Monday, May 07, 2007

Monday Roundup

7 Sur 7 (Belgian) has an AFP story that there is new data available to Landis, via AFLD. As translated by Marc:

Following the attacks from the Landis camp" (editor's note: which for almost a year has based its defense on creating doubt about the proper conduct of the analyses) "the AFLD took the initiative to ask for these two expert examinations," declared its president Pierre Bordry who added that he transmitted the experts' conclusions to Landis' attorneys last Friday, but he refused to reveal their contents.

The first expert examination was performed by two independent specialists, a toxicologist and an IRMS specialist, M. Bordry specified. The second was performed by COFRAC, a certifying organization which audits the laboratory at Ch√Ętenay-Malabry every year to provide its certification. Floyd Landis tested positive once during the 2006 TdF (17th stage). Supplementary analyses of seven 2006 Tour samples--ordered by the USADA, which will judge him beginning May 14--revealed the presence of testosterone on several occasions.

No information on what was learned.

The CyclingNews reports that the AFLD has validated two portions of the testing procedures used in the Landis case:

The French anti-doping agency (AFLD) has reportedly validated two aspects of its testing procedures used in the Floyd Landis case. According to L'Equipe, the first test related to the analysis of Landis' B-sample, taken after stage 17 of the 2006 Tour de France, while the second was an audit of the Isotope Ratio Mass Spectometry (IRMS) machine used to determine that Landis' samples contained synthetic testosterone.

Velonews carries an AFP report saying Basso is talking to CONI about his involvement in Puerto, billed as his having confessed to something, and now cooperating. We don't intend to cover this in detail, but it's important news. In related news, Valverde's name has also popped in Puerto, which he had so far escaped. So now, among last year's absent presumed-contenders, only Vino has escaped personal implication. The Brisbane Times also prints the AFP story that Ivan Basso has admitted to authorities that he was involved in the OP blood doping scandal.

The Guardian Unlimited publishes a Reuters chronology of major doping offenses in cycling from 1998 through the present, and a piece by their own Alistair Fotheringham about recent scandals.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram covered last night's FFF event held in Dallas. It stresses that even though the past 10 months have been very stressful for Floyd Landis, not to mention the USADA hearings coming up in a week, Floyd still hasn't lost his sense of humor. He also fielded various questions from the people attending the fund raiser:

What is the total impact of the positive test?

Landis: Fifteen years of my life had been focused on cycling. Now, everything in my life has been dictated by this. When it came down to it, it became clear to me who my true friends were. I've been very fortunate. I would be close to a half-a-million dollars in debt without donations

Dugard laments the timing of the Basso confession and wonders how and if it will effect Floyd Landis' arb hearing which starts in a week.

Rant notes that with a mere week until the hearings begin things are very quiet in "Landisland". He also ponders the merits of the DPF thread noted below, as well as the DPF thread that tries to measure the success of the Landis PR campaign.

Peloton Jim thinks Basso and Valverde's news isn't good for Landis because of the timing.

The Information Cul-de-Sac thinks "we" cycling fans win, no matter what the outcome of the Landis hearing. Either a cheat gets justly caught, or a vastly corrupt anti doping system is exposed. (Thanks for the plug, too.)

The Daily Narcissist is burned out by all of the doping news, and fears it may cast a pall on cycling. But he still refuses to think Floyd Landis cheated.

Triple Crankset breaks down the upcoming arbitration hearings and portrays them as if they are going to be a significant boxing match in the "fight to save cycling". He feels that Patrice Brunet will be the pivotal member of the arb panel, and simplifies the upcoming hearings by distilling them to their most elemental form.

Unqualified Offerings has had his interest in cycling killed by recent events in the sport, and most especially the Landis case. He is not sure if Floyd is guilty, or if the system itself is rotten, but either way for him enjoyment of the sport seems irrevocably ruined.

Ridesquire, a Myspace stick-and-ball blogger demonstrates his knowledge of the case in a post really about Bonds by saying, "And he accused a spiked supplement or a competitor for sabotaging him."

Big Chain Ring
, also at myspace, seems to be anti-Basso, pro-Floyd, but it's confusing.

Over on DPF a new thread has been begun asking about the "strategic, and tactical lines of a technical defense" in the Landis case. This may prove to be an interesting thread with now just one week before the beginning of the hearings at Pepperdine.

Time Machine had an article about family and friends from before the Tour ended.

Tammy Martin, the neighbor with the TV waves; Dad Paul with yellow trucker hat, Mom Arlene in lace and bonnet; and family friends, Jerry and Darlene Umble at the 2006 Tour of Georgia. The banner made a re-appearance in Lancaster in March for the Homecoming.


Anonymous said...

After frequent reading (and minimal contribution) to this blog and DPF I decided to got to the Dallas meeting last night. The FW Star Telegram piece is fairly reflective of the evening. Apparently the AP was there as well and audio recorded the event as well.
Attendance was about 40+ by my count, but could have been a bit more.

A couple of things stood out to me as interesting.
- They still do not know the details of the open arbitration hearing yet.
- That if the Athletes arbitrator and the USADA arbitrator cannot agree on a 3rd arbitrator, there is a process for picking the 3rd arbitrator.
- The arbitrators have already tarnished the appearance of legitimacy with their actions.


Anonymous said...

Basso has reportedly admitted his "guilt" and participation in the "Puerto" affair. He's now going to help the Italian CONI organization with their investigation.

Bravo. I know it must have been hard but it is really refreshing to see someone make the right decision after making a mistake.

Now if only Floyd Landis had the Balls to tell the truth ...

Or Tyler Hamilton ...

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Anon 8:44:

What if Landis is telling the truth? What then?

- Rant

Anonymous said...

If Landis is telling the truth, then he really did have a truely outstanding (and naturally occuring) 2006 racing season. And, he made what arguably could be the most marked improvement in racing performance over one year, EVER.

If he is telling the truth and it is proven that he did not test positive, then I think he should share his training plan and training methods that he used prior to and during the 2006 season so that others too can benefit from the wisdom that led to such marked improvements. Maybe he and his coaches are onto a real breakthrough!!

Thomas A. Fine said...

Best improvement EVER? You don't really know any history at all. What about all the juniors that came literally from nowhere and racked up some major wins? Landis has a solid foundation, and he wasn't exactly a nobody in 2005. Every great cyclist you could name had a year before their big year where they were merely good.

If Landis is telling the truth, then he really seriously picked a bad time to get a false positive. The pressure on the arbitrators to deliver for their employer just ratcheted up another couple of notches.


daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...


Remember that it was only in 2005 when Landis became a team captain. Just on that count, you can probably explain some of the change in results. Before 2005, like most riders on a team, he was working for someone else's benefit. So his results would not have been all that stellar, compared to a team captain.

In 05 he was ninth in the Tour. In 06, with Armstrong's retirement and a number of heavily favored riders not able to start the race, that put Landis in a good position. So the result in the Tour should not have seemed so out of the question, were it not for his meltdown and resurrection on Stages 16 and 17, respectively.

But as for the training, Landis is using a CycleOps power meter. Maybe the power meter is the next revolution in training. And perhaps this will be the thing that boosts sales of the devices into the stratosphere and helps lower the per unit cost for those who want to buy one.

Anonymous said...

I actually do know my history and there has NEVER been a cyclist who has gone from being a solid strong professional racer (team leader or not) and then won 4 big stage races in a six month span, as Landis did in 2006. Not Hinault. Not Lemond. Not Armstrong. Not Ullrich. Not Indurain. Hell, not even Eddy Merckx!

No Juniors have come onto the professional scene in cycling and won 4 stage races in their first season. Maybe two or three ONE-DAY race wins their first season as a professional. No Juniors have come onto the professional scene and were able to win any of the large european stage races.

So, you have no argument there. At least not one with any basis in reality.

As for the power training. Pros have been using electronic devices to monitor their power output for at least 5 years. Most serious amateurs have also been using power monitors and training based on power output for at least 3 years. Try again, Rant.

Anonymous said...

No disrespect to Floyd, but I would hardly call California and Georgia major stage races. The standard of competition for UCI teams not called Discovery is the "B" team at best mixed with many domestic pros.

I believe several pros have won two or more major stage races in the same year. Patani, Armstrong, Merckx and the list goes on . . . Also, many consider the Dauphine and Paris Nice as good determinants of the favorites for Le Tour.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:28, are you the same poster that mistakenly claimed (about a week ago) Floyd won the 2006 Dauphne? If so, you need a bit of brushing up on you history. The 2006 Dauphne was won by Levi FWIW. If you are the same poster, thanks for revising your arguement to include 4 sage race wins, rather than 5, in 2006. Smile!

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Anon 9:28,

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I believe Floyd started using the CycleOps power meter in 2005. That being the case, I would expect the benefit of using such equipment to really manifest itself the following season. What other changes or adjustments may have been made to his training regimen, I don't know. Maybe Allan Lim, Robbie Ventura or Arnie Baker could tell you.

But I don't think that his results were so far out of line with other top pros in years past. Paris-Nice and the Tour, in my estimation, are in a slightly different category than the ToC and Tour of Georgia.

Your argument, from my perspective, would be stronger if prior to 2005 Landis was always lanterne rouge and then he suddenly won all three Grand Tours. ;-) said...

Landis as using the powertap while still at Discovery, buying some with his own money when the team-issue SRM broke. During the time with discovery, he got the gospel of power from Lance, and, let it be said, Ferrari.

He started getting direct support from Lim/Cycleops in 2005.

What he does/did for training has been well documented by Lim, available for people to look up for several years.


Drew said...

On the toppic of power...

I went to the town hall meeting last night and Arnie Baker had included the power averages for several noteable stages/classics. If I remember correctly, stage 17 Floyd averaged 281W, which was fairly average for the rides listed and by no means the highest output. While I haven't looked, I'm assuming this would be the same slide show that's currently on the website.

There were a few questions asked about how he could have won by the margin he did and he explained it as simply the peloton waiting too long to react. He did not believe that had he only dropped 3 minutes on 16 that he would have been able to get as far out as he did.

It should also be noted that Floyd's lead dropped from about 9 minutes to under 6 in the last 30k or so. If Floyd was on a Harley, I'd like to see what Sastre was riding on that last climb.

Tom_A said...

Sastre was on a Ducati, of course ;-)

Anonymous said...

ORG here ....

TBV, be sure to see this?

You know who pcrosby is (just regsitered at DPF last week) and how credibile it is? said...

PCrosby is a real person who has been reading TBV for a long time. I take him as one of the more credible a speculators around. What he says seems to make sense to me, usually.


Anonymous said...

what do you make of his comments?

pcrosby, how do you know this?

from ORG said...

ORG, what pcrosby is saying is both the likely interpretation of what they did in the interlocutory decision, and what the function of arbs in a hearing is (in terms of admitting stuff and limiting questioning.)

What he fears is the sort of stuff we discussed in the "meltdown" section of Judging Floyd Part V - the Form Sheet.


Anonymous said...


Based on what I have observed, illegal doping practices do not turn a "back of the pack" racer into a "tour de france winner."

The drugs do seem to help riders achieve that 2-5% extra edge to propel them from being a top 50 rider to a top 10 rider. It all depends how hard you train, with chemical assistance, and how smartly and extensively you deploy your doping program.

MMan said...

The Information Cul-de-Sac thinks "we" ,cycling fans, win no matter what the outcome of the Landis hearing. Either a cheat gets justly caught, or a vastly corrupt anti doping system is exposed.

Isn't this assuming the result of the hearing will be to determine the truth? That's a big assumption.

strbuk said...

TbV , thanks for the ride in the "time machine", it takes me back to what seemed a far simpler time.


Michael said...

Anyone find it odd that the AFLD sent Landis the results of the independent experts results to Landis and there is no mention of the information to the USADA?

Either the AFLD is saying, your screwed and don't stand a chance or, boy, do you have a case and we're rooting for you. Seems the AFLD might be the only organization taking the whole Landis affair seriously. Shouldn't the USADA in the search of the truth done the same thing?

What do you think?

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Anon 3:50

Point taken. Though, if someone did make the quantum leap from lanterne rouge to Tour winner in a short time, it would look awfully suspicious. ;-)

- Rant

Gary said...

I've been doping all week and best I've gotten was 3rd poster.

I assume it works for comments too, right?

swimyouidiot said...

I think the cycling news piece is just a different wording of the same AFP piece. Note that they just reference L'Equipe, which isn't saying new since the beginning of the day. I don't think they are claiming that the report actually confirmed anything.

Ali said...

All this comment about how Floyd's performance improvement must be down to doping is just so much (old) baloney.

Apart from the 'team leader' issue, which has already been pointed out, there is also the field issue. Consider who was in and you was out of the races he one ...

His performance could have been the same as the year before, but he won due to other factors. Still a good year though !

Ali said...

Should have checked spelling first !. Here it is again, in English ...

All this comment about how Floyd's performance improvement must be down to doping is just so much (old) baloney.

Apart from the 'team leader' issue, which has already been pointed out, there is also the field issue. Consider who was in and WHO was out of the races he WON ...

His performance could have been the same as the year before, but he won due to other factors. Still a good year though !