Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuesday Roundup

The San Diego Union Tribune writes of the agonizingly interminable wait for the Landis arbitration decision. As of this writing it appears that the panel has not closed the hearing, so the length of the wait could be anybody's guess:

When the hearing concluded, lead arbitrator Patrice Brunet said the proceedings would technically remain open until both sides had filed “findings of facts.” He allowed three weeks for the court reporter to provide transcripts, then another two for attorneys to prepare their findings. Once the hearing is officially closed, the arbitration rules stipulate, the panel has 10 business days to issue a ruling – which, in this case, put it in mid-July.

It's nearly August. So what happened?
A Landis spokesperson says findings of facts were filed by both sides on June 28. But the panel, at least late last week, still had not formally closed the hearing, meaning no 10-day clock is ticking.

In the meantime witness tampering charges will not be filed against former Landis manager Will Geoghegan, but at the same time Greg LeMond's lawyer says that legal proceedings against Landis are not out of the question:

Chris Madel, LeMond's Minneapolis-based attorney, says, “We are considering all legal options against Mr. Landis and his agents.”

I think Mr. Landis is out of control,” Madel said in a phone interview. “His recent interviews are being increasingly erratic about what he says about Mr. LeMond and others. . . . This guy holds himself up as this Christian, but at the same time he has no trouble hurling stones at others when he has no basis to do that.

“We want to make him pay.”

Bloomberg reports Sinkewitz has chosen to skip the B test, and he's been fired from T-Mobile, according to the team. They also say he owes them his pay because of "the pledge". No comments from him directly.

AP has Sinkewitz confessing to using T-gel, probably source of Cycling Fans Anonymous story below.

Sport1.de makes a claim that Cadel Evans has done something with Ferarri.

The Denver Post offers an opinion piece on the "scandal" formerly known as riding a bike, and notes that Floyd Landis was doing just that in Colorado Sunday rather than participating in the Tour de France.

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Bob Ford says it may not be pretty to watch the process, but at least cycling is trying to clean up its act unlike some US sports.

The CyclingNews has reports on the comeback of Alessandro Petacchi, the acceptance of Vino by his countrymen, and Alberto Contador who says that Oscar Pereiro will make a great Tour de France champion, once they disqualify Floyd Landis to give him the 2006 title that is.

The Jamestown Sun
quotes Frankie Andreu as saying that since he thought this year's edition of the Tour de France would be better than last year's, and it was not, he has no confidence in how next year's event will be.

ESPN Page 2
asks us to imagine what it would be like if the model set up by professional cycling to catch drug cheats was applied to say MLB, or the NFL. Imagine it indeed:

Had the NFL had the same rigorous testing as cycling, the Carolina Panthers might have showed up for Super Bowl XXXVIII a little shorthanded. As it turned out, several Panthers reportedly used performance-enhancing drugs during the 2003 season, and two of them allegedly had prescriptions for steroids filled right before they appeared in the Super Bowl. And while we can make all the jokes we want about Floyd Landis, last year's Tour champion, the most glorified record in American sports is on the verge of being shattered by a man with numerous ties to performance-enhancing drugs. Tour officials already don't recognize Landis as the champion and are pushing the United States Anti-Doping Agency to strip Landis of the title. Bud Selig wishes he had such an option with Barry Bonds.

SeattlePI.Com writes of disillusioned young cyclists, and too many heroes with feet of clay.

Cycling Fans Anonymous has more details of Sinkewitz, not seen by us before, nor attributed, but they sound plausible:
Now ex-T-Mobiler Patrik Sinkewitz has declined to have his B sample tested and has admitted to using testosterone gel during the June T-Mobile training camp where he was tested. He said that on the day before his test he had used Testogel made by the firm Jenapharm which is meant to help people suffering from testosterone deficiency. During the intense training of the camp, he used the T to speed up his recovery. He was fired from T-Mobile today and his actions (along with everything else) may spell the end of T-Mobile's sponsorship of the team.

Testosterone gel was USADAs main theory for what Landis did, so it would be interesting to get Sinkewitz's results to compare. Fat chance.

Rant shares a few of his thoughts from yesterday evening.

Witty and Vibrant
thinks that Floyd Landis is just another in a long line of two wheeled junkies.

Steve Lavey is disgusted with professional cycling, and now it's official.

Steroid Nation writes that one year after the most embarrassing event in Tour de France history, the positive PED test of winner Floyd Landis, there is now a laundry list from this year's event that makes it pale by comparison.

She Didn't Have Time
is very happy with the Discovery team's results this year in the TdF, but she is unable to understand why, with last year's Landis saga still dragging on, competitors thought they could get away with doping.

notes ESPN's hypocrisy in the way it covers the Barry Bonds home run story juxtaposed to the way it covers, or doesn't cover, the Tour de France .

CFA is not taking any bets when it comes to the Leadville 100 and the Lance vs Floyd drama. Who knows who will show up and in what kind of condition they will be in?

Christopher Sacco thinks that you can't tell if someone is using steroids by j just looking at them, take Floyd Landis for instance.

Gravitation to the Corner Bar
wonders whatever happened to Floyd Landis anyway.

Suitcase of Courage converts cycling wattage output to horsepower so that people can understand better what it takes to ride in the pro peloton:
Allen Lim coached Floyd Landis on his miraculous comeback attack. As Dr. Lim explained to me just days after the Tour, they knew exactly how many watts Floyd could generate over a set period of time, and they figure out that this number was higher when his body temperature was lower. As that day's stage in the Tour was extremely hot, the team decided Floyd would go on a daring attack throughout most of the stage to try and win back the Tour. The trick to all this was that by riding by himself off the front of the peloton Landis was able to keep his team car close by so he could dump close to 80 bottles of cold water on his head throughout the day. This kept his body temperature lower than his pursuers and he simply had to watch his power meter and keep producing the designated wattage levels which had been calculated the night before. At this point Landis and Lim knew with some certainty that he could win the stage, and grab back important time, which he did.
So watts are great and all, but normal people understand one power figure, and that's horsepower. So how much horsepower does it take to win a tour stage in the mountains, and how much does it take to win a sprint on the Champs Elysees?

With interesting charts of details (for folks who like that sort of thing), the answers are obvious, in retrospect:

The conclusions here of course are that gas holds a hell of a lot more energy than pasta, a ProTour rider is way stronger than you are, and the peloton's combined might couldn't beat [Formula One driver Lewis] Hamilton even if he was going in reverse.

Do F1 cars still have a required reverse gear?

A Parodist at You Tube has a slightly different version of Bjarne Riis's tell-all press conference. Funny.


wschart said...

That Philly article is right on. It's about time someone in the US media pointed this out, rather than merely taking cheap shots at cyclin.

Unknown said...

So now LeMond wants to make Landis pay??? WTF

LeMond said in his latest interview that Landis is malicious. Could that be considered slander?

What has Landis said about LeMond that isn't true???

Larry said...

Michael -

LeMond's statement that Landis is "malicious" is almost certainly not slander. It's pretty clearly the statement of an opinion, not a statement of fact. Slander is more than mere name-calling.

I don't know what kind of action LeMond's attorney is considering filing against Landis, but I doubt it's a libel or slander case.

wschart said...

Furthermore, and this cuts both ways in the FL/GL dispute, "public figures" have less protection in terms of slander/libel than us ordinary folk. Landis would probably fall into this class as a professional cyclist, and both he and Lemond by virtue of their repeated public statements in this affair.

Now, there are various legal reasonings where an employer can be held liable for the actions of am employee. Basically, one would have to show that the employer either knew what the employee was up, or should have known that he would be likely to do something like this, and failed to take any action to prevent it. Whether or not Landis had any knowledge of what Geohagen was up to, I don't know, although I tend to believe Landis statement that he didn't. More importantly, barring any statement by WG to the contrary, it would be pretty hard for GL to prove otherwise, IMO.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, so take this with a grain of salt.

Mike Solberg said...

Regarding the timing...oh well, I guess my prediction of a ruling tomorrow was just wishful thinking. I do continue to think that it is good for Landis that it is taking so long. They must be seriously considering the scientific issues, rather than issuing a 2-1 decision against Landis that says what we expected from the very beginning. We can hope.


Mike Solberg said...

And since when has Landis held himself up as a Christian? What a stupid comment! In his book, Landis, of course, talks about his Mennonite upbringing, but he always refers to it as "his parents religion." While he has appreciation for parts of the way he was raised (hard work, family, unconditional love), he says he never really could buy into the religious part of it. Lemond's lawyer is simply making stuff up, just like his client.


Larry said...

wschart -

I AM a lawyer, and I concur with what you wrote. A very good summary, I think.

I hadn't considered "vicarious liability" (where one person, such as an employer, can be held liable for the acts of another, such as an employee). It's hard for me to see GH's call to LeMond as within the scope of GH's employment by Landis -- that's the general rule here. But these are unusual facts.

My legal instincts tell me that if LeMond has a case, it's against GH and not Landis, absent some pretty strong facts that would make Landis responsible (from a common-sense point of view) for what GH did.

Unknown said...

curious, does greg even ride a bike anymore ?

cat2bike said...

I don't know, but he does have one named after him!
The GL lawsuit BS sounds like crap they'd pull on Lance. They don't have a leg to stand on.
Plus, larry the attorney, why is GL so "sue" happy? Are some people just born that way??

cam said...

<< curious, does greg even ride a bike anymore ? >>

he seems to still be riding, but obviously not very much judging from the weight he's gained... he rode L'├ętape du Tour (the queen stage this year) with his son and finished in 08h 41' 18". for comparison, Vino won it in the real Tour at 05h 34' 28".


Danny said...

Lemond (or his attorney) threats of bringing legal action are as Suh probably knows not a chance in hell. The main reason is tha Suh would get to cross examine him and a judge wouid not let him decide not to answer or claim "I am only here to talk about Floyd" Its answer the questions or dismiss the case and pay Floyds attorney, No Floyd, Armstrong, Suh and everyone else who would like to get Lemond testifying under oath in a real court have no chance of having that pleasure. And for the Lawyer who along with Lemond volunteered to show up at an arbitration and (in practicing lay 27 years something I have never heard of )then whike not a party to the case or having any standing tocomment at all instructs his client not to answer questions to make threats like that is almost as pitiful as Lemond