The Anchorage Daily News' Craig Medred, in a must read op-ed piece, said that in all of the time he has interviewed US Olympic athletes he has never heard a good word about USADA, and after that Landis hearings he knows why. He feels the only reasons Joe Papp and Greg LeMond were put on the stand was to smear Landis, they offered nothing in the way of real science, and it showed the lengths to which USADA will go to "win":
Landis' scientific experts pretty well shot up the work of the French lab that found him positive for testosterone use last year, but the USADA is sticking to its belief in the infallibility of that institution because, well, it's an institution.
The fallibility of science-driven institutions was smeared across the skies of America for all to see when the space shuttle Challenger exploded over Florida. Science is fallible because it is a product of people. People make mistakes.Sometimes people die because of these mistakes. Sometimes careers are simply ruined. Win or lose at the hearings, Landis will have a black mark next to his name foreve
ESPN.com's Bonnie DeSimone reviews the hearing, and on the whole thinks going public was worthwhile, if not without its own complications:
Character issues will always hover over doping cases, even though there are probably jerks who race clean and nice guys who cave to temptation. USADA opted to offer the arbitrators a chance to judge Landis by the company he kept in addition to the hormones found in his urine. The agency's tactics can be questioned, or labeled a distraction, but to be fair, so can those Landis used.
The Geoghegan/LeMond incident is scrawled across the mural of this case like graffiti. It injected a tabloid tone into the hearing that could very well have a chilling effect on accused athletes contemplating their defense strategies in the future. It served as USADA's Miranda warning: Anything you say can and will be used against you right along with your body fluids.
However, there's probably a middle ground here. If an athlete has nothing to hide and few rash acts to account for, allowing the public to view lab documents and enabling people to sit in on a hearing seems unlikely to tilt the process against him.
The NY Times George Vescey tells us to go ahead and watch the Tour de France this year, but don't take it seriously. Despite the hearings and impending results for the "loopy" Floyd Landis, the biggest blow to the race come from Bjarne Riis' recent confession that he cheated to win the race. We could all be watching a dying sport.
Chicago Trbune's Philip Hersh aims at Lance, passing through Riis, Ulrich, Andreu, Hamilton, Heras, and Landis.
CyclingNews thinks Omerta is being chipped away.
IOL.za passes on Joe Papp's suspension.
Rant in a piece we missed from yesterday, wonders what happens next in the cycling world with all of the confessions and revelations that we have seen of late. And he wonders what the effect of these confessions will be on Floyd Landis's case.
Can't Holder Tongue realized yesterday that in the desperate fight to find the lost keys maybe they have been located after all, and maybe the lab made errors that gave false positives for Floyd Landis.
Bicycle.Net thinks that all in cycling need a blanket amnesty, and then we start all over again.
Edge of the Road has a different solution:
This is a sport that deserves to be shut down. It should be put on hiatus, until it figures out how to police itself. Or until athletes somehow decide that honesty is the only way to glory — and big paychecks.
Erik is starting to think everybody in cycling dopes.
LoneCactus seems to be thinking much the same.