Monday, May 14, 2007

Late Monday Roundup

Floyd Landis listens intently as his hearing convenes today at Pepperdine University. For extensive coverage of the hearings see the reports below.

The LA Times Michael Hiltzik is covering the Landis hearings at Pepperdine University and noted that it's essentially a dispute over the LNDD lab that is at the heart of this controversy:

Much of the testimony is likely to focus on the minutiae of steroid metabolism and organic chemistry. But the key challenge for Landis is to demonstrate that the Paris lab violated international standards in its handling of his urine samples, as well as its analysis and interpretation of test results.

Maurice Suh, a Landis attorney, declared that UDADA/WADA had "cherry picked" the results it wanted to prove that Landis had cheated. This is sure to be one of the main bones of contention in the days that follow.

The NY Times Juliet Macur weighs i with her take on today's Landis hearing proceedings. She observes that almost immediately after opening arguments began the opposing lawyers started to clash:

During their opening arguments, lawyers for the two sides immediately began to clash. Landis’s lead defense lawyer, Maurice Suh, repeatedly portrayed this case as groundbreaking, saying that never before had the Tour de France winner been accused of doping. “This case is not like the other cases,” Suh said.

Richard Young, USADA’s lead lawyer, however, said the case was typical. “Despite all the attention this case has received, there’s nothing particularly unique,” he said, adding that the positive tests for synthetic testosterone stand for themselves.

Macur feels that though this case is very high profile, it's so long on hard science and so thin on drama that the average fan will not be able to attend to all of the rhetoric.

The San Jose Mercury News gives a succinct summary of today's proceedings, plus a preview of who to expect on the stand tomorrow.

BBC Sports notes that Maurice Suh thinks that USADA had failed to meet international standards in the case against his client, Floyd Landis. But, USADA's lawyer Richard Young states that standards were met and are backed up with extensive evidence.

FoxSports reports that Maurice Suh one of Floyd Landis' lawyers, opened the case for Landis today by stating that USADA in its quest to win at all costs has turned the case into a 'holy mess". posts an AP Eddie Pells report stating that Floyd Landis was wearing a yellow tie, reminiscent of his yellow jersey from the Tour de France, when he confidently walked into the Pepperdine University Law School courtroom today. Around 100 people which included lawyers, family, media,and fans were present to observe the opening day heairng.

The Guardian Unlimited reports the opening arguments in the Landis case this AM in California, citing Landis' denials at ever having doped. Maurice Suh, one of the Landis attorneys, called Landis' "bungled " tests an embarrassment. Richard Young of USADA defended the LNDD's work. For extensive coverage of the hearings see TbV's hearing coverage. also publishes the Reuters version of opening statements at the Landis vs USADA hearings.

USA Today Sportscope also encourages anyone with a couple of weeks to kill to tune into the hearings.

The Boulder Report mentions that there has been success among the cycling fan base constituency that Floyd Landis' multi leveled PR and scientific evidence campaign have appealed to. Only if Landis arbitrators come back with a 3-0 decision against Landis will he truly have lost among the faithful:

-Win the case, and it’s a win, of course. But...
-Lose the case on a technicality, and Landis can still claim the rules on science and lab conduct are unfair
-Lose on convincing evidentiary grounds but in a 2-1 arbitrator split decision (say, on a technicality about admissibility of evidence), and Landis can claim the system is biased against athletes.

Only a total loss by a 3-0 margin, where USADA can convincingly refute all of Landis’ claims, would be a true defeat for Landis.

The Gazette, among many other media outlets, notes the beginning of the Landis hearings.

Fox Los Angeles is also covering the Landis hearings that have begun this morning at Pepperdine University.

Cynic Central writes an eclectic column, and in it he begs Floyd Landis to just move on, no one is paying attention anymore.

Pommi gives us a thumbnail of today's hearings, as well as a nice plug. He thinks that it was a very fair exercise thus far,but that maybe the Landis side has some explaining to do.

Blessed Endurance wonders why he is a fan of two controversial sports at this time: cycling and baseball.

SportNet2 was very impressed with Maurice Suh, one of the Landis lawyers, the first day of testimony in the USADA vs Landis hearings.He noted that Suh feels USADA's case may be a disaster.

Music,Sport and Adventure is against doping in cycling, but whatever the reason thinks that Stage 17 of last year's Tour de France was a great ride, and he hopes that Floyd Landis proves himself innocent.

BikingBis notes the beginning of the hearings, provides links to streaming video during the proceedings, and gives us an appreciated plug for TbV's running commentary. also posts that the Landis hearings have begun. And even though he thought he's had enough of it, part of him still finds all of this of great interest.

Road Magazine Blog is covering the Landis hearings in the courtroom, and noted that Landis seemed very amused with Dr. Cedric Shackleton said of a chart he was using that it was not meant to be accurate, but more a dream representation that the chromatogram testing can be perfect. In an update Road notes the people in attedance as well as those who are expected.

To our coverage, You3 of DPF sent an enlightening comment:
The IRMS m/z 45/44 ratio plots were finally disclosed.

There is clearly a small peak between 5b-diol and 5a-diol. This will likely cause the integration of 5a-diol to start late, resulting in a more negative measurement.

The description of the QC manual adjustment of the anchor points and the description of SOP did not account for interferences. I hope that Landis's team draws the plot of the 5a-diol curve that would generate a more a WADA non-positive delta 13C measurement, moving the left anchor earlier, and the plot of the middle curve that when combined with the 5a-diol plot would result in the measured data. Then, the burden is on USADA to prove that this isn't the correct decomposition of the two curves.

DPF is of course all abuzz, with about 1/2 the comments about bad video feeds. The usual suspects think things are either going bad for Landis ("game over") or just fine, depending on how they do with cross of Brenna.

Tom Fine caught the video, and pulled out the values for the other B samples. The usuals think this is damning too, unless there is a common systemic error. Which is what we expect Landis to be arguing.


Gary said...

Looking for a Cliff's Notes version here for those of us who drowned when the science was still ankle deep . . . what do the numbers Tom posted seem to be pointing to, other than the systemic error? Evidence of a masking agent?

swimyouidiot said...

Gary, no they don't necessarily point to a masking agent. They seem to show exogenous testosterone administered in some sort of inexplicable pattern all during the race - oddly, even before the last "ceremonial" stage in Paris. There is no logical explanation (i.e. a logical "doping scenario") for the pattern, but I don't think anybody has conceived of a non-doping explanation either. Presumably that's what Floyd has paid his guys to figure out, so hopefully they can do it.

Gary said...

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I got lost in the science a while ago and couldn't follow what was coming up as odd.

No clear explanation. Feels par for the course lately.