It's been a crazy week, and we're catching up on things. Don't be surprised if some links are duplicates or old.
Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune thinks Landis has assassinated his own character, because of the call.
ESPN's Bonnie DeSimone writes of the torturous events this week that led to Floyd Landis testifying in his own defense yesterday afternoon. His words at one time might have held more sway, but since the LeMond testimony earlier in the proceedings and the subsequent revelation of a threatening phone call from former Landis manager Will Geoghegan they took on less significance, as has the science of the case:
Every bit of non-scientific background noise in the Landis hearings, including witnesses LeMond and confessed doper Joe Papp, distracts from the real issue, which is whether or not the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory's tests were properly performed and the results valid.
Landis summed up his testimony, which will continue tomorrow during cross examination, with a heartfelt prepared speech, but whether it can be heard above the din created by issues having nothing to do with the central themes this case was based on is in serious doubt:
"People are defined by their principles and how they make their decisions," Landis said deliberately, slowing his usual rapid-burst speech pattern. "To me, bicycle racing was rewarding for the pure fact that I was proud of myself when I put the work into it and I could see the results and get something out of it.
"It wouldn't serve any purpose to cheat and win the Tour, because I wouldn't be proud of it. That's just not what the goal was, from the beginning.
The LA Times Mitchael Hiltzik covering yesterday's testimony by Floyd Landis, notes that the science has been lost amid the din of the controversy created by former manager Will Geoghegan's now infamous phone call to USADA witness Greg Le Mond. But, the science is still at the heart of what is to be decided and Dr. Don Catlin's testimony seemed to at once confirm and deny the crux of the Landis case:
Just before Landis' appearance, the arbitrators heard from perhaps the most distinguished scientific witness on USADA's list: Dr. Don H. Catlin, who recently retired as director of the UCLA Olympic Lab, perhaps the leading anti-doping lab accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA.
Asked by USADA attorney Richard Young what he had concluded after reading the laboratory record compiled by WADA's Paris lab, which issued the positive analysis of Landis' urine sample from Stage 17, Catlin replied: "No question about it, my opinion is that doping was going on. It's just inescapable."
But he began hedging almost immediately. He acknowledged that he would have found the lab sample positive "according to WADA criteria," but that UCLA's more rigorous standards for declaring a sample positive were "not met."
The San Jose Mercury News posts an Eddie Pells piece on yesterday's long awaited testimony by Floyd Landis at the USADA hearings at Pepperdine University. Pells described Landis as being calm and conversational in his recounting of the events that brought him to court. 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 tomorrow after an off day today.
The VeloNews Jason Sumner tells of yesterday's dramatic testimony by Floyd Landis at his USADA hearings. Landis denied ever having used PEDs, but that denial may be lost in the background noise of the events surrounding the Greg LeMond testimony on Thursday. Dr Don Catlin also testified yesterday and his testimony, though damaging in some respects, also left some doubt as to the validity of the Landis test results from last summer.
The CyclingNews has Landis under oath, flatly denying the claims made by Greg LeMond in testimony last week that he confessed to cheating to win last year's Tour de France.
The Times Standard thinks that Floyd Landis doth protest too much.
The News-Tribune thinks that due to the Landis affair, cycling has become a two wheeled circus.
Newsweek's Mark Starr looks at the case, early in the week:
A win for Landis in arbitration would be an even bigger surprise than his triumph in France last summer.
Also earlier in the week, the same story about the Mongongu testimony got three completely different headlines, saying something about what readers bring. Delaware Online says, "Lab technician kept Landis' observers away from tests"; while Canada.com says "Landis Lawyers attack Lab technician";
The Southern.Com says,
Floyd, you just gotta let it go, my friend.
He’s tested positive for increased testosterone, what, four times now since the Tour de France began months ago? Give it up, Floyd. You’re guilty. Guilty as sin. You can try to poke holes at the lab, or the papers, or whatever else your legal team feels may have tried to twist the results. Because labs just hate Floyd Landis.Parents, don’t let your kids grow up to be Floyd Landis. Teach them the power of honesty, that people will respect you a lot more if you come clean when you make a mistake.
I think he thinks it'd be nice if some folks at LNDD and USADA did that too.
Steroid Nation gives us a nice plug, thanks! He also sums up yesterday's session of the Landis hearings with the same question being asked by many people:
That leaves one big question: how did Geoghagen obtain LeMond's cell phone number? Landis' version of the story is that the incident occurred at dinner; he didn't address the issue of how quickly his friend dialed up the hated LeMond. Are these cyclists so tight they all have each other's numbers on speed dial?Nonetheless, Landis would appear to be principled against doping.
Guy William Welch visited the hearing, and noticed the Fox News Babe asleep. Must have been listening to Schantzer.
Fanhouse doesn't like jokes about Jack helping with the tactical plan:
I'm a little surprised that Landis still feels free to joke about taking a substance to assist his performance in the Tour, but maybe that's just me. Although the reviews of Landis's testimony have generally been favorable, athletes never win these appeals. More interesting details will emerge, but we already know the final result: Landis will be stripped of his Tour title.
Charitable Endeavors doesn't understand why no one from Phonak is on his witness list, and draws uncharitable conclusions.
Johnny Cat defends his friend, Floyd.
Dan Shanoff says (only):
Floyd Landis: OK, well HE insists he didn't cheat. Do you believe him?
Cincy Velo summarizes:
So 6 days down in the Landis circus, and what do we know???
USADA will do anything to win—-See Lemond, Papp, etc.
You have to question Floyd’s decision making skills—See Drunk Dialing, a former Biz Mgr
I wouldn’t trust the LNDD to do a pregnancy test on a dead rabbit
And lastly, I should have been riding instead of reading the trial transcripts.
(For the record, they're not transcripts, they're summaries)
Unqualified Offerings opines:
I’ve got my suspicions about LeMond’s motivations for his antidoping crusade that seems to focus on his American successors, but clearly this Geogheghan fellow was criminally over the line. There’s no evidence I’m aware of that Landis put Geogheghan up to it, but G. is a creepy fellow to have in your entourage.
Aaron opens his condemnation with:
After the events of the past two weeks, of which I will not go into great detail due to the confusion that could result,
The blog of eternal stench concludes:
Could a script writer on peyote and GHB even come up with something as bananas as this?
I need another skein has mixed feelings about getting a hip resurfacing at age 40, and invokes Landis.
Randomness and Chaos makes a list of 20 top cyclists accused or proven dopers.
Bihl thinks, "the Tour De France will be tarnished for the rest of its existence."
HappyRobot thinks Landis is a turd. Do robots know what a turd is?
The Jellomen don't know what to do with their parody anymore.
Tom Lehrer said that satire died the moment that Henry Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize. The saga of Dr. David Hill's fall from grace in the 2007 Jelloman was dealt a devastating blow amidst the Theatre of the Absurd that is the Landis vs. USADA hearing. How can our parody possibly up the ante on the real thing?The Pain Train, not excusing Geoghegan, thinks LeMond is a Simple Minds fan.
Team Fubar transitions:
onto the three ring circus that is the Floyd Landis case that has finally gone before the USADA. What in the hell is going on in California? Does everything that comes out of that case have to be so fucking bizarre?Let me tell you about chromatograms, sonny, there was a bizarre one back in ought-three...
The Princess of Patience thinks things are turning up for Landis. And they call me Mr. Sunshine!
Blessed Endurance runs Geoghegan's apology under the headline, "Better Never than Late" Will probably thinks so too.
Independant Freewheeling chicks say, "Don't Drink and Dial"
Velo Swiss says, "Welcome To Bizarro World." Hey, some of my favorite Superman stories were set there!
Deadspin thinks, "they don't make Mennonites the way they used to"
Spinopsys thinks what goes around comes around.
The Road Bike mourns the death of two heros.
Broken Spoke, wanting to be out front and avoid accusation of being a band-wagoner, thinks Landis didn't dope, and LeMond is an ass. It's a lonely road at the moment.
Go Faster Jim! refuses to write about Landis.