Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday Roundup

Too Ironic for Words

The WADA official site carries a statement from M. Lamour, billed to be Mr. Pounds replacement. In the last week, there were allegations that when he was an active athlete, he had failed drug tests on two separate occasions, and under policies advocated by Mr. Pound, would have been banned for life. In the statement, he makes a point that one of these was found not a positive because the B sample came up negative when tested at another laboratory, and he claims that "completely exhonerated me." As a result of that and some other similar errors, the first lab wound up losing its accreditation.

Hmm, maybe ironic is the wrong word. How about "hypocritical"?

An opportunity to test at another lab was something the ADAs have tried to rule out, and was actively denied Landis even in the case it wasn't against the rule. Apparently what was good for M. Lamour is not good for today's athletes.
We don't allow that any more, nor do we have to, since our labs are "infallible", not to mention, "irreproachable."

ESPN's Bonnie DeSimone previews the hearing, and advises the public against expecting fireworks:

Each side is expected to call a minimum of a dozen witnesses whose testimony regarding Landis' test results, for the most part, will be numbingly, grindingly technical -- a trench war between dueling experts, directors of WADA-accredited laboratories, lab staff and independent scientists hired to monitor or interpret the tests.

Landis is scheduled to testify on his own behalf.

[. . .]

"The fundamental issues will come down to the science," Black [a forensic expert interviewed] said. "Some of this is going to be very boring to the lay audience, and probably to the hearing panel.

"No matter how the hearing comes out, I think it'll be like the Kennedy assassination. There'll always be an alternative explanation for what happened, and the majority of folks will hear what they want to hear."

Bill Hue's series here is mentioned, and he's quoted.

DeSimone also provides a lineup card
identifying the players at the hearing, Landis; Campbell, Brunet, McLaren, arbiters; Young, Barnett, Dunn and Sloan, USADA attorneys; and Suh and Jacobs, Landis attorneys. There's brief background of each.

A comment from ORG notes that Young represented WADA as the same Peking SportsAccord conference that hosted McLaren, Brunet, McQuaid, Verbruggen, etc., but not Campbell. Can anyone say, "appearance of impropriety"?

The New York Times in a story dated May 13 by Juliet Macur, wonders what happens when the wheels fall off a sport. In a comparison of current doping scandals in cycling and baseball, the toll taken to the sport of cycling as measured by sponsorship defection and TV viewership decline, is clearly more extensive. This is particularly highlighted with cyclist Floyd Landis' scheduled USADA hearings slated to begin on Monday May 14. Aggressive investigations of both sports continue with a greater emphasis and cost of popularity at this time being placed on cycling:

“Cycling had to finally make changes out of survival, not because they wanted a change,” said Greg Lemond, a three-time winner of the Tour and the first American to win the race. “It was all because there was so much economic fallout from Floyd and other things that have happened. But look how long it took for them to get to that point. The sport was almost killed in the process.

Baseball is seen as not nearly as unforgiving to players such as Barry Bonds as cycling has been to riders such as Floyd Landis, but both sports suffer from the notoriety of doping scandals.

The Sports writes, after a lengthy discussion of Snooker, that despite hiring high profile lawyers and being very public with his case, Floyd Landis is facing an uphill battle when his USADA hearings start on Monday May 14.
Tomorrow is the beginning of the endgame. His ten-day hearing is either going to destroy him or damage the anti-doping movement almost beyond repair. Landis has insisted that the sessions remain open to the public. He wants the world to see the great fraud that he claims has been perpetrated against him by the USADA.

The CyclingNews also takes note of the elimination of Floyd Landis' name from the records of the 2006 Tour de France.

Supercycling writes a summary of the Landis case to date, and notes that Floyd Landis will publicly get his day in court starting Monday May 14 at Pepperdine University.

VeloNews writes that Pat McQuaid, head of the UCI, talks about Basso, glad that he admitted it, but still feeling betrayed. He's less kind to Landis:
"The world of cycling doesn't deserve this," McQuaid continued. "Ivan Basso was an idol for young children and I haven't spoken about Floyd Landis, but he's has done as much damage if not more than Ivan Basso to this sport."

The WSJ publishes the story alluded to here last night. It discusses the devotion and hard work of Dr. Arnie Baker, how Landis took his defense public against the advice of his lawyers, and what the Landis defense might have not revealed thus far:
In most doping cases, accused athletes accept punishment without much protest. The tack taken by Mr. Landis is a gamble, because his public remarks risk the possibility of antagonizing USADA. His remarks also risk giving away to the prosecution defense evidence that might have been more effective if unveiled with a flourish at the hearing. Because he revealed much of his case beforehand, "the prosecution has every argument Floyd's ever thought of," says Mark Levinstein, an attorney who has represented athletes in other doping cases.

The Daily Telegraph posts the ASO bombshell dropped late last night that Floyd Landis' name will be eliminated from all 2006 Tour de France records,as well as historical records of the 2006 race, as he is now not considered its champion. CyclingPost also carries the story.

The Vancouver Sun prints an Eddie Pells AP story that Floyd Landis thinks Monday's hearing will be filled with surprises that will shine a harsh light on the anti-doping agencies. For their part USADA/WADA feel the upcoming procedures will be business as usual.

AFP story by Rebecca Bryan says the same old, same old.

Potholes and Roadapples notes that when the ASO essentially eradicated Floyd Landis from the Tour de France records they made moot any decisions to be rendered by the Landis arbitration panel which starts deliberations on Monday. His lead is concise:
The director of the Tour de France preempted the start of local bicyclist Floyd Landis’ hearing on Monday by announcing the result didn’t matter.

Rant thinks Prudhomme's promise to erase Landis from the Tour de France record book is like his being turned into an un-person.

Pommi is now past the point of outrage when he reads things such as the elimination of Floyd Landis' name from the annals of the 2006 Tour de France. He feels Mr. Prudhomme who will find his name absent when the history of these recent events is revisited, and demonstrates how it is done.

The Dougloid Papers posts a list of things that have caught his eye as the Landis arbitration hearings approach. Among other criticisms of the case against Landis are his fundamental problems with courts of arbitration:

The purveyors of this quack remedy are the only ones impressed with themselves. Here's some language I put in every one of my responses to arbitration claims. It is yours for the taking.

Consumer arbitration of the "take it or leave it" adhesion contract variety is fundamentally so unfair and biased as to eliminate any chance that a consumer in a debt collection case has any meaningful rights or the ability to present them in an economical manner. See, Deborah Schneider and Michael Quirk, Mandatory Arbitration of Consumer Rights Cases, Wisconsin Lawyer, September 2002 (and sources cited therein). Data disclosed by First USA in a case challenging mandatory arbitration revealed that the National Arbitration Forum found for the bank 99.6 per cent of the time. See, Carolyn E. Mayer, Win Some, Lose Rarely? Arbitration Forum's Rulings Called One Sided, Washington Post, Mar. 1, 2000.

Triple Crankset believes that even though Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme wants us to forget the name of Floyd Landis as winner of the 2006 tour de France, it is Prudhomme himself who will be long forgotten.

Culture Popped wants us to know that even though Floyd Landis told us on Thursday that he was made an offer of leniency for giving information about Lance Armstrong that would be incriminating, we still must remember that Floyd's reputation is defective.

The gets on the "ASO dropping Floyd Landis' name from all records of the 2006 Tour de France" story by saying that apparently Floyd was just a figment of your imagination. No matter the outcome of the hearings, to start Monday at Pepperdine University, Floyd already does not exist in last year's Tour records.

Get Outdoors was amazed by the revelation that Travis Tygart made an offer to Floyd Landis that would lighten his sentence but put Lance Armstrong in jeopardy. Still GO thinks that no one cares anymore anyway.

Bradder thinks Floyd Landis' "wiki defense" was a brilliant strategy move and far more persuasive that the usual "spin doctoring" that accused athletes normally provide. He also feels that the cadre of experts surrounding Floyd is unusual and speaks volumes about him as a person.

Twenty Miles Before the Crash wants to know what kind of douchebag Landis is, and thinks those who buy his swill are even bigger ones. He needs to meet Burt Friggin' Hoovis, of Douche Blog Cycling.


Julie said...

I think we're all getting battle-weary, here, TBV, you misread the story - McQuaid most certainly does not think Basso is a hero:
"He has admitted his guilt, when he lied to everyone for 10 months," McQuaid said. "He lied to the cycling family, to the media, to the sponsors, he lied to his new teammates. He lied to everyone. He does not deserve our sympathy."

Duckstrap said...

I read it the same way you did, Julie.

strbuk said...

Julie, that was me in a hurry, you are most right about the story. Still McQuiad heaps praise on Basso in comparison to how he has treated and is treating Landis.


Anonymous said...

ORG here .....


Did you see this run down of the players over at ESPN?

It was linked to the ESPN story you have in today's roundup.

It says the Tygart will NOT be litigating the case. He's too busy preparing for his new role as CEO of USADA. Rather the chief litigator will be their outside counsel of Holme, Roberts & Owen. Their partner that specializes in sports law and will handle this case is one Richard Young. The same Richard Young that represented WADA at the Beijing SportsAccord conference two weeks ago.

So, USADA's Landis litigator and two of the arbs were in China at the same time.

Did you know Young would be handling this case?

Anonymous said...

ORG again ....

You also have to love Lamour's brsitling at the press and threatening to sue if they keep repeating these claims.

What is he doing about plugging the l 'equipe leak? Anything? Hypocrtical might too soft a word.

Anonymous said...

Pound did not attend the Peking conference. All others you mention did.

Anonymous said...

last note from ORG

Anonymous said...

McQuaid also attended said...

oops. error prone day. fixed now.


Anonymous said...

Will Landis be arguing the vanishing twin defense? said...


He will be arguing LNDD incompetence.