application. No mix-and-match, no on-again, off-again to try to beat the TE test to avoid being subject to IRMS.

It shouldn't be an issue to the panel that you can have a TE under four and be positive on IRMS . Those were exactly the facts in the [lost] case.

Let me go back to corroborating evidence. Any attacks on the corroborating evidence are attacks on the corroborating evidence. This shows the reprocessing.

[chart "reprocessing validates result" ]

Opportunity to look at EDF's, and Davis acknowledged that respondant was free to look at them anyway he wanted. What respondant said was that if we look at them on better software, then we'll have the opportunity to accurately evaluate the case. The problem for them is that when they did analyse it there, respondant was still positive. It was their idea, not USADA, not LNDD.

Then they said they wanted to know if there were no manual operations. Again, 5a-pdiol is positive. So they tried it another way. They tried it with no background, and the results were positive.

This process had no issue of time gaps, or anything suspicious on the part of the LNDD people; under supervision of Dr. Boterh.

Look at further analysis. We've spent a lot of time trying to analyse these. Respondant fought and fought, finally analysed, now we know why they were fighting. They show presence of Exo-T; not a positive test, because there was no A.
Those yellows corroborate Exo-T, but "aren't positive tests"

TE ratio? Not for USADA to prove what caused respondant's TE to spike. But this is highly abnormal.

Admissions. You heard testimony of Greg Lemond, and that of Floyd Landis. One says he admitted, one says he didn't admit. In that, he threatened Lemond in a web posting, about revealing abuse as a child.
People who have principles, who make good decisions don't do that.

Blood results. USADA has been asking for for quite some time. You see that the results are 48, the highest recorded, would be over what he says the 47 limit of the Phonak team. In the normal case, we'd have checked calibration and the like. Now we can't say significance. When Demir turns it over at the end of the hearing, you can't go back and check.

Big picture. As you read through respondents briefs, the technicians have either been called incompetent or skilled evil geniuses. I think they'd like you to believe they are both. Given Dr. Davis' answers to Mr. Suh's questions about moving things to get desired results. Davis said he didn't think they were doing that. I hope that puts that argument to bed, that no one was manipulating to "get" anyone.

You've heard from most of them and can judge their credibility. They take pride in their work, and are not the sort to hide anything or tamper with the results. This is contrast to what see saw from Respondant's business manager, who did try to tamper with a witness. You hear Mr. Landis' response to that, and actions he took or didn't take. You can be the judge of the relative credibility.

The answer in this case is relatively simple. The science is solid. He had exogenous T. In an effort to win at all costs, he cheatet and got caught.

Oh, a red-herring. Ms. Frelat's knowing it was Floyd Landis' sample, was in order to introduce his expert and two lawyers, USADA 239, he wrote a letter to the lab saying he was sending them. So the reason she knew is because he told them.

This letter to the lab director is used to "prove" Landis told Frelat and Mongongu.

CAMPBELL: this system is supposed to protect athletes. And you have a code of ethics that says they can't point out mistakes of a lab, how does that protect the interests of athletes?

YOUNG: That code of ethics doesn't require people like Catlin, Ayotte, Schanzer to come forward and support a case, unless they really believed it. As we've heard from Dr. Catlin, this is no monolith. He's testified. And it's pretty clear he'd do it again.

CAMPBELL: If it's a code of ethics, why doesn't it say you have an obligation to say...

YOUNG: perhaps it should There's a world of scientists out there. For instance, on metabolic pathways of testosterone, there aren't many encodrinologists, and Dr. Amory isn't.



Anonymous said...

Most surprising legal development to me . . . both sides waived any right to submit post-arbitration briefs. This may mean that both sides are financially exhausted. It is especially surprising to me coming from the prosecution, as I would think they would want to put in black and white their theory of why Davis is nitpicking and has not negated the LNDD findings.

Anonymous said...

I think it is more likely that the USADA boys have seen how bad the lab work is and don't want to give FL's guys another chance to put more of their findings into writing in front of the panel.

Anonymous said...

I'll just throw this out there in case somebody knows - is anybody saving the video of the hearing and/or will it be publicly available after the hearing is over?

Anonymous said...

CVN has it archived

Bolivar said...

I know this is late but did landis have to take a blood test at the tour? wouldn't that indicate a raised level of T?

Anonymous said...

While my gut instinct is that Floyd is guilty, I think enough peculiar stuff has come up in this hearing to entirely justify his efforts to defend himself. I'm not qualified to judge seriously whether the procedural points hold water but I'm glad Floyd has had the opportunity to raise them. And thanks to this blogsite for keeping people like me informed of developments.

By the way, as a European, I find Lemond insincere and creepy and entirely understand why Floyd was disgusted by him. It is not he fact he was molested (if he was) but the obvious way he is using it as a weapon. Yuk.

Anonymous said...

Tell me more about the redhead behind Amber.

Anonymous said...

Going after his character rather than the science

Jim said...

So far it looks like it's going to be monkeys.

roadkill said...

character attacks = admission of defeat

Anonymous said...

I am friggin' exhausted.

Thank you for being the eyes and ears [and fingers] for those of us who sought access to the hearing but lacked the ability to log on to the video each day.

Your work is highly appreciated and, to echo the sentiment of most here, should be considered/nominated for any and all applicable awards.

Anonymous said...

to 3:04.....When i raced in Belgium in the late 80's all the europeans I knew swore the Lemond was doping to win the Tour. Do they still feel that way?

Anonymous said...

LNDD, I want my tax dollars back !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:06,

ditto...tbv needs to put that camera to good use...

Bolivar said...

DAMN it I cant stay for the rest, have a meeting to run off to. I just want to say thank you very much to Judge Hue and team for your hard work pulling this all together for everyone to see. I'll have to catch up on this later tonight.

pommi said...

anons 3:06 and 3:16:

cam said...

if everything Young is saying about the "international standard" is true, those "standards" seem almost as old as the computer Dr M-A had to pull out... they tweak the drug threshold constantly, but no QA?

2nd Anon 3:13 -- my physiotherapist here in paris (who is a cyclist) loves LeMond. mostly, though, because LeMond hates Lance.

cam said...

oops. meant QC. quality control. duh!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like he is putting on a "good enough to convict" argument. His facts seem a little fuzzy, but effective.

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Anonymous said...

Curious about omerta amongst professional cyclist. Doping is rampant; cyclists know and see other cyclists doping all the time. How many cyclists have testified against other cyclists in WADA hearings? Omerta, perhaps?

Anonymous said...

I agree...Young is wasting time-they have no science-it's mad science.....Floyd is going to get hung by Lemonds testimony....forget the science.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Lemond doped but he didn't need it to win as it was for Lance or Floyd.
With EPO era, it's incredible to think that Armstrong was not using EPO ! Without EPO he could never race against Ullrich (doped EPO,see T-Mobile), Virenque, Pantani, Basso, and all OP riders !!!!!!

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Anonymous said...

Floys was a member of Phonak - king of all doping teams - yet never saw any doping going on? Perhaps the monkey we should be talking about is the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil Landis monkey. Floyd has two hands - can cover mouth and eyes at same time, but not mouth. Uh oh, problems!

cam said...

ooh, he got the blood test in after all....

Anonymous said...

Do they really "see" other cyclists dope? Or do they "know" other cyclists dope because thats what the rumors are? You can only testify to what you know from firsthand knowledge. Any cyclist who testified about "seeing" another cyclist dope or "knowing" from firsthand information that another cyclist was dirty would automatically be under suspicion themself for how they came to be in a position to see or know about it. Not to mention that no team would ever invite them to be on their team again.

Anonymous said...

Exactly - would never be invited to a team again - the omerta rules all!

Barry said...

Go Campbell!

Anonymous said...

You can't even get on CVN's network to get a all connections are used message. You get a server too busy message before you even get the login screen.


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cam said...

barry, you took the words out of my mouth!

we still don't know how the panel will rule but, at the very least, things definitely have to change.

Campbell is my hero for speaking out and putting it in the record.

Anonymous said...

Young: Given Dr. Davis' answers to Mr. Suh's questions about moving things to get desired results. Davis said he didn't think they were doing that. I hope that puts that argument to bed, that no one was manipulating to "get" anyone.

I didn't get the impression that there was any "agenda". The way I saw it, testimony indicated a simple matter of incompetence.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I can follow the hearing live, for some reason?
USADAs closing was not so good in my opinion, the science part that is the most important thing for the case, still lacks the same crediability that FL team experts have/had.
And mixing Lemond to the closing was very low, even for USADA, he has absolutely nothing to do with the case.
BTW. T-Mobiles doctors confessed about the doping, so cycling is really shaking now..

Anonymous said...

Re 4:08, I do think Landis had been at least insinuating that there was inentional tampering with results; this is I took from his PR campaign.

Anonymous said...

What I think would be interesting to see is some sort of statistical analysis of all WADA accredited labs as to the number of tetosterone tests they perform and the number of positives tests they find. If the LNDD lab is "fudging the data" you would expect(if all other labs were interpreting the data correctly) to find some difference between LNDD and the other labs.

Anonymous said...

What's the reference to blood samples mean? Is the 47, 48 a reference to hematocrit or something else? If hematocrit, is the notion that the testosterone finding is good because Landis was blood doping too? Talk about a free for all if they are allowed to make arguments like that . . . .

Anonymous said...

1st anon 4:13

I think that has already been done, and LNDD's rate of positives is 3x that of any other WADA lab.

Anonymous said...

Did Landis lose time by testifying? I can't help but think he did. A shame it took away from his science presentation, if that's what happened.

Cheryl from Maryland said...

Hematocrit level of 48 somewhat of a red herring as Floyd testified that Phonak's levels were more stringent than the UCI's - 48 is, I believe, under the UCI level.

Mr. Young really seems to be all over the place and ringing the "trust them, they are good people" bell rather than emphasizing the science.

Anonymous said...

T can raise your hematocrit levels, that is why important.

Anonymous said...

Pretty unconvincing case for usada/wada who had previously won a bazillion and lost none. Let the light shine in. Usually they just have to throw their briefcases into the courtroom and the other side caves. I is really making me angry that I can't get the streaming video.

Anonymous said...

48 is under UCI levels - 51 means immediate suspension

Anonymous said...

I have to say, that was an extremely well crafted closing statement. Did not focus too much on what you guys are calling "monkeys" I thought it was balanced

Anonymous said...

With all the money that is invested/generated by the tour, why in the world do they not split the riders doping control samples and send them to two different labs for testing.

Anonymous said...

4:22 anon,

As others have said, I think the reason USADA is used to winning by showing up is that most of their cases have been built on evidence from the UCLA lab. They appeared woefully unprepared to deal with how bad the work was at LNDD. As a result, they had to fall back on the "trust them...they are good people and the results are close enough" closing.

Anonymous said...

Keep your eye on the ball: Landis needs to show that test was outside of protocol. He can't win by saying he would have done things differently. USADA made the argument the way it should have. it characterized Davis' testimony as "would have done it differently." Now it's up to Suh to point out the flaws. If Suh can't touch the testing protocols as performed, Landis is done.

Brian said...

There are so many flaws that Suh should be able to point them out nicely, I cant believe tha LNDDlab didnt clean up thier act after Lance's many accusations.

Anonymous said...

Lance Landis said they never use PEDs. But we are learning that many (all?) teams were running doping program.
Could they win against EPO doped riders ?
Certainly not!
So they are liars...

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:26

This situation is unique as far as I know in that the same company, ASO, owns the race, newspaper and lab.

Sachi Wilson said...

Yes, Suh did extremely well in his closing. He had a lot to work with and managed the information well, I thought. Perhaps a bit sharp at times but it was deserved, I think -- and you must admit that he had to draw the attention back to the bad "science" where it belonged. I'm sure he was thinking, "Focus the panel! Focus!" And that is definitely what his closing did.

Good work, I believe.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Goldberg, who said he'd testified in 125 or more criminal cases, has never had to produce data files. No lab has ever done it. It's wrong to fault them for not doing it.

Please add that Dr. Goldberg could provide any EDF for 10 years back if requested

John Vernon said...

Right or wrong, Lance had better handlers and was a more sympathetic figure than country Floyd. If Landis wasn't American would anyone give a flip about this case much less spend countless hours following the blogs? Inspite of the science, Suh's excellent closing arguments and Young's poor cross of experts, Floyd never acted indignant of the charges and surrounded himself with cretins. He decision to show the world the true Floyd worked brilliantly, just not the way he wanted.

Mike said...

I would be curious as to the rate of positives for French athletes as opposed to others in LNDD vs other labs.
It's also interesting that this is the story that got the headbutt off the sports pages.

Anonymous said...

WADA [What A Dispicable Atrocity]

- Why Analyze Data, Anyway?
- We Accept Dancing Apes [and Monkeys]
- We're Asleep During Arbitration
- When Are Documents Arriving?
- Wrong Again Dirty Americans!
- We Assume. Don't Argue.
- "Winners All Dope, Amirite?"
- Western Athletes Deserve Animosity
- We Approve Dick's Actions
- We'll Assassinate Defenseless Athletes
- We Authorize Dubious Analysis
- Wistfully Awaiting Desired AAF's
- We Almost Destroyed Armstrong
- When Asked, Deny Anything ["Good Citizen" my ass]

Anonymous said...

Roid Landis is a blood doper, steroid user and bald faced liar.

He will recieve a LIFETIME BAN.

A red letter day for sport.