The LA Times Michael Hiltzik reports on the final day, before deliberations, of the Landis hearings at Pepperdine University. Amidst mud slinging by USADA, unsure science, and unexpected drama, the case ended with the closing arguments. USADA brought up the drama from last week surrounding Greg LeMond and tries to impugn Floyd Landis' character with what his former manager had done. Maurice Suh denied the "guilt by association" tactic and then stuck to the science of the case:
Time gaps in the analytical record, he argued, suggested that the lab had re-analyzed control samples repeatedly until it obtained results that showed its equipment was working properly.
"That's not quality control," he said. "It's fraud."
Technically only the hearing phase of the proceedings is over, the verdict still needs to be rendered, and either side can appeal the decision to the CAS.
The Age.com.AU notes that Floyd Landis' fate is now in the hands of the three member arbitration panel.
The VeloNews Jason Sumner also writes about the end of the nine day odyssey that was the Landis Hearings. Predictably USADA said that Landis was guilty, the facts of the case, the results of the testing, showed that. Team Landis hammered on the unreliability of the LNDD results and asserted that this hearing was about more than just one athlete's fate. No decision will be announced for at least six weeks, and either side can then appeal to the CAS. Regardless of the outcome Landis was successful in pointing out lab inconsistencies and the overriding power of the anti-drug establishment.
BikeBiz,in one of the more intriguing stories of the day, asks just who will wear the "golden fleece" in London at the beginning of the Tour de France this year? Floyd Landis' fate may not be decided by the beginning of the race, and heir apparent Oscar Pereiro is now unlikely to be given the yellow jersey either. Any guesses?
Bicycling posts an AFP story noting that now the wait for Floyd Landis begins.
The Carlisle Sentinel .com posts Eddie Pell's AP summary of the final day of the Landis hearings.In it is is observed that the world has likely not heard the last of Floyd Landis and his defense team.
The NY Times Lee Jenkins sums up yesterday's final testimony, cross examinations, and closing arguments. Landis lawyer Marice Suh pointed out in his summation:
“The only thing they want you to see are these results,” Suh said. “They never want you to look behind what supports them.”
USADA's lead lawyer Richard Young pointed out:
Young, was not quite as theatrical as Suh in his closing argument. Given a chance for rebuttal, Young said, “When the facts aren’t on your side, you accuse people.”
No decision is expected in the case for at least a month.
The Valley Advocate posts an editorial piece in which Floyd Landis is seen as a loser no matter what the the decision of the arbitration panel is.
CNN.com , in a slightly unrelated issue, reports that German superstar cyclist Eric Zabel admits to having doped during the 1990s.
ProCycling covers the last day of the Landis hearings,summing it up as a "win at all costs vs systematic failure" scenario, as it all supposedly came down to character and science, for both sides.
The CyclingNews also covered yesterday's closing arguments in the Landis case. Maurice Suh, lawyer for Floyd Landis, described the LNDD's lab work as "garbage in garbage out." No decision will be expected for at least a month.
Rant thinks that Floyd Landis deserves better than what has been heaped on him in the past 10 months. Floyd's legacy now cannot be what it might have been because of the exploitive nature of the media looking to sell papers rather than be really straight about the whole truth. Heres hoping Floyd can go for a ride today and just forget for awhile.
The First 100 Miles wonders just how Floyd Landis will be able to wait for what might seem like an eternity for a decision from the arbitration panel that heard his case. Thanks for the kind words, you're very welcome.
Velogal says "shame on you USADA" for spending tax dollars unwisely and consistently taking the low road. Thanks for the "thanks".
Sabernomics was happy that the Landis hearing was public and feels it exposed the closeted system that is WADA/USADA. He is not sure if Landis can be cleared, and after what he saw he feels that Floyd will not be able to get back his reputation, or any of his endorsements. BTW, thanks for tuning in.
The Boulder Report's Joe Lindsey writes a very considered piece about his disillusionment with what Team Landis presented at the recently adjourned hearing, and with cyclists in general who scream they are innocent of doping charges. The Landis PR campaign is blasted for giving us all the impression of what they were planning on emphasizing at the hearing, most of which never came up. Lindsey also claims that most people think Floyd Landis is a liar, and that he would not want Floyd to spearhead any anti-doping reform. Lindsey concludes:
I think Landis is a good person at heart. But in more than a decade of covering cycling, I’ve seen this drama play out many times, always with the same ending. I was willing – hoping, even – that he would be able to provide some compelling reason to believe not just that the tests couldn’t prove he doped, but that Landis was innocent, a clean winner of the world’s greatest race. Unfortunately, nothing he presented at the trial brings me any closer to that position.
Doping wishes the anti-doping labs had their stuff together better so that cheating athletes couldn't stand up to them in court.
EnviornmentalChemistry.com's posts an editorial this morning which states the revelations made by the Landis defense about the LNDD were appalling:
I am not a cycling enthusiast, but my connection to drug testing and COC protocols has drawn me to the drug doping hearings of last year's Tour de France winner Floyd Landis. Given what has been exposed during the hearings over the past week and a half, if I were being tested now, by the WADA accredited French testing laboratory LNDD I might not be so confident my tests were being handled properly. I was absolutely horrified to read the testimony of the witnesses and what it has exposed about LNDD. I was especially appalled by what was exposed during the testimony of Dr. Simon Davis, who has a PhD in mass spectrometry and did much of the designing of the mass spectrometer in question (including writing parts of its procedural manual).
Steroid Nation very aptly puts the concluded Landis hearings into proper perspective this morning, and life such as it is goes on.
The Grayzone thinks that it's now even tougher to be a cycling fan since the Floyd Landis hearings.