Saturday, May 19, 2007

Late Saturday Roundup

For news from earlier today see the Early Saturday Roundup.

The New York Times' Lee Jenkins summarizes the day of testimony at the Landis vs USADA hearings at Pepperdine by largely concentrating on the appearance on the stand of Floyd Landis. Under oath Landis denied ever having cheated, saying that if he has cheated, “It wouldn’t serve any purpose to cheat to win the Tour because I wouldn’t be proud of it.
Landis' testimony about the call former manager Will Geoghegan made to witness for USADA Greg LeMond was also cited :

Only after Geoghegan hung up his cellphone, and LeMond called right back, did the situation become clear. Landis said that he retreated to his hotel room to think about what to do. “Then I knew there was a problem,” Landis said.

Landis said he went to Geoghegan’s room to confront him and heard Geoghegan talking to LeMond on the phone. Landis said that he noticed a distraught look on his manager’s face.

According to Landis, Geoghegan said, “I made a terrible mistake and I don’t know what to do.”

Landis will continue on the witness stand on Monday for cross-examination.

The San Francisco Chronicle posts an Eddie Pells piece on today's long awaited testimony by Floyd Landis at the USADA hearings at Pepperdine University. Landis was described as being calm and conversational in his recounting of the events that brought him to court today. He vigorously denied ever using PEDs many times, and also admitted that his initial reaction to the positive test leaked by L'Equipe last summer was ill advised. As his parents and wife watched he acknowledged that his reputation can never be recovered, but that a victory won through cheating would be hollow. In response to the phone call made by former manager Will Geoghegan to Greg LeMond Landis said:

"I knew there was a problem," Landis said of his reaction upon realizing Geoghegan had made the call. "I was traumatized having him tell me that story in the first place. There are very few things I can imagine would happen to a person that are worse than that. To make light of that, I can't even put words to it."

As to the claims that LeMond testified to that Landis admitted to him that he had indeed used PEDs in last summer's Tour de France Landis said:

"I told him that I didn't do it," Landis said, refuting LeMond's assertion of the opposite. "I told him it wouldn't make any sense for me to admit to something I didn't do. But if I did admit it and I didn't do it, what would the positive outcome of it be?"

Landis will continue his testimony on Monday after an off day tomorrow.

Fox News Australia posts an AFP story on today's Landis vs USADA hearings. Landis' appearance on the witness stand was noted as well as the two other witnesses who gave testimony today. Biochemist Wilhelm Schanzer of the German Sports University at Cologne gave testimony via conference call, after which Dr. Don Catlin, former director of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory in Los Angeles also appeared.

In the Reuters version of today's Floyd Landis hearing the emphasis was on the testimony by Landis and his denial of using any methods in last summer's Tour de France that could be considered cheating, he said:

"To me, bicycle racing was rewarding for the fact that I was proud of myself when I put work into it and I could see the results," the 31-year-old told the panel.

"People are defined by their principles and how they make their decisions.

"Obviously it's always fun to win but nevertheless it's a matter of who I am and it wouldn't serve any purpose to cheat and win the Tour because I wouldn't be proud of that.

USA Today says that Floyd Landis is still waiting to take the stand in his own defense at the USADA hearings at Pepperdine this afternoon. Thus far today USADA called Wilhelm SchnJazer the director of a lab near Cologne:

Some of SchnJazer's testimony was about how testosterone gel can make one of four components that are measured in a doping test spike, while leaving the others relatively unchanged. USADA claims all that's needed to prove a positive test is for one of the components to be above the positive threshold

Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins wants to know if Floyd Landis is doping or just a dope in light of to the LeMond fallout that has swamped the scientific discussion right out of the hearings.

The Sport thinks that Floyd Landis is an exemplar of the sickness in sport, as are his many fans.

Rant is off to an early start today with his wrap up of yesterday's witnesses and the beginning of the defense. He finds no real evidence to support Joe Papp's assertions that testosterone helped him in recovery from long stages of bike races. Rant feels that USADA's "win at all costs" mentality is there for all to see in their willingness to sacrifice anyone to beat Landis. Rant then previews today's witnesses, two of whom will be Dr. Don Catlin, founder of the Olympic Analytical Laboratory at UCLA, and Floyd Landis himself Today should prove to be very challenging as well as interesting. Rant has his first update of the day, and Dr. Wilhelm Schnjäzer's testimony may not be good news for Team Landis UNLESS they can counter it with contradictory evidence. Stay tuned, Don Catlin just took the stand. Rant's final update of the day discusses Catlin's testimony, which went better for the Landis team than might have been expected. And then rant gets to Floyd Landis' appearance on the stand. Rant mentions that we all, all of us, need tomorrow's rest day. There have been many long stages this week, no bunch sprints, just lots of rollers and a few mountains that led us to places we didn't think we'd see.

Steroid Nation postulates that Will Geoghegan's seemingly irrational call (calling Greg LeMond on a phone that could be traced) might have been a Colin Powell like alert to us all that Floyd Landis is guilty of doping, and that Will found a passive aggressive way of saying so.

Pommi has an update of this afternoon's activities at the Landis hearings, but as of now it is incomplete.

SI Preps says don't let you kids grow up to be Floyd Landis, tell the truth. But, what if Floyd has been telling the truth all along?


hughw said...

If Floyd loses Sally Jenkins, he loses one of his most potent public voices. She's on the money, as usual. "...which is the more reliable and believable, the French lab results or Landis's character?" We all have to ask that question. Maybe we'll get an answer this afternoon when Floyd takes the stand.

Anonymous said...

I don't see this as the lab's results vs. Floyd's character. Floyd doped or he didn't. Whether he is or is not a nice guy doesn't change that. The arbs certainly can't say, "Well, he has bad character, so he doped." Either the lab followed SOP or they didn't. Follow the science.

Ken ( said...

Jim T's 1:28 PM comment made a very important point that keeps getting pushed aside by those looking at personalities Either the lab followed SOP or they didn't. Follow the science.

We can never truly get to the truth such that everyone will agree. The best that can be done is to follow the science and ensure that the science was done correctly. One should never be convicted based on bad science no matter how disagreeable of a personality they have. Hell, they let OJ off.

Anonymous said...

An but the Landis camp has been playing the Floyd is a nice guy that would never dope nor lie about it card. And they positioned this squeaky clean image versus the evil WADA, USADA, corrupt, lazy, incompetent lab scientists (and lets not forget the jealous french). Well, unfortunately, the clean image took a major hit and one is left to wonder if maybe they were also wrong about the dirty image of the other side.

And all I've ever wanted the Landis camp to prove is how he failed the tests - not this hyperbole of evil people out to destroy the poor innocent cyclist.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 1:36: Riddle me this: Would YOU trust the LNDD to run medical tests on which your life depended? If so, you are blind. If not, sit back and shudder, because this is where peoples lives are on the line. Like Floyd, hate Floyd, doesn't matter. The system is flawed and that is what this is about, not Landis.

Anonymous said...

Well anon thank you so much for pointing out my blindness, wonder how I survived so long without it. Floyd made it a personal matter about his ethics with his defense, and that was the point of my comment, in response to a previous comment. So get off your damn high horse and try reading, or are you the one that is blind?

btw still waiting for Landis to prove that the system is flawed with you know real facts, and not PR spin. Oh and to answer your questions, no,the same way I wouldn't trust a US lab with any life or death matter.

Anonymous said...

Floyd did NOT make it a matter of his ethics. He has explicitly said that he doesn't want people to believe him because he's a good guy, he wants people to see the science - that's why he said he called for an open hearing.

As for real facts, have you been listening to expert testimony? LNDD has problems - experts have pointed them out. These problems may or may not be serious enough for Floyd's case to be decided in his favor, but this is not all PR spin.

Anonymous said...

It just occurred to me, Papp's presence belies his contention it is easy to get away with T doping. HE GOT CAUGHT!

Anonymous said...

Papp used T a lot before being caught and none of his teamates on Whistle were busted.

Anonymous said...

Re: Joe Papp

Maybe this has been mentioned before, but Joe Papp sucked! Has he ever made more than your average janitor (far less, most likely) at racing his bike? Has he ever competed in a protour race? As far as his credentials, he should have been introduced as a "failed professional cyclist."

I raced against him, for chrissakes, and the best I ever acheived was a mid-pack Cat. II with a full time job that never travelled more than a couple hundred miles to race on weekends.

I won't comment on the legal/strategic issues about Joe Papp's testimony - I'll just say how annoying it is to listen to a total nobody who also had absolutely no scruples - cheated his ass off to basically race fourth tier races on a fourth tier team that was doping its ass off - and NEVER WON ANYTHING of merit - certainly not an international stage race, obviouosly not a Division 1 protour stage race. Methinks the result of his testimony is that he's an idiot, a major druggie, a cheater, and, as far as being a "pro cyclist," why didn't they get, say, a guy who wears a rear view mirror on his helmet and rides a triple chainring to testify? Thanks, Joe Papp. You're offiicially worthless.

Anonymous said...

We (Steroid Nation) took down on post on Will G because we reconsidered it, and felt it was too speculative. What appears brilliant on a lawn tractor often isn't with further reflection.