Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sunday Roundup

Dear Floyd, my name is Ethan. I am 5 years old. I like to ride bike. I just learned to ride without training wheels. I can go really fast.

Here is a note from a young fan of Floyd's that we snapped Friday night at the book signing in Lancaster,PA. More to follow in the coming days, the wifi is very sporadic, but strbuk will report when she can. There is a large group ride today with Floyd, and a picnic to follow. The weather is great, the people are wonderful, it's a marvelous day for a bike ride, so just get out there and enjoy.

WGAL Lancaster posts a short blurb on today's ride and picnic with local Floyd Landis supporters. All the local TV stations had crews to cover the events. In the coming days they may post the video to their web sites.

The USA Today posts an AP story about the increase in the USOC contribution to USADA's anti doping budget. More money will be poured into research and testing for "high risk"sports such as cycling:

Under the new contract, USADA will receive about $2 million a year from the USOC, which represents about 17 percent of its approximately $12 million annual budget, USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said. The rest comes from the federal government. USADA will remain the tester and prosecutor of American athletes suspected of doping.

In 2006, 39 percent of USADA's tests were performed on athletes in cycling, track and swimming.

Also scheduled to increase will be the number of tests done without advance notice and the number of blood tests. Blood testing is the only way to identify

This doesn't look like much of a change to us-- it's not like USOC is doubling the funding. The article says that last year, 241 of 8400 tests were done on "table tennis, archery, bowling, badminton and 'roller sports.'" The implication is this was too many, even though this was all of 2% of the total. Moving those to track and cycling will change them from 39% to 41%, not much of a difference. And it'll be telling those other sport that USADA is looking the other way, literally. At about $500/test, 8400 tests is about $4 million. Where did the other $8 million of the USADA budget go? (Yes, you can look it up, it's a rhetorical question). Identifying these 241 tests and sports just looks stupid to us.

Update-- an emailer looks up other things and suggests:

2004 - USOC funds were $3.7M
2005 - USOC funds were $3.3M
2006 - USOC funds were $3.85M (estimated)
2007 - USOC funds will be $2M

So in addition to a "get tough" press release, USOC seems to be nearly halving its funding of USADA!? Something is not adding up. Either it's a $2M increase to $5.85M, the other arithmetic isn't right in the article, or somebody is spinning like a top.

Philly Inquirer talks about yesterday's ride and the state of the case, with some support from John Eustice.

Comcast SportsNet's John Finger gets the official version of his interview with Floyd Landis posted this morning.
What really got lost and I have been trying to tell people this: when they got to the point where they had to identify the substance and they had to measure it, they identified the wrong thing. And that got lost in the whole big mess because there were so many arguments, but if you just look at that there’s no point in even talking about the rest of it. The other 200 things they did wrong don’t even matter because they didn’t even test testosterone,” Landis said.

Then, he paused, leaned forward on the couch and raised his voice beyond a normal conversational tone:

“And I don’t know how they are going to get around that! What are they going to say, ‘Well, it was something close to testosterone so we’ll just call him guilty.’ How is that going to work? I don’t know, but believe me, I’ve seen them do some pretty strange things to this point.”

The Intellegencer's Don Cosentino writes up Friday's ride with Floyd in Harleysville,PA where Floyd spoke about his new book, "Positively False".
“We put (together) a case which I can't imagine (the USADA) could possibly refute unless the arguments were not repeated at the hearing,” he said. “I don't know what their findings are going to be but we certainly explained everything to them. There's some things that they can't possibly get around without fabricating something.”

(Don picks up our finding yesterday it was the #1 sports bio at Amazon, so we must have a reader)

Baltimore Sun goes over Walsh's book, and pointedly leads:
For David Walsh, it is all black and white. There are the good guys in professional cycling, those who take no performance-enhancing drugs, and the bad guys, those who do. And Lance Armstrong is definitely a bad guy.

Too much of the stuff comes across like something out of a John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theory - throw a bunch of stuff out there and hope some of it sticks.


For a detailed accounting of how this could be the case, read Daniel Coyle's 2005 book Lance Armstrong's War, a much more sober and insightful look at this difficult, gifted star than Walsh's unbridled indictment.

DW-World has the best article to date on Jaksche's admissions. We won't follow this extensively.

The Times (UK) has an exceptionally sympathetic interview by Paul Kimmage of Greg Lemond, hitting touchstones of both parties. Lemond seems to be trying to fan the flames about The Call:
“It was one of the most emotionally disturbing things that has ever happened to me and I’m hoping that the LA police and the DA [district attorney] are going to charge both Floyd and Will, because under his testimony, Floyd essentially admitted he was right there with Will all the way through. How else would he get the number?”

The exact involvement of Landis in the making of the call has yet to be determined.

“The thing that really bugs me,” Kathy says, “is that he has never apologised. He knew damn well how traumatic this is for Greg.”

“He actually said under testimony that what I had told him had traumatised him!” LeMond snorts. “I just hope the DA goes after him. The whole thing is sick – the cover-up, the threats – it’s just sick. This sport needs to bleed to death before it can rebuild. And even then, I don’t know . . .”

Some of these statements are hard to reconcile. Landis testified that he and Geoghegan synced phone contact lists, and my recollection is that Landis also apologized on more than one occasion. So far, there is no known motion on the part of the DA.

Podium Cafe reads Walsh, and accepts most of it.

Etape or Bust read Kimmage's interview with Lemond, and would rather hear about 8 seconds than the rest of this stuff.

Tim's Thoughtful Spot tries to balance in his mind the flaws in Landis' testing vs. the widespread doping and doesn't know what to think.

Randy McRanterson
(unrelated to our Rant) hates morning DJ John DeBella, who he credits only for recently having Landis on his show. Recommended listening: "Pink Floyd, "Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-7)." We'll agree with that over anything from The Wall.


Ken ( said...

John Finger's article/interview is really good reading. I highly recommend it.

Cheryl from Maryland said...

Hey Starbuck, it's a beautiful day here about 125 miles south of you - hope you have a great time at the bike ride/picnic.

I'll be at the Tuesday book signing and hope to have some pix for you guys.

Ken ( said...

I sent the book tour contact person at the Floyd Fairness Fund an email asking them if they were considering adding a book signing in the Boston MA area (as I live in Maine). They said they were looking at adding more locations so if more people from the Boston area (including ME, NH, etc.) write them, maybe they will come up here to these parts. I'd encourage others in these parts who are interested in going to one of Floyd's book signings to email the contact on the book signing events page. Someone could always offer to take Floyd to one of our many good micro-brew pubs while he is up here.

Richard said...

OH NO. Here we go again...

Michael said...

Nice article about the USOC and USADA. Guess everything that we've been talking about -'s about catching a big fish to get more funding - is coming true....

Mike Solberg said...

Hey Richard, as long as they make a BETTER effort, and not just a BIGGER effort, at fighting doping, it's just fine with me.


bi_anne2001 said...

Lets be thankful for the extra funding and stop banging on against the USADA and LNDD and whoever. Lets hope they improve their techniques and catch more of the huge number of the real bad guys, the large number of cheats who infect the sport of cycling. If professional cycling wasn't such a corrupt sport we would not have a need to knock the guys who are just trying to do thier jobs. The reason we have a case to knock the good guys in all this is because the bad guys are so better funded in what they do. Half the people on this site are supporting the mafia rather than approving extra funding to help the much maligned police.

Jeff said...

bi_anne2001 -

So, just because they are the "police", they should get a free pass? It has nothing to do with supporting the bad guys, it has to do with making sure the people policing the bad guys follow the rules. what's the quote? "I would rather 100 guilty guys go free than one innocent person convicted"? Doesn't the 100% conviction rate leave you just a little bit curious? How about the codification from the WADA that says you can't say anything bad about another lab. I mean, to imply it is one thing, but to actually have the cajones to write it down and publish it for the world to see is something else entirely....