Thursday, September 20, 2007

Decision Roundup

Floyd Landis' statement concerning his loss in the USDA hearings announced today:


"This ruling is a blow to athletes and cyclists everywhere" "For the Panel to find in favor of USADA when, with respect to so many issues, USADA did not manage to prove even the most basic parts of their case shows that this system is fundamentally flawed. I am innocent, and we proved I am innocent."



News
The LA Times Michael Hiltzik writes about today's arbitration decision which came down 2-1 against Floyd Landis. The ruling may spur controversy due to its' apparent inconsistencies:

The ruling, which follows a nine-day evidentiary hearing held in May, is likely to spur considerable controversy over the legal standards employed by the international anti-doping program, which is overseen by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The panel, for example, ruled that the initial testosterone screen of Landis' urine sample was done improperly by WADA's Paris laboratory and threw those results out. But it upheld the later confirmation test performed by the same lab, even though the confirmation would not have been performed if the initial screen had been ruled clean.


Maurice Suh, one of the lawyers employed by Landis, stated that at this time they are weighing their legal options:

Landis' attorney, Maurice Suh, said after the ruling that the cyclist and his defense team were "weighing all our options," possibly including seeking a review of the case in a federal court or pursuing an appeal to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport.


The AFP also notes today's Landis vs USADA decision which went against the cyclist by a 2-1 margin. According to a Maurice Suh spokesperson, Landis will not be available for comment until at least Monday. Until then the Landis camp will be digesting the decision.

ESPN main article is considerably expanded with exclusive coverage and quotes from an angry Landis; go read it. In early versions, Pat McQuaid is quoted:

"Well, all I can say is that justice has been done, and that this is what the UCI felt was correct all along," Pat McQuaid, leader of cycling's world governing body, told The Associated Press by telephone. "We now await and see if he does appeal to CAS.
"It's not a great surprise considering how events have evolved. He got a highly qualified legal team who tried to baffle everybody with science and public relations. And in the end the facts stood up."

Even though the panel found that the lab did not meet what it called the standards that it would have preferred, they found that the evidence was too strong to deny. Christopher Campbell disagreed however by saying:

The majority repeatedly wrote that any mistakes made at the lab were not enough to dismiss the positive test, but also sent a warning.
"If such practises continue, it may well be that in the future, an error like this could result in the dismissal" of a positive finding by the lab.

In Campbell's opinion, Landis' case should have been one of those cases.
"In many instances, Mr. Landis sustained his burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt," Campbell wrote. "The documents supplied by LNDD are so filled with errors that they do not support an Adverse Analytical Finding. Mr. Landis should be found innocent."

Floyd Landis is quoted as well:

Speaking from his home in Murietta, Calif., outside San Diego, an angry Landis sounded as if he were leaning against an appeal and seemed fatalistic about the odds he will ever race professionally again.

"I have to assess whether a system that corrupt is worth subjecting myself to again," Landis told ESPN.com's Bonnie D. Ford. "I don't have any reason to believe that CAS is any more sincere.

"Money is a large part of it. I have to consider my family when I consider risking everything I have left. It might be like putting all my money in a slot machine."


Landis called the ruling "completely absurd" and said he drew no consolation from the fact that the panel found some of the French lab's procedures wanting. Although he said he was surprised and disappointed by the decision, he added that it confirmed his suspicion that the outcome may have been a foregone conclusion.

"The only way this could have come out any differently is if one of the arbitrators was drunk and checked the wrong box," he said. "There's something going on here other than trying to figure out the science."

Landis said that having his Tour title summarily stripped stung badly despite all the time he has had to prepare mentally for that possibility.

"Of course it hurts," he said. "I worked for 15 years to do that. I earned it. To have it taken away in this manner couldn't hurt more."

The 31-year-old Landis said he feels ambivalent about racing again. "I do want to, but whether I will is a slim chance," he said


Bonnie D. Ford also provides a time line of the Landis saga, ESPN/Ford offers her own personal and ambivalent view at the end of the day.


The TimesOnLIne UK says that even though the CAS is a possible avenue of appeal for Floyd Landis, the ASO has long considered Oscar Pereiro to be the rightful 2006 Tour de France champion. Pat McQuaid of the UCI states that Pereiro will be declared the champion.

The CyclingNews also reports that Landis has lost his year long fight against doping charges. CyclingNews spoke to Pat McQuaid who had this to say:

It is true, we have been on to USADA and others about it," McQuaid said. "We can confirm that Pereiro will be the winner of the 2006 Tour de France, and that Floyd Landis will get a two year ban." There has been no official statement on the start date of the ban, but McQuaid speculated it would run from the end of the 2006 Tour.


Reuters also reports that the Landis decision has been made and quotes a Landis representative:

Kellie Power, spokeswoman for Landis's lawyers, told Reuters that they had yet to receive any notification of the verdict.


The VeloNews takes wires reports of the Landis guilty ruling and condenses them.

Bloomberg.com posts the result of the Landis arbitration hearings with comments from Pat McQuaid:

``This means we will give Pereiro the victory,'' McQuaid said. ``The system has been under pressure for the last few months because of the attacks from the Landis side. It's stood up to those attacks. We are pleased for the sport.

It is thought that despite this result WADA/USADA can hardly see this as a complete victory considering the costs it incurred from not only a financial standpoint but also in terms of its reputation.


MSNBC
provides an evolutionary timeline of the Landis case. MSNBC also posts a Jim Litke piece about the "too good to be true" Landis story which is thoughtful and well worth reading.

NBC Sports/Abrahamson says he was found guilty because he is guilty, don't bother appealing, and don't let the door hit you on your way out. He also misrepresents the Landis defense.

The New York Times Juliet Macur writes that the long, public, and costly fight Floyd Landis waged was lost today when the initial doping charges brought against him were upheld by the arbitration panel which heard his case in May:

“Justice has been served,” said Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which presented its side of the case against Landis to the arbitration panel four months ago.

Pearl Piatt, a spokeswoman for Landis lawyer Maurice Suh, said Landis would not be available for comment this week.


SI.Com notes Oscar Pereiro's relief at the announcement of the Landis decision.

North County Times/Californian, Landis' nearby paper, writes the locals still back him.

MSNBC/Celizic takes the "he was guilty all along" line, and hopes he serves as an anti-role model for da kids.

Blogs
PJ announces an end to the Landis conclave as white smoke has now been seen. He will leave to make make your own peace with the decision.

Rant notes that the arbitration board decided against Floyd Landis by a 2-1 margin. In an update Rant feels like he's been suck punched. He wonders IF the LNDD can't get the initial testing right what makes the arbitration panel think they could get the IRMS correct? He feels greatly for Floyd and his family right now ans till consider Landis the rightful winner of the 2006 Tour de France

Before bed, Rant offers the result may be the worst thing, for the long term, that could have happened.

This is not justice, whatever else you may wish to call it. It is a sham. The system we have for adjudicating anti-doping cases is a sham, plain and simple.

[...]

Had the decision gone the other way — in favor of Landis — the anti-doping system would be under pressure to fix its problems. But now, they may well feel free to operate with greater impunity. It’s a sad day, indeed.


Sara Best posts that sadly it's over, thanks Sara for the kind words and all of your support.

Potholes and Roadapples writes about the arb decision that went against Lancaster, PA native son Floyd Landis.

Outside Blog
tells of the two year suspension given Floyd Landis by USADA and thinks he will appeal this to the CAS.

Morning Cup of Joe
thinks that if Floyd Landis told the truth, even though the decision went against him, he still won. As a matter of fact Joe thinks Floyd won anyway as you must do what it takes in war.

Transplant Athlete says it's a sad day in Mudville, Landis has struck out.

Super Rookie
says that Floyd Landis should have admitted guilt in the first place like a man, then he'd be back riding that much sooner.

The Sweet Life
feels for Floyd Landis and thinks he's a much better person than Lance Armstrong.

I Ride I Writes tells Floyd Landis to hit the road, cyclist like Floyd have cost the sport lots of money.

Jet City Journal
thinks the Landis scandal is the worst embarrassment cycling has faced, and it's just sad.

The FredCast podcast has the story as well.

Ron's Journal wants to just make it stop, we concur.

The Boulder Blog
notes the ruling, with more analysis to come when he gets home.

Unmuted Horn
says it's official, Floyd Landis is a doper. He wants Lance's head on a platter by the way, as if that has anything to do with anything.

Cyclelicious says that Landis is guilty, and that Floyd may appeal this to the CAS.

Velogal says that Floyd Landis was screwed by the system and that an appeal might be useless as the powers that be in cycling all swim in the same cesspool.

US Legal Reporter is on the story of the Landis decision as well as the loss of the Tour de France title.

Carson's Post is of the opinion that Floyd Landis should be glad there is no penalty in this case for perjury, he feels this is a victory for clean athletes.

Environmental Chemistry says it is a very dark day for science, fairness, and due process, and invites qualified scientists to explore the ruling at his site.

Howling Point says "Broken evidence, but guilty anyway."

Spare Cycles says, "Landis loses, questionable precedent".

Racejunkie goes ballistic,

East Coast Bias doesn't trust the anti-doping agencies, and thinks we'll never know about Floyd.

Triple Crankset asks, "did you really expect otherwise?"


rblogonly
says "guilty as charged"

TeeOff says,
"Apparently, he poked holes through the entire US Anti-Doping Agency’s case against him…and they still found him guilty. He can appeal.

In a sport no one cares about - sorry Lance - why do they ride their stars so hard."


Alex Valentine starts:

Floyd Landis was given a two year suspension, and will probably never cycle professionally again. While Floyd probably doped, his case against the doping regulatory agency was legitimate. Floyd’s test would be a non-positive in the US, and many other countries.

Ultrarob thinks the decision is unsurprising, given that USADA controls the pool of acceptable arbitrators.

Allen Gathman
says Landis got robbed.

Life, Liberty and Property is bummed.

GroupNewsBlog has read most of everything,

My view...

This is absolute bullshit.

4 comments:

cmdrpiffle said...

Sad day. I'd like to see Floyd appeal...

Bill said...

Is it just me, or does this whole arbitration charade have an Alice in Wonderland aura about it? I can visualize the Queen (USADA, WADA, etc.) shouting "off with his head"

I too hope that Floyd appeals and if that doesn't yield a fair verdict, then I would like to see it taken to a "real" court where the presumption of innocence, due process, and scientific evidence are valued.

Cheryl from Maryland said...

I'm in total agreement with you Bill, this is "through the looking glass" town. If the testing procedure is suspect enough for future tests to be invalidated, then why not here and now? Why dismiss the T/E but not the IRMS?

I was very concerned that the spectre of stopping doping would color the verdict, and it's really distressing to see that play out.

Oh, this is so sad.

Strider said...

Hurrah! Justice has been served.

Now they need to go after all the other drug cheats in cycling. Alas, that will take decades as it seems to be far easier to find a drug cheat or a wife basher than an honest competitor in this sport.