Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hue - Morning Coffee

Everybody seems to have found the Starbucks nearby. The Landis team is definately catering at this point as Amber and her "crew" carried today's provisions into the "war room". Arnie Baker carried at least a case of bottled water as well. Perhaps USADA got wind of my classic "who is drinking what water" post and cut them off from the public dole!


Caroline from the UCLA WADA lab has been vigorously taking notes and passing them to USADA attorney Dunn, in open hearing. They have conferred quite a bit. She is clearly here to help them. There is no evidence from the UCLA WADA lab in this case. She is here, not Prof. Catlin, who has retired, to testify that UCLA has a one metabolite threshold. That is a 30 minute issue so I surmise that her 24/7 attendance here is as a USADA "helper". She is now virtually at counsel table with them, no note passing today.

Mr Campbell made an early appearance to arrange his space. Neither of the other two have appeared thus far.

The way the Panel keeps track of time is like they do in a mock trial or high school forensics competition. Time is kept for both direct and cross examination and there has been a count down from 25 hours each.

Mr. Brunet commences the hearing and the first order of business is to "sequester" the second LNDD lab technician, Ms. Ferlot (?) in the USADA witness room so she may not hear the cross examination of Ms. Monongu. She is admonished not to hear or discuss the evidence by Mr Brunet. Oddly, she has brought her own interpreter. That may not bode well given yesterday's fiasco. Mr. Jacobs begins the cross examination of Ms. Monongu.

Ms Monongu had no difficulty dealing with the direct examination questions yesterday but today she isn't tracking Mr Jacobs' questions very well. The machine, for example, seems to have been "broken"-Brunet's term as he is trying to help) more than a few times since she has been at LNDD but she is having a terrible time, now trying to "remember".

McLaren speaks! He suggests that Jacobs narrow his questioning about how often the machine has appeared broken to her to "this year". Jacobs didn't find the suggestion helpful but got the message and adopted "10" as the number he would proceed with.

I'm very troubled that Brunet and McLaren might be the only two people in this hearing room who are "buying" the memory loss and lack of precision Ms. Monongu has had throughout her testimony. Yesterday her testimony was largely "lead" and "summarized" by USADA's attorneys. It wasn't precise then ,either although she could agree with conclusions she was lead into. Today, she will not be lead. She can't remember. She also can't find references in the WADA technical manual that she has on her lap............ in French.

TBV is summarizing her testimony as it occurs but you have to be here to actually take this in. Ms Monongu seems to be a very nice woman. However, she is not an embodiment of science or scientific accuracy in my opinion. She is a technician without the usual precision usually required of a technician in any court in which I am aware.

When Ms Monongu "signs off" on another "scientists" work, she reviews the paper file, as she did with the Landis "B" sample, she does not actually watch the other "scientist" perform the functions indicated. That is interesting but entirely consistant with the WADA Code, I'm sure.

I'll start a new entry as the matter is in recess.


Brian said...

I am slightly bummed that Mr. Suh isn't doing the cross, but Mr. Jacobs is well prepared, I assume.

I like the fact that they are excluding future witnesses from the trial. That is a brilliant move.

Brian said...

Q: What year did your transmission break in your car?

A: I don't understand.

Q: Didn't you say that your car broke down?

A: Yes.

Q: When was it?

A: What do you mean?

Q: When your transmission broke on your car....was it 2003? 2004? 2006? 2007?

A: Please stop! I just don't remember? I can't remember things like that, but if you ask me if I did everything perfectly in my job on July 29th of last year, the answer is yes. I do know that.

bill hue said...

Brian, brilliant. It is like you are here.

Timothy said...

Today's testimony is both pathetic and painful. This technician is clearly incompetent for any position other than a lab assistant. She does not understand her role, the operation of the equipment or protocols of testing.

She can, perhaps, follow directions.

It is cruel that USADA is willing to sacrifice her personal dignity in this matter. This is another measure of USADA's character.

12String said...

Bingo! She just admitted that the chain of custody for the aliquot is broken. Isn't that grounds for dismissal of this test?

Anonymous said...

Do you have the feeling that this witness has never read paragraph before today? Her interpretation of it was incorrect - she seems to think that running a process over isn't something that needs to be documented, just "changes".

12String said...

Another Brian moment - even though it's not in the chain of custody doc she remembers she gave the bottle to operator 18 at 11:25. Amazing.

brian said...

"July 22, 2006 is a day that will always live in memory" -ms.mongongu

Reading Ms. Mongongu's mind:
I don't know when the machine was broken, but it definitely wasn't when I was testing Floyd Landis' samples. Not only that I don't know when I tested his samples, because I just found out that I was a part of this whole thing. But even though I just found out that I actually tested Floyd's samples, I remember that when I tested his samples (not knowing that they were his) that the machine was definitely working.

This is painful. It is like watching a real life version of Rainman. "Tell 'em Ray. LNDD Sucks!"

cam said...

ah, now if only *the majority* sees it your way, brian. if only....

Anonymous said...

None of this even matters if two of the arbitrators are in USADA's back pocket. That's the sad truth of this whole debacle - it doesn't matter if a reasonable person can see that this thing was bungled. It only matters whether the arbitrators are reasonable people. So far, two of them aren't even on speaking terms with the third. That's par for the course.

Anonymous said...

I am still catching up. Maybe I should start from the most recent post and work back, but that is like reading the last chapter of a mystery first. So I have comments scattered in earlier posts.

I found something else interesting in her testimoney. She indicated that she turned the sample over to another tech for some procecures and then it is logged back into stogarge 20 minutes later. Seems that the turn over was not logged which would be a break in chain of custody. However, USADA/WADA may be able to cure this if there are records of those other procedures and the times they occurred in the otherwise blank time. Not good practice, but not fatal.

I find the verification of SOP by a review of paperwork to be much more offensive, especially when testing a sample to confirm/find a positive. Whoever carried out the test will testify that they did it by the numbers and wrote everything down. It may meet WADA's rules, but not the spirit of them.

Anonymous said...

If O.J. Simpson is innocent, so is Floyd.

bill hue said...

If you are objective, Anon 2:35, so is Dan Rather.