USA Today's Sal Ruibal previews tomorrow's USADA hearings as a quest for not only vindication for Floyd Landis, but also one in which he hopes to effect change in the anti doping system:
"There is more importance to these proceedings than a chance to begin to right a wrong being done to me," Landis says. "They represent an important test to see if the anti-doping system can begin to change for the good of sport and the sake of justice and fairness
Landis tactic of going public with his defense has been unique and somewhat risky considering the fact that in past arbitrations WADA/USADA have never lost a hearing, but:
If the arbitrators rule in his favor at the hearing, which may take up to two weeks followed by another month waiting for a decision, Landis faces another long wait as the case is appealed by WADA to the Court for Arbitration in Sport.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that tomorrow Floyd Landis will file a motion with the IOC to have Dick Pound removed from his present position of WADA chairman. In a complaint, obtained by reporter Elliott Almond, the chairman of the IOC ethics commission is asked to consider that Pound violated basic principles of the Olympic Charter by making derogatory remarks about Landis in the media. The complaint also questions the integrity of the Landis hearings slated to begin tomorrow:
The complaint said Pound has threatened to interfere in the proceedings and has the influence do to so. In 2003, he served on a Canadian sports tribunal with two of the three arbitrators hearing the case
VeloNews thoughtfully previews the Floyd Landis vs USADA hearings slated to begin tomorrow morning at Pepperdine University in Malibu California. VeloNews has an expert commentator attorney Antonio Gallegos, who will be viewing the proceedings live in California each day to report and analyze what has occurred in the courtroom. When asked to discuss the concept of "burden of proof" Gallegos said:
Right, it's what they call a shifting burden. Initially the burden is on USADA, they show their test results and I'm sure they'll have their people talk about why the test results are valid. They wouldn't just sit on the test result and say, "Here you go." I'm sure they'll talk about that and they'll probably have some well-qualified people do that. Then, once that's out there, it's up to Landis to say, well, here's what went wrong with the testing and this is why that testing produced a false result.
It's hard to say, it's hard to figure out what exactly goes on in the arbitrator's minds and what kind of discussions they have when they have their own deliberations deciding what their ruling is going to be. I have talked with some of our in-house litigation consultants who do jury consulting. They do social science research to figure out how juries and judges and arbitrators make their decisions. Although arbitrators have legal training and are going to apply those skills, they are also human beings and can be swayed by persuasive arguments.
KTLA presents a brief preview of tomorrow's upcoming Landis hearings in Mailbu, CA , but has the wrong Landis, referring to the defendant as "Greg" Landis.
The Chicago Sun Times Carol Slezak in a column about the pursuit of truth in the Landis case, wonders if the public is starting to believe Landis yet. Because, as she says, it's the only chance he has to get his message out as he faces the power of WADA starting tomorrow:
The USADA, which never has lost a case before an arbitration panel, hasn't said much at all, claiming a gag order. But someone keeps leaking confidential information about Landis' test results, including the initial positive test after he won the Tour. Landis figures the French lab or the USADA is to blame, and there's not much difference between the two from his perspective
The San Jose Mercury News' Elliott Almond writes a primer on the Floyd Landis case hearings which are slated to begin tomorrow at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. As Almond states it is not just the athlete who is on trial in this proceeding, but due to the very public nature of the Floyd Landis defense, the anti-doping agencies themselves are also facing the greatest scrutiny they have ever received:
I hope this is a case that will change what's going on," said a drug-testing expert who asked not to be identified. "The nature of the claims in this case are going to be completely different from what you would see in a typical anti-doping case."
Though recently the very credibility of two of the arbitrators selected to hear the case has been questioned, WADA/USADA feel very confident in their case against Landis:
The tribunal is set up to consider the facts," WADA's David Howman said. "That's where these things ought to be tried. That's where every athlete agrees they ought to be tried.
The Reading Eagle.com's Holly Herman reports on yesterday's "Keep the Faith" ride in Lancaster , CO PA which was held to give support to Floyd Landis. Floyd's parents Paul and Arlene, who will be joining their son in California for his upcoming hearings, were there as well as his siblings. The Landises have complete in faith in their son's innocence and their support is unshakable:
This will never distress me because I am positive he is innocent,” Arlene Landis said. “Floyd is a great man,” his father said. “The one good thing that has happened out of all of this is we met so many people.”
The IHT reprints Juliet Macur's NYT piece comparing the woes of baseball and cycling and what happens when the wheels come off in the age of doping.
Lancaster Online columnist snarks,
If only we went after terrorists the way we do cyclists.
The Herald Sun of Australia prints an article dated May 14 with a brief description of the impending Landis hearings with USADA, who the story states, has never lost a case at the arbitration level.
ESPN's Bonnie DeSimone , in a piece that may have fallen through the cracks Thursday, gives us a cautionary tale of what can happen to those unjustly accused of doping with a portrait of track and field star Butch Reynolds and his fight to regain his career,life ,and reputation.
Bleatings from a Caps Nut wonders why it took Floyd Landis so long to publicly accuse USADA of trying to strike a deal with him for Lance Armstrong last summer, and frankly he's tired of the whole saga anyway. He is staring to think that everyone stinks of corruption in this one.
Unqualified Offerings felt the "pain" of doing a mock triathlon last week,is confused that visceral fat is back in the news as "new", and he now looks forward to keeping up to date on Landis hearings
Cycle-Licious thinks that Dick Pound must definitely go, and he posts a unique rarely seen portrait of Floyd Landis.
Rob01 Rants is interested in tomorrow, as it's the "big day," the day that we may finally begin to learn whether or not Floyd Landis is innocent or not. But Rob sees the bigger picture and realizes that it's important that true standards for drug testing be established so that we can talk to our kids about this with some clarity.
Rant is very concerned that when the Landis vs USADA hearing convenes tomorrow USADA will get the first AND last word, and that the time allotted to each side will not be evenly divided:
It certainly doesn’t seem like a balanced system, but then again, what else is new? I had a hunch that this deviates from the way a court case would be handled, so I asked an expert: Judge William Hue. His response confirmed my suspicion. What he told me was this: In a real court case, one side has the burden of proving the case. Each side gets to present whatever evidence they want, and then the judge or jury decides.
But the arbitration setup is unbalanced. USADA goes first and last. Landis only gets one shot at presenting his evidence, he doesn’t get any shot at rebuttal
Heli's Heaven and Hell Radio thinks that not only did Floyd Landis cheat, but that Lance Armstrong did too.
Steroid Nation wries a nice biography of Christopher Campbell the Landis selected arbitrator who will hear the Landis' case starting tomorrow in California. Campbell is portrayed as a determined athlete who wrestled under the legendary Dan Gable in Iowa and was the oldest Olympic wrestler to ever medal in the games.
Passion 2 Ride wants to send Christian Prudhomme a message. Passion owns the DVD set of the 2006 Tour de France and Floyd Landis is still on there, and will always be the 2006 TdF champion in his eyes.
Triple Crankset asks if cycling is too tough and cites yesterday's Juliet Macur article as evidence.
Strider takes cheer from the chaos he sees Floyd Landis bringing to cycling plea bargain or no plea bargain.