Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tuesday Roundup

Reuters posts, in the first news to come out of the UCI summit in Geneva Switzerland this morning, that all pro cyclists will be asked to sign an anti doping charter which would include promises to submit DNA samples to the OP investigators, and the forfeiture of a year's salary should any rider be found violating the intent of the pledge :

The letter, which begins with a declaration that the rider has not been involved in any past doping affair, will be sent to cyclists for signing by July 7.

Describing the document as "the riders' commitment to a new cycling", UCI president Pat McQuaid acknowledged that no-one could be forced to sign.

However, a full list of those who had signed and those who had not would be made publicly available on the organisation's Web site, he added.

The CyclingNews carries the same report on the UCI conference in Geneva:

The UCI has introduced a new anti-doping charter, it announced today in Geneva. Under it, all 600 ProTour riders must sign a statement before the Tour de France in which they agree to pay a year's salary if they are found to have used illegal doping products, in addition to the usual suspension they would face.

The VeloNews also covers the UCI conference held today with an AFP piece which contains this warning in the last paragraph:

Anne Gripper, head of the UCI's anti-doping program, believes that any rider who refuses to sign it would probably not start the Tour de France "not for legal reasons but because of the pressure."

Bloomberg also writes a short piece about the UCI conference held today, and adds that team doctors and officials will be asked to sign the pledge as well, since, to paraphrase Pat McQuaid, riders don't dope on their own.

The Spoof alerts us to the "burning manhood festival" which will coincide with this year's Tour de France and will celebrate the use of performance enhancement in sports. Guest of honor Floyd Landis will be presented with a key to the tent city. See disclaimer at bottom of story.


Rants and Revelations has a guilty secret, he still loves pro cycling, and really wants to believe Floyd Landis is innocent of doping charges.

Triple Crankset thinks that since Lance Armstrong and the current doping scandal engulfing Floyd Landis, there have been few competitive Americans to root for in pro cycling, and now it looks like we may lose one more.

Pabaon Sports summarizes some of the cycling news leading up to this year's Tour de France, and almost gets our name right, thanks for the plug anyway.

Pommi is back on his bike, and back with his blog. He is conflicted about getting the Floyd Landis book "Positively False", and is still waiting for the outcome of Floyd's arbitration hearing, though he feels relative confidence in knowing what the result will be.

Across the Great Divide
got an email invite to the "Word for Word" Bryant Park event with Floyd Landis and John Eustice happening June 27th in NYC. and couldn't suppress the urge to go with sarcasm in his response. Here's some info on the event itself:

Floyd Landis, Positively False: The Real Story of How I Won the Tour de France

* Wednesday, June 27
* 12:30pm – 1:45pm
* Bryant Park Reading Room

Hosted by: John Eustice, Champion Bicyclist and Journalist

Floyd Landis relays his side of the story after being accused of taking banned performance–enhancing-drugs to win last year’s Tour de France.

The country's most celebrated authors speak about recent successes and their thoughts on being a writer. Introductions by the Bryant Park Bookworm, Miriam Tuliao, Librarian at the New York Public Library.

Rain Venue:
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
555 Fifth Avenue (at 46th Street)

TriFuel uses Landis as an example of how to misuse your new power meter -- by trying to do what he does, 425w/hr. The advice is to know when to put out 0 watts, and loaf along at less than threshold.

MalibuAdventures talked about the excitement of having the hearings at Pepperdine -- first we've seen it.

Zappoman still believes Landis, and thinks the UCI is a bunch of hypocrites.

WhoSportWhat somehow believes that the Landis USADA hearings will be decided before the start of the Tour De France this year. And with the UCI proclamation from today plus the cloud over Lance Armstrong the same doubts that pervaded the TdF last year still seem to be present.

Whitey and the Professor says a malfeasant corporation must have gone to the "Floyd Landis School of Damage Control." We'll assume it's not intended as a compliment on attacking on Stage 17.

Floyd Landis.com
has been seen carrying an ad for Ambien CR, a sleeping pill; the first thing we read clicking on the link is, "Why spend another sleepless night?" Let's hope it isn't an endorsement, but placement along the lines of the steroid and supplement ads Google sometimes puts over there on the right hand side of TBV.

The Leadville100 entrant list doesn't seem to include Landis. Possibilities include blindness at TBV, clerical error, special dispensation, or that he's chickening out along with Lance. As long as Ned doesn't show up, maybe Fatty has a chance.


Unknown said...

I wonder how many of the 600 followed the FL hearing? I wonder how many of the 600 believe in the incompentance of LNDD demonstrated by the FL team? I wonder how many of the 600 believe in the WADA system (or any of the systems that represent them for that matter)? As an innocent, I would have to think long and hard about signing anything that would subject my family to systems that I do not trust. It is one thing to place oneself at risk for future earnings, it is all together different to place your past at risk as well.

I hope they collectively tell the UCI to "shove it".

GMR said...

Did McQuaid hire the Bush speech writers? This is a "my way or the highway" speech. It is scary to think that someone who doesn't know the science, doesn't care about the quality of their work can ruin your career, your integrity, your place in the world. I would hope the penalty of the salary paid comes after the the 18 months to get through the arbitration and CAS hearings. If funds for the LNDD became available they should go to 1) new equipment and 2) training.

But I digress, if a rider doesn't sign then they are automatically guilty.

atown, tx. said...

I think UCI should go to hell and the cyclist should tell them. Only when you get windbags like Pat McQuaid and Dick Pound and all WADA employees and labs to sign the same type of agreement stating that when a lab leaks information the director as well as the lab tech is to be suspended for 1 year and loss of one years salary then and only then a cyclist should feel safe to sign the same. If the Lab, UCI and WADA all point to each other as the leaker, all three director should be suspended/fired and fined.

Just my 2 cents. But then again I think the cyclist should have already organized a strike because of the B.S. they have been put through by the political blowhards.

Eightzero said...

Anyone want to hazard a guess as to whether or not this is an anti-trust violation? The international implications are rather interesting, but as to U.S. law, I wonder if this "pledge" requirement to participate with a pro-tour team is a violation of the Sherman and Clayton acts?

Judge Hue, any thoughts?

Unknown said...

The agreement the riders are asked to sign seems very one side. The riders should require something to balance the new risk.

How about:
1. Any and all in the WADA anti-doping program who becomes knowledgeable of wrongdoing (including testing and detection) are required to speak up and notify WADA management and the cycling team organization. Failure to notify both organizations requires a suspension and monetary penalty equal to that faced by the athlete.

2. Any leak connecting an athlete to a negative doping finding (directly of indirectly) requires that the athlete’s cost of defense is fully paid by the facing ADA. The ADAs then have the right to recover costs from WADA.

3. All verification testing must be done by a lab different than the one reporting the negative finding. If verification requires more levels of testing, the rule is that no lab can be used more than once.

4. Labs only report chemical findings to WADA. They do not make judgments about whether the findings indicate doping. WADA must connect the lab information to the athlete and his records (such as TUEs) and make the decision.


Luc said...

I have only read the synopsis of the reuters report but if this is what they are asking the riders to sign i would have to agree with the other comments that McQuaid should be told to go to hell. How can they expect progress in the fight against doping if what they are asking for is essentially a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' document. It is absurd. No one is forced to sign but if you don't you are guilty. There is nothing that suggests and encourages a fresh clean start. If you dope from now on you should be banned - period. Not just forfeit a years salary. As long as the science is good then i have no problem with that approach and i am sure the cyclists wouldn't either. And as long as the cyclists rights are protected. But it seems that what McQuaid et al are doing now is perpetuating the witch hunt. It is disgraceful and the cyclists should protest.

Laura Challoner, DVM said...

The "contract's" 1 year salary provision would be an illegal "liquidated damages" clause in the US, for sure. The inability to work as a penalty for failing to sign the "contract" restrains trade in the US and is thus likely not enforceable. The EEU has even stricter restraint of trade laws than the US so enforcing the contract in Europe will be difficult.

Certain people have felt free previously to question my legal knowledge because I choose not to write legal treatices or Law Review Articles when asked questions in forums. I don't generally issue disclaimers nor do I draw distinctions or present counter-views to my own.

But,I will say my analysis here is purposefully shallow, given the non-legal audience to whom it is given. I am quite confident in the conclusions I have asserted, nonetheless.