Tuesday, July 24, 2007

First reactions to Vino

From Agence France Presse:

David Millar (SCO/Saunier Duval) [near tears] - "I'm sad. He's one of my favorite riders. You can't do that to cycling; you can't do that to clean riders; you can't do that to the Tour de France. I race the Tour de France without a single injection. I want people to believe in my sport; I want people to believe in the Tour de France."

Eric Boyer (Manager Cofidis) – "I'm completely disgusted. I hope that Vinokourov will not be so cowardly as to deny it, but will explain it to us, tell us who helped him, who participated in this dirty business, because he could not have done it all alone. Vinokourov told us that he only worked with Dr. Ferrari to establish a training regimen. He told us that he was courageous, that the French liked him, that he was stronger than the pain. He told us that we French didn't know how to manage, that we were weaklings. Now we can conclude that he was a real bastard who has brought even more discredit on cycling through these practices. It's one more heavy blow, and I hope we can get back on our feet once more. I regret nothing of what I've said in the past few days, or the past few months. I demand that the whole Astana team leave cycling as soon as possible."

Marc Madiot (directeur sportif Française des Jeux) – "A surprise? Absolutely not. No comment. Out. Move along. There's nothing to see."

Roger Legay (manager Crédit Agricole) – "What a horror. It's insupportable. How far are they going to go? This is the moment that everything that's been put in place for years--the ethical charters, the promises--should be applied. We were right to draw the line, not to play on the same field. One must be inflexible. Out!"


Tyson said...

I don't know about other people, but if I get a flat tire, I stop, fix it, and keep biking. If it happens again, I stop, fix it, and keep biking. If I wreck, I heal, and keep biking. If my chain falls off, I put it back on and keep going

I'm not the kind of guy who gives up after a flat tire or two, and I hope cycling fans are the same way. No amount of trial-by-media, broken doping systems, and guilty riders will ever keep me from loving any and everything relating to bikes.

Anonymous said...

I wish they had some other lab testing the riders...I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I'd be more confident with another lab doing the work.

nahual said...

I can just as easily believe the lab screwed up.

ddt240 said...

While we're talking about LNDD again....

Wouldn't it be great if it comes out in a hearing 9 months from now that the technician performing the test got a paper cut and failed to clean up properly prior to performing the test.

Then we learn that said technician was the supervisor of the technician that performed the B sample testing.

As much as I want to believe that Vino is clean given the tenacity he's shown in trying to fight on after his string of horrible luck; I think the above hypothetical situation would really be the only way LNDD could botch this one. I don't know anything about the test, but from what I've read (in the last 30 min) you'd think that contamination would be the only thing that could give you a false positive.

Ken at Global View said...

I admit that I do not understand the technical aspects of finding Vino guilty. I understand Tyler Hamilton was found to have the same results in 2004?. Conceptually to me, presuming no understanding, it appears it would be easier to show someone else's blood than exogenous testosterone? Can a science type weight in here?

ddt240 said...

Ok, so I did a quick search and I found the following site.


It gives a quick rundown of the types of blood doping and how they are detected. Basically, the common thought is that transfusions are pretty quick and easy to detect by analyzing antigens on the red blood cells. The article totes the test as being 100% foolproof, however, it is from 2004.

Supposedly, the only way you can get a false positive is if you've had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, have a non-identical twin, or had a twin at conception but the embryos fused early in development (AKA the Tyler defense).

Assuming the B confirms the A, I don't think Vino has much of a case.

Dan said...

the deafening background noise can not be good for Floyd - sure looking like they were all dopers and I'm a Landista from way back

Ken & DDT240 here is a link to the case decision for Tyler Hamilton that I re-read today it gets into the science a little


benny.marcel said...

It makes me so sad. I enjoyed watching Vino. He is such a fighter. I just find it hard to believe that Vino is that stupid. Blood doping is so easy to detect. I cannot help but think that in some sick way LNDD has somthing to gain with all the news. No one has found the person leaking the information to the Le'Equip news tabloid. That person is probably getting paid for the information and thus has an incentive to fabricate it. I do not trust them at all. I wish that they would have a policy of using another independent lab to test the sample. This would make the process more transparent.


neb said...

They announced based upon an A sample only again. I wish that they would follow their own rules and get their confirmations in order before things got announced. What if the B comes back negative?

lenf said...

"Wouldn't it be great if it comes out in a hearing 9 months from now that the technician performing the test got a paper cut and failed to clean up properly prior to performing the test."

I expect the only object sharp enough to draw blood in this situation is Occam's razor...the test showed doping because, well, Vino was doping.

Of course, we have to wait until the B sample is tested to come to any conclusion. Except, around here, the general notion is to claim the B sample test was inaccurate, as well.

Maybe the rotors on those black helicopters are sharp enough to cut a finger?? :-)

Cheryl from Maryland said...

Vino guilty or not guilty, the continuing pattern of leaks regarding results forcing the teams, riders and UCI to comment before the process has been completed and double checked does not fill me with confidence that all involved with cycling have heeded the call to play by the rules.

pcrosby said...

Need some expert assistance: It appears that using someone else's compatible blood is easily detected. I seem to remember that there was concern some years ago about endurance athletes stockpiling their own for the purpose. Similar to surgery patients building up a supply prior to going under the knife.

What is the effective time limit for storage of the useful portion? Is there a performance/recovery problem if blood is drawn during that period?

There may be increased risk in having your own blood taken compared to ordering a couple liters of bompatible blood, but unless the useful period is very short it seems like a no brainer.

It appears that WADA/UCI has not done anything to block the leaks - maybe the power struggle with ASO is playing a role.
Pete Crosby

jrdbutcher said...

Contamination, CoC issues-was it even Vino's sample? LNDD didn't look to well concerning these issues in Floyd's case. Have they started recording CoC contemporaniously or are they back dating the records as before? Are they clearly writing sample numbers? Have they instituted a more reliable bar code system? Is it still LNDD's practice to use white out or even have the product in the lab or on the property?

This is all suspect, not primarily because of the issues I noted above, but because the anti-doping officials can't get the very basics of the system right. We are not supposed to know about the results of A-Samples unless the athlete in question wishes the results of their A-Sample to be released an publisized. That is one of the very basics of the supposed system in place. If they can't get this right, then how can an intelligent person trust the more complicated tests??????

Given the trashing of its own rules, yet again, I'm more inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to Vino. I'm glad he's asked for his B-Sample to be tested and I hope he goes further if the "B" does not go in his favor.

If that becomes the case, I hope he insists on a public hearing as Floyd did. I'd be very interested in having LNDD's work scrutinized publicly, for a second time.

Jack said...

If only they'd acted as swiftly over Landis, then we'd not have this ridiculous situation with no TDF winner for 2006. All power to ASO, UCI and the antidoping agencies. Most top riders are doping, and they're just sore when they get caught.

Spike said...

It has been shown in the recent Floyd Landis arbitration proceedings that LNDD produces unreliable test results. Why, then, is most everyone now treating LNDD's leaked Vinokourov A test result as incontrovertible proof of blood doping?


James said...

IMO, the repeated lack of consequences for the anti-drug personnel who violate their own rules simply confirms the corruption of the anti-drug establishment at all levels. If WADA, the national agencies, and the laboratories can't or won't enforce their own rules, then they are the central part of the problem. Indeed, until and unless they hold themselves strictly accountable, their hypocrisy will encourage cyclists, team managers, doctors, journalists, etc. to engage in similarly poor behavior.

Sadly, I see little evidence that the authorities will make the necessary changes. Thus my hope for a better future in cycling is that Floyd will be found “not guilty” and that other cyclists and perhaps even whole teams, will see his “victory” as call to fight against the corrupt authorities.


bostonlondon said...

"IMO, the repeated lack of consequences for the anti-drug personnel who violate their own rules simply confirms the corruption of the anti-drug establishment at all levels."

Jack, IMO, I think you're losing a bit of perspective - who can possibly WIN by finding cyclists who have a positive test? Who can POSSIBLY benefit by that? It suggests a conspiracy theory that has absolutely NO motive - except for cycling to shoot itself in the foot, and put countless labs, managers, sports authorities and crews out of their jobs.

It just doesn't make any sense - none at all. Can you please explain why, why possibly why it would be in ANYONE's interest to see a team discredit itself, a lab discredit itself, a Tour discredit itself? I am trying to follow your logic here and I get lost.

I hate to be the one to bring us back to the topic at hand, but aren't we losing the fact that Doping Is Wrong? I'm not saying that Landis did, or that Vinokourov did, but the issue Still Remains - doping is wrong - and THAT's the message that is most important here. I'm just finding it so bizarre that we're rushing to the defence of someone who just tested positive for blood doping... what has HAPPENED here? What kind of message does that send to young aspiring cyclists? It would sound from your statement that the logical 'next step' is to shut down the sport, because NO ONE CAN BE TRUSTED. Jeeez Louise...

And for those who are screaming about rumours and leaks to the press - WHY ARE YOU READING THE LEAKS AND COMMENTING ABOUT THEM??? You're just as bad for soaking up the news and gloating or bemoaning it.

Can we please just get back to the TdF, and those riders who don't have ANYTHING unusual in their blood, who are just cycling because they enjoy it? Thanks.

Strider said...


What do you get when you cross Floyd Landis with Borat?


Alexandre Vinokourov!

Honestly, this really makes my day.

MMan said...

Who can possibly WIN by finding cyclists who have a positive test? Who can POSSIBLY benefit by that? It suggests a conspiracy theory that has absolutely NO motive - except for cycling to shoot itself in the foot, and put countless labs, managers, sports authorities and crews out of their jobs.

Plenty of people benefit.

First of all, these leaks. Undoubtably L'Equipe or whoever gets these stories first is paying the leaker, probably a lot by the pay standards of a lab tech. L'Equipe benefits by selling more newspapers - provided the name is big enough, like Landis or Vinokourov. Not to mention the reporter will get a raise or promotion for getting such a big story. If there isn't a real positive test, a falsified one will work just as well. Probably better, since the athlete in question will scream bloody murder rather than go quietly. More newspapers sold.

The labs don't go out of business for positive tests. The worse the doping problem is reputed to be, the more money they get. Every reason to generate as many positives as they can.

It might wreck cycling? Plenty of other sports to go after. They won't run out in our lifetimes.

Dick Pound sells $30+ books and commands large speaking fees by talking about the Hamiltons and Landises and soon, Vinokourovs he's nabbed. Joe Papps won't do; neither will months or years of negative tests; they're boring.

This all seems so obvious to me. I've never understood the "no reason to falsify results" or "everybody loses from positive test" statements.

Keith said...


"who can possibly WIN by finding cyclists who have a positive test?"

That is exactly the question. That is why the rules say NO leaking results, no test results until an athlete says it is ok, or there is a positive b test. But the french cesspool LNDD and the rag LaCreep are apparently above those rules much to the detriment of the sport.

Doping is WRONG. So are brazen breaches of testing confidentiality. If the lab doesn't have enough integrity to keep confidentiality rules, when do their ethics kick in? If the officials don't have enough fortitude to call the the lab on their illicit activity, how can they bemoan the ruination of the sport? How can they enforce strict liability for athletes and not for thmeselves?

I can't begin to guess why they have such a disregard for the rules or ethics. But I bet it begins and ends with money. THe one thing that is clear is that cycling is not important to the so-called lab or paper.

And why is it wrong to speak out against the leaks? Should we just ignore such outrageous conduct, and hope it never affects us or someone we know? That seems to be an unreasonable position. And I completely reject the notion I and others like me are as bad as the leakers because we would like the officials to follow their rules. And we are somehow suddenly not allowed to comment about it. WTH?

James said...

bostonlondon said...

“Jack, IMO, I think you're losing a bit of perspective - who can possibly WIN by finding cyclists who have a positive test? Who can POSSIBLY benefit by that? It suggests a conspiracy theory that has absolutely NO motive - except for cycling to shoot itself in the foot, and put countless labs, managers, sports authorities and crews out of their jobs.”

I apologize if my attempt at generalization was confusing. I’ll try to be more specific.

From the first published leak concerning Floyd Landis’ alleged “non-negative” test result to the testimony of the arbitration hearing, it has been clear that various members of various one particular anti-doping lab and several anti-doping organizations have either not followed any scientific process (in the case of the lab) or not followed their own rules and procedures.

I do not argue that this means these various organizations and their employees must have conspired (although it is a possibility).

I argue that it means the transgressing individuals have impaired their integrity, virtue, and moral principles by their actions, and thus also damaged the integrity, virtue, and moral standing of the organizations for whom they work.

Finally, I argue that the corruption of the Cycling’s guardian organizations is a much greater threat than the corruption of the cyclists.

- If you do not believe the above arguments could possibly true, despite the evidence available here on tbf
- If you cannot imagine people trying to cover up their mistakes by accusing others of transgressions
-If you think my focus on the transgressions of the system’s guardians means I ignore and/or support corrupt actions by cyclists
- Then I suggest we agree to disagree.


Ken (EnvironmentalChemistry.com) said...

MMan (@7:41) & Keith (@7:58), well said, I couldn't agree more with your assessments. There are plenty of people who benefit from finding positive test results.

I don't like dopers, but those within LNDD/WADA who are violating testing rules by leaking the A test results to Le'Equip are just as sleazy. Something needs to be done. Nobody should be above the rules of conduct on this matter. Not the athletes when it comes to doping and not those who are enforcing the anti-doping efforts. The lab needs to be shut down or at the very least the leak(s) exposed. Whomever is leaking the test results are doing as much damage to the sport of cycling as is the cyclists themselves.

Once the B sample has been tested, then and only then should the final results be released to the rest of the world and it should be done at a press conference where all media outlets have an opportunity to hear the news at the same time. Anyone who violates this rule within WADA, UCI, the testing labs, etc. should be fired on the spot, just like athletes are fired from their teams for doping. EVERYONE needs to obey a code of ethics/conduct!

bi_anne2001 said...

Maybe Vino had a few whiskeys the day before his great comeback, could certainly explain the great performance and subsequent doping anomoly.

calfeegirl said...

Would someone please point me to the article/site where it says that it was Astana that announced the positive? And that LEquippe reported the positive AFTER the team's announcement?

Thank you.

bi-anne and all, what is it about the lab that makes it so above reproach in your eyes? How do you so easily accept what they say they did as fact? I'd love to have your faith in the system. Perhaps you can help to enlighten those of us who doubt?

cat2bike said...

The system is not following their rules. There is all kinds of in-fighting among the cycling organazitions. They want power, and to be in Control. The lab, is not the one I would want my sample tested at, that's for sure. But Vino, has been around, he started his life in the USSR sports program, and doping in sports was "normal".
I won't be surprised if the test is correct, but the LNDD is not the best lab.

pcrosby said...

If I could ask again, can anyone answer my (perhaps uninformed) technical questions about why a rider would not use his own blood as the source for blood doping?

Pete Crosby

marc said...

hi calfeegirl,

I wasn't paying the attention I should have to the time stamps on the stories as I was translating them. I don't think there's a clear answer to your question of the order of things coming out. LeClerc (head of ASO) said he first heard about the positive test from the Astana manager (Marc Biver). But that doesn't tell us when and how Biver heard. My impression--but it is only an impression--is that the l'Equipe story was the very first story about this, beating Reuters, say, by almost two hours. But the l'Equipe story did not know at first that Astana would withdraw from the Tour, something Leclerc said he demanded of Biver immediately (and that Biver agreed to). So it doesn't sound as if l'Equipe got its story from Biver after Biver had spoken to Leclerc. (Nor would l'Equipe have heard from Biver before he spoke to Leclerc.) Which leaves l'Equipe finding out from its own, independent source. Certainly the lab has to be considered a likely source, particularly given earlier leaks to l'Equipe.


bi_anne2001 said...


I dont believe the lab is that good, but I just try to keep the balance on these debates when most people are so biased against the labs, whilst not acknowledging that the real problem is the large number of riders who cheat.

How for example of we talking about the labs so much now when we should all be saying how disgusted we are with Vinokourov

bostonlondon said...

Jespirio - I appreciate your point by point description of the 'whys' for the benefits of leaking to the press. I can see (though it seems more speculative) that one could construe that there are benefits, but from my personal experience in media over the past 12 years, I've seen first hand (by working at a large daily newspaper and now at a large national non-profit website) that leaks occur ANYWHERE - whether it be the guy who's downloading a photo from a digital camera, to the copy editor who's proofreading a story, to a courier who's transporting evidence. Just yesterday I was 'secretly' told that a fellow non-profit 'is being investigated' - information that is in NO way official, and yet, for fear that it will have a negative affect on the company, already the phones were buzzing with fellow companies to warn them of the possibility of being quoted alongside company X. I posit that it is completely rote that leaks get out, and most of the time, they do not come from a major media source, but rather from a much smaller fish in the sea of information. These days, all it takes is one email from one courier to a webmaster of a free site to start a leak process.

As far as the mention of bonuses to writers for a big story? My newspaper friends would LOVE for that to be true, but the system, whether in France or the US simply isn't the case. You get paid to find stories, that's your job. Things have changed - this is an age of uber accountability (as seen to such an extent that entire teams are leaving the TdF for fear of not seeming accountable.) A newspaper is in just as shaky a position by printing false information that was the result of a leak. That could give the paper and the site a temporary spike in their sales and web hits (and consequently more click throughs to sponsor ads), but that accounts for very little. Currently, newpapers across the world make around 2-5 percent of their profit from actual paper sales. The entire remainder of profit comes from advertising. Many newspapers are losing money. So generally speaking, the argument about 'increased sales' doesn't work - ask anyone who works in print media.

As for the lab somehow making money from negative results, I can't really comment on that because I don't know that area well enough. I think it would be helpful if we knew from some lab technicians the real story about whether people actually get paid off in order to find false positives.

So perhaps we still agree to disagree, but I will say that the arguments that say that flase positives are of benefit to web and print media don't really stand up to the reality of how media works these days.

wschart said...

Whether or not these leaks are of economic benefit to L'Equipe, or LNDD or whatever, it seems to me pretty incontrovertable that they do exist. Someone (or several someones) at the lab has a reason to provide leaks. Leaker(s) may be getting paid off by the paper, they may be thinking they are doing something above and beyond the call of duty to fight doping, they might be doing this to get certain riders they don't like DQed, they could be getting paid off by competing teams, they could be getting a sense of power, or any number of reasons. And L'Equipe is feeding the process by publishing these leaks. Perhaps journalistic ethics finds that ok, I am not nor have I ever been a journalist. And there is little that WADA could do to L'Equipe to sanction the paper. But they certainly could deal with the lab. But WADA seems to be the emperor, unaware of the nature of his new suit of clothes. To admit that there are problems at LNDD would be to admit that there could be problems with the results, something that WADA is unwilling to do.

Cub said...

I just woke up and turned on Versus and I'm seeing all four of their commentators assuming Vino is guilty and condeming him. Did Vino confess while I was sleeping? Did I miss the announcement of the B sample test? Or did these guys learn nothing about waiting until the facts are in from Floyd's case? If it's the latter I'm very disappointed in them.

So this blood test is an antibody test, eh? I don't know about this one, but I have heard some other antibody tests are hardly foolproof and false positives can be caused by a number of conditions including various health challenges. I wonder if Vino's infected knee will be an issue if Vino claims to be innocent?

jrdbutcher said...

To be clear:

1) Targeted testing, additional testing, and improved peer reviewed testing proceedures are all welcomed additions in my book.

2) The cause is appropriate.

3) The follow-through sucks.

4) The anti-doping rules, as they are written, put the anti-doping authorities in a nearly unprecidented position of control. (they make the rules, they approve the entities that carry out the testing, they act as prosecutor in the event of a hearing, they have set the standard of evidence to be at a point advantageous to themselves, they control the list of arbitrators-many with close ties to WADA or WADA officials, thus they also sit in judgement. Congrats, that's a near monopoly!

5) Still, they can't follow the very rules that they have written, themselves. Yet, they hold athletes accountable with career ruining foul-ups and career ending sanctions. (Keystone cops with a very large stick)

6) Leaks are still happening with regularity. Officials seem to accept them casually when they are associated with LNDD & l'Equipe. At least the bombastic comments from McQuaid and Pound have somewhat diminished. Now, that's progress! (New leak-name of rider-expected today with regard to an AAF on an A-sample for testosterone. Again, we should not be hearing about this unless the athlete in question wants us to.

7) So far, I have not heard of any athlete being presented with an A-Sample AAF wanting his/her results published if they intended to request a B-Sample test.

8) I think we can point to many examples of athletes being maneuvered into verifying their A-Sample AAF after news of the AAF was leaked.

9) Repetitive leaks are just as against the rules as is the act of doping. Anti-doping personel involved in leaking confidential information are just as guilty of sabotaging the reputation of the sport as are the dopers. In my mind, their crime is more serious as they are entrusted as gatekeepers and have violated that higher expectation of trust.

10) The problem is truly systemic. It inolves violations by those that dope and those that are entrusted with positions in the anti-doping movement. The problems will not be solved by blaming only the riders.

11) Vino, and the soon to be named rider with the A-Sample AAF for testosterone, have not been afforded the limited due process that should be available to them under the rules. We shouldn't even know about their AAF's. We shouldn't know until and unless there is a confirmation via their B-Sample. (And it's not okay to maneuver them into confirming their own A-Sample results)

12) Aside from the abysmally sloppy work that LNDD was shown to have done via Floyd's hearing, Vino should not be in the position of defending himself in the absense of access to the evidence against him. "Trial by Media" all over again.

13) The media is not qualified to conduct a trial. The media is qualified to report on a trial (or hearing)and perhaps make comment on a trial or hearing.

jrdbutcher said...

bi_anne2001 said:
"I dont believe the lab is that good, but I just try to keep the balance on these debates when most people are so biased against the labs, whilst not acknowledging that the real problem is the large number of riders who cheat.

How for example of we talking about the labs so much now when we should all be saying how disgusted we are with Vinokourov"

Okay, so you are saying we shoud be disgusted with Vinolourov because he had the results of his A-Sample leaked????????

If the anti-doping authorities can't/won't follow their own rules, there ability to accurately determine those that dope comes into question.

If they followed their own rules and we only learned of a Vino AAF following testing of his B-Sample, I would have more confidence in the likelyhood of the assertion made that he has doped.

As it is, I have no confidence in a process that does little to nothing to plug leaks, keep confidential information confidential, and take seriously the limited rights of athletes.

Before I presume to judge, let's see the results of the B-Sample, and if that comes back against Vinokourov, let's see a hearing that scrutinizes the proceedures that led to the two AAF's.

I'm willing to decide for myself when the process has played out or if Vinokourov concedes, not before.

It's interesting that bi_anne2001 can devine the answer and decide for all of us right now. bi_anne2001 must be gifted.

wschart said...

If Vino did indeed blood dope, I am disgusted; however I will wait for the process to run its course. Do we forget that Marion Jones was cleared by B sample testing after an A sample produced an AAF?

jrdbutcher said...

wschart said...
"If Vino did indeed blood dope, I am disgusted; however I will wait for the process to run its course. Do we forget that Marion Jones was cleared by B sample testing after an A sample produced an AAF?"

The Marion Jones A-Sample AAF was another result we should not have known about. In fact, we should not have known anything unless Jones wished us to. A non-AAF on her B-sample obliged anti-doping authorities to say nothing, keep the whole affair quiet at the B-sample exonerated her. An example of more rules violations by the anti-doping establishment, their own rules.

All I am expecting is that they follow their own rules. That's it. Simple.

bi_anne2001 said...

Vinokourov, Marco Pantani ,Roberto Heras, Dario Frigo , Stefano Garzelli , Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, 9 guys pulled out of the race with these guys last year including 5 of Vinokourovs team mates, not too suspicious), 50 cyclists implicated in Operation Puerto (lets not make the give DNA though), David Miller, Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis etc etc.

The labs are really ruining this sport.

jrdbutcher said...

Several of the names you mention above are not riding (or were suspended) because of action by law enforcement, not stellar lab work. The names Basso, Ullrich, and Millar come to mind.

In the case of Vinokourov, we have the leaked result of an A-Sample AAF in contrivention of anti-doping rules. Can you cite a previous AAF on Vinokourov? Vinokourov was not implicated in Operation Puerto and has not been implicated in the affair to date. Enough of his former team members, from 2006, were implicated to get the team disqualified from starting the 2006 TdF, that the team did not meet the minimum rider number and thus was unable to take the start. It was later found that more than one of those implicated riders was implicated in error. Alberto Contador is one example.

The Floyd Landis case has yet to reach a conslusion. Regardless of the ruling; WADA, USADA, and especially LNDD did not come out unblemished.

Pantani is long dead. Cheap shot. He's not here to defend himself or admit to any wrongdoing. RIP.

Lots of cyclists were implicated in Operation Pureto, some wrongly as mentioned above. Operation Puerto proffered that tennis, football (soccer), and track athletes were also involved, but none have been mentioned to date. Just cyclists. Why is that?

Anyone riding the 2007 TdF was coerced into pledging to give samples for DNA analysis and to forfeit one year of salary on top of the usual sanctions if cought doping. What is your point about DNA?????

As you post seems to have been somewhat reactionary and inaccurate, I think I'll leave it at that for now.

Keith said...


Everyone knows the cheating in sport (in this case cycling) needs to be eliminated. Everyone agrees with that over and over and over and over again. But can't other parts of the system be looked at simultaniously? A system is no better than its weakest component.

(I will type this next part in caps so you can understand there is an emphasis here)


How can this be good? Why wouldn't anyone want to clean up the labs while we clean up the riders?

The labs are not solely responsible for the problems in the sport but certainly are contributory. Why is that so hard to understand?

Anonymous said...

Excerpt taken from the Executive Summary of the Vrijman Report on Lance's supposed positive EPO samples from '99 TDF. Seemed relevent to the above discussion.

"1.23 As discussed in detail in this report, the LNDD representatives contend that it is
just a coincidence that LNDD analysis reports regarding ‘positive’ urine samples
are routinely reported prematurely in L’Equipe. L’Equipe has reported the positive tests results of various athletes before those athlete or their respective IFs had even received notice. In all of these situations the rules and laws governing confidentiality
and athletes’ rights have been violated, but, as far as the investigator has been able to determine, there has been no indication to date that anyone is investigating this or taking steps to ensure that this does not happen again in the future or that
those responsible face sanctions. This matter however, might be more than just a coincidence. Mr. Ressiot claims that he did not reveal the names of three (3) other
riders alleged to have produced positive urine samples as well, because of very technical remarks on the lab results table regarding one of these three (3) urine
samples. Yet the lab results table published by the LNDD as part of its research report regarding the analyses of the urine samples from the 1999 Tour de France, does not contain such remarks. Neither do the original doping control forms from the 1999 Tour de France, or the corresponding original analysis report from the LNDD.
The investigator considers this a very serious matter, which needs to be investigated further, because it damages the credibility of international doping control testing. WADA, the French Ministry, and the LNDD should be compelled to cooperate with
this investigation.

1.24 From the first day the L’Equipe story was published, it was readily apparent that rules about research reports and athlete confidentiality had to have been
compromised. Nevertheless, only a few individuals with the status and credibility to make a difference were willing to speak publicly about this. WADA Vice President Brian Mikkelsen and the Director of the Canadian WADA-accredited doping control
laboratory in Montreal, Dr. Christian Ayotte, were two of the few individuals within the
international anti-doping community who were willing to voice their concerns openly
and to put them on record. Other individuals to whom the investigator has spoken
made it clear that they were aware of the problems, but were unwilling to speak out for fear of retribution from WADA. Similarly, the LNDD representatives made it
clear that they were afraid to resist WADA’s demands for including the ‘additional
information’ in their research reports. After their interview, they were not prepared to
speak anymore with the investigator, notwithstanding their promises to the contrary.
Neither would they allow him access to the documentation they had referred to during the interview or provide him with copies of these, unless ordered to do so by a French court. Even when the ASOIF and the IOC Athletes Commission expressed their
joint concerns regarding the violation of athlete’s confidentiality in this matter, WADA apparently was able to block any hearing or consideration of those concerns. Even
though the WADA Executive Committee decided that a suitable response to the ASOIF
and IOC Athletes’ Commission letter should be carefully prepared, the response from
WADA President Dick Pound was anything but suitable or carefully prepared. The investigator believes that without the commissioning of an independent investigation by the UCI these concerns might never have been addressed. This may explain why
WADA President Dick Pound responded to the ASOIF/IOC Athletes Commission 22
letter in the manner he did, i.e. as a deliberate attemp to stop the ASOIF and the IOC Athletes Commission in their tracks. The investigator feels that this situation needs to be changed. The investigator recommends that WADA changes -if necessary- its
governance structure and policies to ensure that concerns like those expressed by Mikkelsen, Ayotte, the ASOIF, and the IOC Athletes Commission are timely identified,
considered, resolved, and remedied and that a mechanism will be devised as soon as possible to deal with any grievances any WADA stakeholder might have who
is adversely affected by alleged misconduct either by WADA, a WADA-accredited laboratory, a WADA official or any other individual or organization involved in
international doping control testing and results management system. Whether this should be achieved by instituting a ‘Code of Ethical Behavior’ applying to all
WADA staff and personnel or having an ‘Ethics Committee’ not unlike the IOC Ethics Committee, is for others to decide. However, just as athletes are accountable for their
behavior, so should WADA.

1.25 The investigator has determined that the LNDD, and WADA, to an undefined extent
in cooperation with the French Ministry, have behaved in ways that are completely inconsistent with the rules and regulations of international anti-doping control
testing and in certain cases even in violation of applicable legislation. Several of
the issues addressed in this report however, require further investigation. As soon
as an organization with authority has compelled the production of all relevant documents and cooperation with this investigation, the investigator can continue the investigation and go even farther in finding answers to the remaining questions, in
particular concerning the leaking of the confidential information to the Mr. Ressiot, the L’Equipe reporter. In addition, a tribunal with authority needs to be convened, to provide a fair hearing to the individuals and organizations involved in the misconduct discussed in this report. If that tribunal finds, after affording all involved a fair
hearing, that as the investigator has found in this preliminary report, that misconduct
occurred, that tribunal should determine the appropriate sanctions to remedy
the violations and to deter similar conduct in the future, whether by the specific
individuals involved in this matter or by others in the future.