Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday Roundup

Unconfirmed email says Landis is home in California, training his pen hand for the continuation of Le Tour de Book, and maybe logging some miles for the Leadville 100. This suggests no guerrilla invasion of the UK or France in the offing.

The IHT has the rumor mill churning out on thing after another, and it's mostly about Floyd Landis. They report that now tomorrow the arb decision will be announced prior to the beginning of the Tur de France on London. This can be viewed as either a way to overshadow the start of the Tour, or an attempt to wipe the slate clean from last year. Another story making the rounds is that Floyd Landis will show up in person in London to publicize his book. Finally Oscar Pereiro is still whining about what he had taken from him this year by the Landis controversy, and that he has now had all the fun taken out of racing.

Newsweek also tackles the subject of the crossroads cycling now finds itself in with Frankie Andreu expressing his opinion that Floyd Landis was the tipping point in sending cycling over the edge into chaos. The truth in cycling may lie somewhere between the optimistic view presented in "Positively False" , that there is not widespread doping in cycling, and the pessimistic opinions expressed in David Walsh's book,"From Lance to Landis":

As Landis's legal team has pointed out on numerous occasions, doping tests are not the same as pregnancy tests—they are procedurally complex, and require interpretation by scientists. But that doesn't leaven the public perception that pro cyclists live in a bizarre parallel universe where scientific results are no more trustworthy than gossip on a bathroom wall In "Positively False," Landis admits as much, but adds that because a rider is "assumed to be guilty from the very beginning," the accused has no choice but to proclaim his innocence—even in the face of a positive test. To say anything less would amount to admitting guilt. He mounts his defense by first presenting his rise to Tour champion from humble Mennonite roots in Pennsylvania. The tone is upbeat, and Landis comes across as a focused, if rebellious, cyclist with tremendous talent. For the first 10 chapters, there's almost no mention of drug use in cycling, except to make the point that he followed the UCI's and the World Anti-Doping Agency's rules to the letter. The way to win the Tour, according to Landis, is simple: train harder and longer than everyone else. Drugs don’t enter the equation. The last five chapters, which Landis's lawyers admit violates a gag order issued by the USADA, focus on his pending case and amount to an indictment of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the UCI, the USADA and the French lab that conducted his doping tests—organizations, Landis says, that attack innocent athletes while letting the real cheaters slip away.The key to winning the Tour, according to David Walsh's "From Lance to Landis," is to dope harder than everyone else. Walsh has done his research, and he presents pages of interviews with former U.S. Postal riders and staffers, including Andreu. But in his quest to take down Lance Armstrong, Walsh fails to find hard evidence.

Boston Globe/Bonnie DeSimone
(moved from ESPN?) writes about the state of the sport on the eve of the tour:
If this is not the Tour of Credibility, it's at the very least a Tour of Transition that will unfold in an increasingly tenuous economic environment for the sport.

The Berkshire Eagle Online posts an AP report mirroring the rumor of an announcement from the Floyd Landis arbitration hearings will be made tomorrow in London with Floyd Landis' appeal decision now cast as possibly stealing the thunder from the beginning of an already lackluster Tour.

AP lists Landis, Ullrich, Basso and Petacchi as non-starters for the Tour.

The San Diego Tribune previews tomorrow's Tour de France beginning with what has become typical for this year a pessimistic look forward at the race and cycling itself with more than one mention that the defending champion will not be there.
has Dugard's tour reports, and today he talks of the various bits of symbolism in Peirero wearing 11 and starting the Prologue last, typically the spot of the defending champion.

JimboTalk Radio/America in the Morning had Landis on today, audio only. Asked about favorites this year, Landis doesn't duck with the "not me, I don't care" he's done before, and picks Vino.

The Herald Bulletin posts an editorial about the preponderance of asterisks in sports today, and feels that Floyd Landis has been fitted for one himself and that it is hoped that last year's Tour de France results are written in pencil rather than ink.

Chicago Tribune/Philip Hersh covers Mr. Pound's last address to the assembled IOC as WADA chair, praising his, "ability to mix wit and wisdom." Hersh thinks the anti-doping fight will miss Mr. Pound, no matter what Armstrong and Landis think.

USA Today covered Mr. Pound's remarks, including threatening observations how few sports and federations were in compliance:
[A] WADA report distributed at the meeting Friday showed that 13 of the 35 Olympic sports federations were not in compliance as of May 4. It also indicated that only 21 of the world's 203 national Olympic committees had complied. The report did not identify the sports or committees.

Pound said he hoped the warning would prod them to action before a report by WADA in September. If any of the federations still fail to comply by a WADA board meeting in November 2008, the agency will report those sports to the IOC for possible action.


Without singling out cycling as one of the offenders, Pound said the sport's governing body - the UCI - had allowed doping "to get out of hand."

"It's not only organized, it's endemic," Pound said, adding that the sport's credibility "is in shreds."

Pound said WADA wants to increase the punishment for "aggravated" doping violations from a two-year suspension to a ban of up to four years. Research has found that the benefit from using anabolic steroids "may last longer than the two years," he said.

Rant apologizes to The Stones and adapts the lyrics to a song that must tell it all for Floyd Landis and the waiting game he now finds himself in

Viva Les Alpes wants Landis to stay away from the Tour this year.

Freakonomics is having a hard time believing anyone is clean.

Multichannel News says don't watch this year. Gives a fair and accurate brief description of the Landis case.

Ordinary Bo picks up on the rumor that the Landis decision is imminent.

Nag Nag Nag isn't going to the let the Landis affair ruin his appreciation of the Tour de France. He assumes that all cyclists cheat and therefore the race is fair.

Josh wonders if the Tour de France is worth his time in light of the Landis story from this past year.

Music City Blogger read Josh Tinley's piece this AM and she thinks that it's not the fans who are to blame for doping, but the participants themselves. In any case she, will be following and covering the Tour de France this year, and even though it may be a tour of disillusionment for some she still thinks of Floyd Landis as one of her favorites.

Cycling is Life is irked about Peirero getting the number 11.

AJ Fortin
runs down some tour-related numbers, like a Harper's index. He's all over Peirero's 11 too.

Two For Elbowing
cites Mercury News, and still isn't happy with Landis:

It's not just Landis, who's yet to show me anything that causes me to remotely want to believe he's not dirty;

Bitch Kittie is half believing the decision today rumors, but hasn't found anything substantive. She sends Bobke a Happy Birthday! and so should everyone else.

Seabendy looks at the Tour, and wonders if Zabriskie is feeling guilt by association with Landis.

is frustrated by the time to resolve the Landis case, and thinks all the onus has fallen on the athlete. He's looking forward to the Prologue.

Bicycling's Boulder Report is on "Verdict Watch day 44", and still gives us a plug, despite having and has lost all sympathy for Landis:
I think he’s pursued as vicious, vindictive a case, built on selectively trumpeted evidence, as he accuses the prosecution of doing

Johnny Baseball touches on the Landis "verdict today" fantasy, and notes he hasn't gotten an answer back from several queries to USADA. He shouldn't take it personally -- We haven't even gotten a "no comment" from them on contacts since September, even though we're polite and don't ask about the Landis case.

Sports Pastor
(not Cal) is running a tournament and in a first round match pits Floyd Landis against Tony Stewart.

The Ignatian Perspective
concludes a long piece about the meditative qualities of exercise with this:
And if I may add, isn’t American Tour de France winner, Floyd Landis, about to be exonerated of charges against his most recent tour win?

FictionWise is hustling Positively False as an e-book.

The Regal Vizsla
just notices TBV, and thinks the ruling has been delayed only a day. We think that is unlikely -- we'd have been taking the week of the 10th in the pool.

Harm Ideas
is waiting for the ruling and Ullrich's confession. Hope he isn't deferring anything like eating.

Peloton Jim continues the Pope Watch with the sun setting on a disappointed square, the day's smoke as black as the night.


Mike Solberg said...

TbV, so, nothing yet from any of your contacts, eh? I would think you would have heard by now if a decision was coming down today or tomorrow.

Do we even know what Campbell, Brunet, and McLaren's meeting schedule has been? Have they been in the same place at the same time?

Will anybody say what the official closing date of the hearing was?


pcrosby said...

Judge Hue's review indicated to me that it was likely that a decision was not due yet.

In addition it was not likely that the panel would be willing to draw attention from the start of the Tour. I think it is most likely that a decision will not be released until the Tour is over. If I am wrong, then I would guess that it will appear the evening before a rest day in order to minimize the distraction. The panel is not operating in a vacuum and will be sensitive to the furor it will cause.
Pete Crosby

wschart said...

But the timing issues that the judge discussed may tie their hands somewhat as to when they do release the results. Depending on when the official closing is/was set, then they only have so many days to release the results. Unless they could rig something up where they release the results to both sides in conjunction with a gag order.

The impact the decision could have of the TdF could depend on which way they go. I'd think a ruling against Landis would have less impact, being perceived as just confirmation of what Pound, Prudhomme et. al. have been saying. "See, we told you." However, a finding for Landis would have much more impact, what with Floyd's non-person status for ASO. They'd sort of have to respond in some way.

jrdbutcher said...

Strbuk, it was good to meet you at Floyd's ride and picnic in Ephrata.

Also, thank you for holding down the TBV fort during vacations!

I think Judge Hue has made a convincng arguement that today is the first possible day the arbs can announce a decision. The decision watch begins.

Whenever the decision is announced, it will be interesting to read the rational of the arbs. If the arbitrators exercise professionalsim and have integrity, Floyd should be fine.

strbuk said...

Thanks jrdbutcher! It was great meeting you as well as all the other loyal TBVers who were in Ephrata last weekend.


jrdbutcher said...

Interesting quotes from Dick Pound and Lamine Diack in USA Today, several that were not highlighted above:

Pound said WADA wants to increase the punishment for "aggravated" doping violations from a two-year suspension to a ban of up to four years. Research has found that the benefit from using anabolic steroids "may last longer than the two years," he said.

(He is predictably silent on the subject of "aggravated" lab screw ups)

In addition, the agency (WADA) proposes increasing the minimum penalty from three months to one year for athletes who fail to meet requirements on reporting their whereabouts and being available for doping tests.

(Any penalties for labs that foul COC by failing to record contemporaneously? I'm just sayin.)

Lamine Diack complained about confusion over sprinter Marion Jones' test results from the June 2006 U.S. Championships in Indianapolis, where the five-time Olympic medalist tested positive for EPO. She immediately requested a B sample test, which was negative, clearing her of any offense.

(WADA approved lab tests A sample and delares a non-negative. Oh by the way, let's not even mention the leak of the A sample result. Athlete, per her rights, requests her B sample be tested. B sample result comes back in the athlete's favor and the athlete is cleared. What is Lamine Diack complaining about and to whom is his complaint addressed??? Lamine has b***s though, as Marion Jones has better reason to complain given the evidence of her tests conducted by a WADA approved lab)

Pound said that conflict between A and B samples "shouldn't happen if it's done properly ... Some of that is a lack of sufficient expertise in some of the labs."

(Is Dick Pound finally publically admitting WADA approved labs make errors??? Is he hinting hinting that WADA approved labs sometimes come up short on conducting testing properly??? Do tell more, Dick.)

That was just too easy and there is a wealth of material to go forward, but I'm bored with it and the horse doesn't need to be punished further. The scrambled logic in Dick's head would serve as punishment enough if it were not a part of a system that hands down punishment to athletes, whether deserved or not. I'd like my odds at the roulette wheel better than with the WADA system in place if I were still subject to drug testing as a requirement for competing.

Again, I'm just sayin and Dick's own words help support my point.

Cal & Lorie said...


Thanks for the plug.


wschart said...

OK, it's 10:30 pm CDT. I think its safe to assume no decision if forthcoming today. I doubt they'd release anything over the weekend. Any other guesses?

Richard said...

I need to rant here a bit. I'm really getting sick of Joe Lindsey and his holier-than-thou prognosticating from the perch of Bicycling's mantle. I intend to call him on it and cancel my subscription. They probably won't care, but I intend to call him to task. I mean, if he really wants to find something out, why doesn't he just go to the source and ask, or maybe do some real journalism and investigate something? Oh, that's right, he'd rather leave it all up to Hiltzik, parse his words, steal some stuff from The Irishman and then wad it up into spitballs to fire off at Floyd, Lance, Tyler, and anyone else he can aim at.

Joe - quit acting like a punk, interview Arnie Baker and some decent 3rd-party objective sources before you go throwing stones, er, spitballs at anyone. Maybe you could write a real thesis and end up with something actually productive for once. But then again, maybe you'd just like to gripe about the perceived status quo.

Edit away. I probably deserve it. said...


Bicycling Mag gets hit both ways. You don't like the anti-Landis slant in the Boulder Report from Joe Lindsey, and other people don't like what they perceive as the pro-Landis slant in the print magazine from "not-disclosed co-author" Loren Mooney.

And if they didn't cover it at all, they'd get nailed for participating omerta.

If you're going to cancel, please do it for another reason than this.