Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Roundup

News
USAToday picks up hint the Landis decision will come by the end of September, gives Bonnie D a blessing for getting hitched, and us a plug, which is close to a trifecta.

VeloNews rewrites Bonnie D's piece about the memo.

The DNR Online from Harrisonburg,VA, blurbs Floyd Landis' participation in the SM100 on Sunday. In the meantime Floyd will hold an autograph session today at 7 p.m. at the Shenandoah Bicycle Company in downtown Harrisonburg.

The CyclingNews posts a feature on Oscar Pereiro in which he comments on the Landis hearing announcement and how it affects him:

It is yet to be decided whether Floyd Landis will forfeit his yellow jersey from last years Tour to his ex team-mate as the jury is still out, but Pereiro prefers to put aside his feelings of the controversy of the Landis doping scandal and the ongoing legal battle that may see his name appear as the winner of the 2006 Tour in the record books. In fact he really doesn't want to hear about last year's edition of the Grande Boucle anymore. Whether or not he's going to be the winner at the end of Floyd Landis' procedures process doesn't bother him now. "That is the past," he said. "I prefer to focus on the present. I don't pay attention anymore to when the Landis case will be closed. I only think of my career now."

The CyclingNews opens its' Friday mailbag which finds one comment on the Landis legal team and whether or not they are overpriced, and many letters on the Greg LeMond comments from Monday's Denver Post interview. Though most of the respondents respect LeMond's past accomplishments, they at the same time feel disappointment in his actions of late. From one letter by Jacob Motola comes this:
What did you get for your soul Greg? Even if you can say anything you want, does not mean you should and certainly does not mean you should not be held accountable for your accusations. As a former fan of yours I can only say that you do yourself a great disservice and a disservice to our sport by continuing to try to elevate yourself at the expense of others.

In an update the CyclingNews posts the Landis arb announcement story.

The BBC reports Ian Thorpe is off the hook, the Australian ADA having determined his results were naturally occurring.

ASADA press release on the Thorpe decision.


The California Association of Criminologists Newsletter looks at the Landis case (on page 11), and considers the question,
“How would LNDD fare if they were undergoing an ASCLD Lab inspection and the Landis case file was one of those pulled out for inspection?”

Author Bob Blackledge has used GC/MS for 20 years in a forensic laboratory, and he's not impressed by what he sees. The description running from the bottom of the first column on page 15 is a lucid explanation of the IRMS procedure, and identification issues. Concluding paragraphs:
In reviewing LNDD’s approach to urine sample drug analysis in the Landis case, I can’t help but recall the comments of two of my esteemed fellow CAC members. Ron Nichols published an article in Science & Justice and the article’s title says it all: “Drug proficiency test false positives: a lack of critical thought.” Peter de Forest states: “Real cases demand more than unthinkingly applying ‘tests’ on ‘items’ of evidence.”

In the Landis case the technicians at LNDD unthinkingly mapplied the lab’s testing protocol to his urine sample. Had they instead used critical thinking, they would have realized that not only was the sample too degraded, the GC baseline far too noisy, and peak size and separation unacceptable to provide a reliable T/E ratio, they would have realized that these same problems could only exacerbate any attempt at IRMS.

Were LNDD’s data presented at an actual criminal trial before a jury in the adversarial U.S. court system, I wager the trial would never even reach the stage of closing arguments. At the conclusion of the prosecution’s case the judge would opine that the government had not produced a prima facie case and would render a directed verdict of not guilty!

(tip from an emailer)

Blogs
Sports Forward notes the ESPN story by Bonnie D. Ford on the possible timing of the Landis arbitration announcement at the end of September.

Rant discusses the possibility of the decision being anywhere from Sep 12 to Sep 22. We noted Sep 26 as the outlier because it's 10 business days after the 12th. He wonders if the timing is good or bad news for Team Landis.

Madison Square Garden blog plugs Rant's coverage.

Cycling under the Influence thinks The End is Near, for the case anyway. He believes neither USADA proved its case, nor Landis' claims he never, ever took a PED.

BikeWorld ticks the Floyd Watch counter to 71 days, and hopes it doesn't hit 91. Cycling Fans Anonymous also picks up the end-of-september story, with no comment, as does Basic B.

Gwadzilla
writes about the upcoming SM100 and knows that you'll never know how you will feel on any given day at any race until you are there, and all the looking back in the world won't really help much. He hopes for good competition between Floyd Landis, and Chris Eatough.

Foto by Wes also looks forward to the SM100 and Floyd Landis' appearance there. He is proud to say that not only is he a bike geek, but also a beer geek.

CFA read Bonnie D Ford's ESPN piece about the anticipated late September announcement of the arb panel findings in the Landis case.

Fast to Travel runs Pommi's anniversary announcement auf Deutsch; pehaps he can tell us about the quality of the translation.

Biking Bis knew that he forgot something this summer, Floyd Landis. He thinks that since the nine day hearings in May were public perhaps any finishing testimony given the panel by Dr. Francesco Botre this September should be public and above board as well.

IfJeff hears that Floyd Landis was possibly sipping a few brews with the locals in Harrisonburg the other night, and that he may have participated in the "six pack" mb race today.

The Amish and Us appreciates the vignettes Floyd Landis provides in "Positivley False" about growing up a Mennonite in Lancaster, CO PA.

Emmy at HBurgNews Blog ran into Landis at the Shenandoah Bicycle Company tonight, and got a picture with her boys.

Ordinary Bo read the Bonnie Ford story from ESPN.com and thinks that the length of time the arb panel has taken in the Landis case may just be due to the amount of evidence they had to sift through. In any case, no matter how they rule Bo feels that the incompetence of the LNDD needs exposure, and that if Floyd wins WADA should pay his legal costs.

Tim's Thotful Spot looks at the impending decision, and is still guardedly hopeful.

re: Cycling is still pessimistic, and earlier read The Outcast, described as "depressing". Lemond takes a beating.


PND Swim say Landis has taught us something about facing ADVERSITY.

Oh the places you'll go isn't holding his breathe (sic), and passes on a rumor that Bruyneel may go to Astana!


10 comments:

Mike Solberg said...

It seems to me that some people are reacting a little too excitedly to the ESPN information. The memo from Brunet just says they will close the hearing after the meeting with Botre, but it doesn't say they will close it immediately following that meeting. They could still wait weeks after meeting with him before closing the hearing, and starting the clock.

Of course, it does seem like the memo was intended to give the sides some sense of when to expect a decision (roughly by the end of Sept.), so perhaps I am being too pessimistic here.

syi

Julie said...

So they've been meeting all this time? Can they do that?

pcrosby said...

Julie, With any luck the panel has been talking and refining the focus. My problem is that now Botre, whom I cannot classify as an independent expert, is going to get the last word on technical matters in a closed session. He can commit gross errors and no one will know unless the decision quotes him or references him on particular issues. Landis' attorneys should protest this as a breach of his right to a public hearing.

It is worth noting that the Australian anti-doping folks used three WADA certified labs and other experts to evaluate Thorpe. The fact that Thorpe is a national hero probably helped, but this is a model for how it should be done. Also a poke in the eye for FINA which insisted on follow up after the national authority had cleared Thorpe.
Pete Crosby

cam said...

just wanted to send my félicitations to Bonnie!

Michael said...

Pete,

Can Landis' attorney's protest? I mean, Botre was allowed as the expert on the technical matters from the beginning. Shouldn't this have been protested form the beginning, not the end?

Julie said...

It really bothers me that Botre will be getting the last word. Can we really expect him to be "independent"? The closed session is another concern. Bill, any thoughts on this?

James said...

I think that we assume that Botre is a bad guy cause he works for WADA accredited lab. While this may be true he's also a scientist. I'm not sure what his position has been thus far but if he's asked to look at the data objectively, which hopefully he does, and the arbs take this information and form their opinion then we should all be good.

I don't think they can actually find Floyd guilty the way the evidence was presented. We'll see...and hopefully by the end of the month.

jrdbutcher said...

Bob Blackledge’s piece in the California Association of Criminologists Newsletter is not particularly illuminating to anyone that followed the hearing closely, but it is a fair summary of the key problems regarding LNDD’s performance as it relates to their testing of Floyd’s samples. For a guy "without a dog in the fight", nice job. An interesting read. Thanks for the link!

Ken (EnvironmentalChemistry.com) said...

I found Bob Blackledge's article particularly interesting reading. While it may not have broken new ground for rabid followers of this case, it was enlightening for me and I appreciated the angle and background he brought to the subject. For me his article was very compelling in regards to the way it spelled out LNDD failings in a way that I could understand without watering down the subject.

Maybe his article is a good omen for Floyd.

jrdbutcher said...

My 7:27 comment wasn't meant to be a slam.

The article was well thought out and well written IMO. It's a great tool for explaining where the testing was lacking with regard to friends that are interested in the subject, but not enough so to have followed the details of the hearing.

Also enjoyed Ken's comments. No disagreement here.