Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mail from a Reader: Keep going

An emailer writes:

I know how you and Bill felt immediately following the Lemond "testimony". I think it was Nick who said he needed a shower. I think we all felt the same way.

I thought the name of your blog was more prescient than either of us had imagined.


I have withheld judgment of Floyd's guilt or innocence to this point, and will wait until all of the evidence is in. While I've read every word that you, Bill, and every commentator has written to your blog since the case began, I know you have far more invested, in time, effort, and money. When I first read of Lemond's allegations, my thoughts went quickly to y'all (mainly cause you quit typing) and what you must be going through. I imagined that you might be leveled by disillusionment at being deceived by Floyd, not to mention the unseemly statements by the man who put the US on the international cycling map.

I am praying that y'all find the strength to keep going till the judgment is in. While I haven't formed an opinion as to whether Floyd doped or not, this case is much bigger than Floyd. My daughter is a competitive swimmer who, God willing, will someday be subject to the USADA, WADA, and FINA. These outfits have declared a strict liability policy for athletes. They're comportment must therefore exceed the same standard, or they are unworthy of respect.

Yet, we have McQuaid and Pound violating their own codes with utter impunity and unfathomable arrogance. We have different standards for different labs in different countries for the same sports. We have the accuser confirming their own work, after the stakes have been ratcheted up by the self-serving statements of McQuaid, Pound, and Prudhomme.

Yesterday, I joked with a buddy who runs a lab that, unless the USADA pulled a rabbit out of the hat, the USADA would be bankrupt, Pound would be penniless, and the TDF would be the Tour de Floyd.

Now this.

While Lemond's account of the call from Landis was bad enough, Geoghegan's call (if true) gives Lemond the one thing he didn't have: credibility.

I re-read Lemond's comments immediately following the B test, and remember well his allegations re: Armstrong and his pattern of erratic behavior. I read Lemond's account of the phone call, and Landis' post to the DPF.

If Geoghegan hadn't done the same thing, I would have wondered if Lemond didn't tell Landis that he was going to use Landis' call against him, that he knew Landis doped because the test is infallible, and that unless Floyd confessed, he would misrepresent what was said in the conversation.

I believe that this interpretation is consistent with all of the above. Lemond's motivation is certainly open to examination, but I fear we won't get that.

For Barnett to place such an insinuation into the record and, by design (Was Lemond's lawyer just in the neighborhood?) shut off all cross examination of a pattern of similar sensational and/or erratic behavior borders on misconduct and would seem to open him to sanctions in a courtroom.

Stay with this baby. The fat lady hasn't even started warming up.

I've followed the TDF since before Lemond even participated. Unless this case turns the status quo on its ear, I'm done. The powers that be: UCI, ASO, WADA, and the teams themselves couldn't do more to kill cycling if they worked at it.

I can't tell you how much I've savored your posts. I was briefly able to latch on to one of the three available connections to the video feed, and quickly discovered that I prefer to draw my own images while reading your "transcript". More typing, please....

Keep it up. Your balanced, accurate reporting is all we have of "fair and


("Eightzero") said...

What this emailer said. I couldn't agree more. I'm an athlete subject to USADA actions. Regardless of the final verdict here, I am frightened by the process I am seeing.

Thank you for your blog; thanks to all for the discourse.

neb said...

Very well said. I too am an athlete subject to USADA regulations and as I've learned more about the anti-doping process, I've become increasingly concerned that it is a system run amuck. Furthermore, having a spotlight shown into the art of applied analytic chemistry for anti-doping purposes makes me increasingly concerned about the prevelance of employment related drug testing.

Anonymous said...

Let me just say add "me 2" to the emailer description. Very well said.

But if I may add -

Don't give the bastards the satisfaction of silencing TBV.

Don't let the bastards gain any satisifaction from their actions.

Keep up the great work.


Anonymous said...

What everyone above said, please add me too. You are the only source we have to counter some of the less responsible reporting (VeloNews this means you, yesterday afternoon). Your blog helps keep the other news sources from even more sensationalism.

Yesterday morning I donated to the FFF in your honor (Thank you Cub for the idea). I only wish today I could triple it.

Anonymous said...

(Sound of applause). Excellent message. Not really an aside: my kids were competitive swimmers and I have been a certified USA Swimming official for 20+ years, reachign National Championship certification. I am the senior referee in my state/LSC and the high school rules interpreter for swimming and diving.

Every athlete and parent of an athlete in a sport subject to WADA needs to contact their national federation and make it clear that they are against doping, but that the enforcement system is wrong, both in many of its rules,but also because it is a closed system in which strong egos can ride rough shod over athletes without oversight that keeps them within what rules there are. I wrote USA Swimming on this a couple days ago, using their contact e-mail system, directing it to a listed subject (doping I think) it was returned as undeliverable.

The national sports federations are part of the USOC, Grassroots outrage and pressure may help push toward effective change.