Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Early Roundup

The Landis watch is well and over with for now. Until things quiet down a bit we'll be posting "early" and a"late" roundups. We at TBV think that today would be a great day to "hoist one for Floyd".



News
The LA Times Michael Hiltzik writes an extensive look at the ruling yesterday that now finds Floyd Landis suspended until January of 2009 and without his Tour de France title. The article looks in depth at several issues found within the ruling, not the least of which is the competency of the LNDD, the lab which tested Landis' samples during the 2006 Tour de France. Even though the majority did find some problems with the lab and lab procedures, it was arbitrator panel member Christopher Campbell who took the lab to task in his 26 page dissent:


"WADA should be writing rules that mandate the highest scientific standards rather than rules for a race to the bottom of scientific reliability so convictions can be easily obtained," he wrote.

The issue is critical because the core of Landis' defense was an attack on the integrity and performance of the Laboratoire National de Depistage du Dopage, or LNDD, the French government anti-doping lab that ruled Landis' urine sample from Stage 17 of the 2006 race positive for testosterone use.





LancasterOnline, Floyd Landis' hometown newspaper, spoke with several of Floyd Landis' friends and supporters today about yesterday's 2-1 decision which found Landis guilty of doping to win the 2006 Tour de France. They seem in general agreement that Landis should not seek an appeal of the arbitration decision because justice would be as hard to come by in the appeals process as it was in the arb hearings. Landis' mother Arlene is quoted as saying:

"If it was me, I would say I proved my point and life isn't fair to everybody. I'm not a fighter. I wouldn't do that," she said this morning, adding, however, "I'm not him. If he knows he's innocent, I don't know why he wouldn't."





ESPN contributor Bonnie D. Ford writes that the Landis decision had something that everyone could find comfort in, or feel smug about:

You can select what you agree with from the documents and be smug about how right you were, or you can look at the sum of their contradictory parts and shake your head. Like the far more weighty belated resolution of a certain presidential election a few years ago, the belated resolution of the 2006 Tour de France left us with a few hanging chads.


ESPN also posts the responses to the Landis decision of the Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, who was very pleased with the confirmation of what he knew all along, and Jacques de Ceaurruiz the LNDD director who felt that the decision was unfair, to the LNDD:

"We took a lot of flak," lab director Jacques de Ceaurriz said. "It was a little exaggerated. Things could have been handled better, without attacking the laboratory."


ESPN's Page 2 AM Jump
can take real pride in posting the nastiest comments we have seen thus far from mainstream media.

NPR's Morning Edition featured a story on the Landis verdict, with audio available after 9AM EDT.

The Denver Post writes what is today's typical story of confusion with the 84 page Landis decision, and an outline of some Landis case events.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer
posts a Philp Hersh piece on the Landis decision which mentions that Landis has a deadline of 30 in which to appeal the 2-1 arbitration verdict to the CAS.

Bicycling covers the Landis story by carrying the AFP version, and reprints the Landis side response in its' entirety.

The CyclingNews
speaks with UCI director Pat McQuaid about the Landis decision. He is pleased with the verdict and feels it proves the system works even in light of the fact that the decision criticized certain elements of the process:

McQuaid admits that some modifications should be made, but feels that the system still uncovered the truth. "There are possibly things that need to be changed," he stated. "You cam always get an element of human error where there are humans involved, but the fact is that they had enough evidence there to prove that he was positive. That is the most important thing."



Can anyone say "reasonable doubt?"

The CyclingNews mailbag
is open as well with letters that seem to have lost some of their relevance in light of yesterday's Landis decision.

The Philadelphia Inquirer spoke to Floyd Landis about two weeks ago and thought at that time he sounded resigned to receiving the verdict he did yesterday:

...USADA has not lost any of the 35 cases involving athletes' drug tests that have gone to arbitration. And as recently as two weeks ago, during an interview with The Inquirer, Landis sounded like a man who knew he was beaten.
"I wouldn't wish this process on anybody," he said then, his voice tinged with resignation. "I spent two million dollars, and USADA has spent several million dollars, and nobody got anywhere. It's just a tremendous waste of everybody's time and money."


Fox11 News from LA
shows exclusive video of Floyd Landis reacting to the arbitration verdict which went against him yesterday by a 2-1 margin. In it he says that the arbitrators who voted for his guilt were either paid off by WADA, or were too unintelligent to understand the science in his arguments. Take a look at it.


AFP Direct
publishes a more detailed report on the Landis verdict with Dick Pound remaining uncharacteristically quiet.

The NYTimes Juliet Macur writes about the results of the Landis hearings which includes a quote from Pat McQuaid which seems like a bit of overkill:


“We’re very happy with the result because the testing system was put under immense scrutiny by what you would call a celebrated group of lawyers, some of the best in America, and it stood up under that scrutiny.
Now he can keep the yellow jersey, put it on his wall and dream about it, but Oscar Pereiro is now the winner,” McQuaid said.



The San Jose Mercury News has the Landis story covered as well with this interesting bit from USADA lawyer Richard Young:

"(The flaws) are not something you like to have to deal with," USADA attorney Rich Young said. "You wish everything was clean. But I don't think it affected the (test) result at all."



How could the "flaws" in the system possibly affect the results? Where to start.

The StarOnline.com posts an updated AP story on yesterday's Landis verdict .


The Guardian Unlimited
features the Caisse D'Epargne team boss bitterly complaining that the delay in the Landis case has cost his team countless dollars and glory. Other have suffered much more at the hands of this delay in justice .


Blogs
Rant reflects on yesterday's Landis verdict and thinks that though this case exemplifies the closest thing an athlete can hope to have to a fair hearing, it still shows the enormous flaws within the anti doping system.

GMR posts an open letter to Flkoyd Landis expressing support. The letter is also posted in the comment section here at TBV.

Bike Biz describes the Landis split decision as "messy".

MVP Mouth yawns at the Landis verdict and wonders where Lance is.

Triple Crankset is baffled by the Landis decision, he's not alone in that. We appreciate the kind words.

The Bicycle News posts a short blurb on "the decision" and includes a couple of links.

The Baltimore Sun's "O by the Way" blog finds the Landis case to be the saddest of scandals, and very perplexing. The Sun's Bill Ordine has met Paul and Arlene Landis and is thinking of them today as well. As are we all.

Team Spindrift
had a doubly bad day yesterday with the Landis decision and a crappy 30 mile bike ride.

Surfacehippy says "bummer" Perfect!

Concrete Brunette thinks the whole thing is a bummer too, for Floyd and for us.

Isn't Her? Her Is! says the Floyd Landis story makes her go GGGRRRR.

Don't be the Mustard wonders, in light of the Landis verdict, exactly what constitutes a PED?

Ahmet Toker is certain now that Floyd Landis doped, and he feels cheated.

Forums
The Daily Peloton Forums are buzzing with Landis activity today as would be expected. Here are three active discussions taking place: Everyone Lost in this Case, Arbitration Panel Rules Landis Guilty, and Pereiro Named Winner of Tour.

19 comments:

GMR said...

The KTTV/Fox short interview with Floyd can be found here:

http://www.myfoxla.com/myfox/

GMR said...

Who were the arbitrators on the Landaluze (Landaluce) CAS panel?

Who were the arbitrators on the Ian Thorpe panel?

strbuk said...

Thanks GMR

str

triathlon06 said...

Bill: Well what to do now. I beleive in Floyd's innocence, and if I'm wrong, then I've lost all faith in mankind. I think the time has come to start a drive to help Floyd and Amber in the next step to fight and clear his name. I'd like to think that there are at least 500,000 cyclists, I hope more, who also beleive in Floyd and are willing to donate at least $5.00 towards his next legal battle. The fight is not over. Let's all get together and help Floyd overcome this miscarriage of justice. Your thoughts?

Bill said...

Open note to Floyd Landis:

Floyd,

I was disappointed and dismayed at the, not unexpected, adverse ruling by the arbitration panel. It is just another example that demonstrates the anti-doping establishment's (USADA, WADA, et.al.) dysfunctional culture which values winning over justice. Do you plan to file an appeal with CAS? I would encourage you to do so, though I could understand why you might elect to cut your losses and get on with your life. But, if you do go forward with an appeal, my wife and I will match our earlier contribution to the Floyd Fairness Fund ( http://www.floydfairnessfund.org ) to assist you in that endeavor. I hope that many others will do the same.

In any case, we wish you and your family the best.

Bill & Annette

Ken at Global View said...

When asked (at Fox LA) about the result, Floyd said:
"it is either one of two things, either they were paid off by WADA to continue with their jobs that they have there or they are just not intelligent enough to understand the science."

I believe Floyd. But, if Floyd wants to appeal this it seems to me he needs to clearly demonstrate to everyone how the panels view on the IRMS testing on all of the samples showed he may have had synthetic testosterone. I am probably oversimplifying this.

Show this clearly and you will find the money.

jrdbutcher said...

FWIW, I am not at all surprised, but still very disappointed. A 2-1 decision going against Floyd was widely predicted. Once the arbitrators were declared, but before the hearing began, it was also widely predicted that Richard McLaren and Patrice Brunet would form the eventual majority ruling against Floyd Landis and Christopher Campbell would be the minority dissenter. The only real questions were about the details that would purport to support the panel’s decision.

WADA, USADA, UCI, IOC and the organizers of the Tour de France have a vested interest in the, now, announced outcome of the hearing. Any finding vindicating Floyd Landis would have been seen by them to be a gigantic setback to the anti-doping movement, whether Floyd Landis actually doped, or not. IMO, the evidence did not support the majority decision and I don’t think Floyd doped. McLaren and Brunet had to excuse gross CoC flaws, record keeping flaws, procedural flaws, and missing critical data (mass spec) in order to support their decision.

This is about damage control for the alphabet soup. They can, at least temporarily, hang their collective hat on the decision going the way they like. However, that doesn’t take into account the criticism of LNDD in the Majority Award. I, like others, wonder why, if such performance won’t be tolerated in the future to support a finding/conviction, then why is it okay now?????

Floyd didn’t get the correct award yesterday, the one supported by the evidence at his hearing. Still, he succeeded on many levels. He is responsible for concerned parties (athletes and fans) gaining knowledge of how this dysfunctional process operates. It doesn’t directly help him, but it is a huge first step in the process of reforming and rationalizing the anit-doping system. Years from now, players like Pound, McQuaid, Tygart, and Clerc will be viewed as McCarthy esque hacks who could have influenced positive change in the anti-doping movement, but instead chose to protect their positions and the status quo. Floyd will likely be revered as a mistreated pioneer.

I don’t think Floyd wants to be a martyr. It’s just hard for him to back down from a fight when he knows he’s right and I can’t blame him for that. He’s a bike racer with more good racing miles in him. He’d just like to race his bike.

Bill offered to match his previous contribution if Floyd goes forward with his case. My family contributes to causes that are close to home for us. My wife’s best friend has a (now 5-year old) daughter who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 3 years old. We contribute to help find better treatments or a cure for diabetes. Our beautiful 4-year old son was recently diagnosed as being Autistic, or having traits consistent with being on the Autistic Spectrum. We contribute to help find better treatments or a cure for Autism. Still, I’m moved to double my contribution to FFF if Floyd decides to move forward with legal action.

Diabetes and Autism are serious health issues for my family and our friends. We can contribute and help fund better treatments and, possibly prevention or a cure in what is, most likely, the long term.

As a former athlete who was occasionally drug tested, I am acutely aware of the pitfalls of the anti-doping system both then and now. It’s nearly as important to me that we fight for fairness in sports and fairness in the anti-doping movement as it is to fight for improving the options available to help alleviate the health problems afflicting our children. I take the challenge for each very seriously. You could argue that diabetes and autism are more serious than anything to do with fairness in sports. I’d say they are all important quality of life issues. I hope my autistic son and our diabetic friend are not met with the same sort of unfairness in the pursuit of their dreams as Floyd has been met with in his.

Floyd, whatever you decide to do moving forward, there are people that care about you and you cause. Best wishes to you and your family.

Ken (EnvironmentalChemistry.com) said...

Like Bill & Annette (@ 5:52 AM), if Floyd decides to continue his fight, I will match my earlier contribution to the Floyd Fairness Fund. The WADA system must be torn down and exposed for what it is. Everyone deserves their day in court under proceedings that are fair and just. The USADA and WADA have made a mockery of science and fairness in these hearings. They need to be held accountable.

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Like others have said, Floyd, if you decide on going forward with an appeal, you'll be finding more donations from my wife and I rolling in to the Floyd Fairness Fund.

Mike Solberg said...

My official response to McLaren and Brunet: Whatever.

To Campbell: WTG. Loved the Luke 16:10 quote. Instant classic.

To Floyd: You rock. Unjust systems suck. Appeal? Don't bother. You have nothing to prove.

To WADA/USADA: _|_

To TBV: Thanks for the work.

Peace,
swimyouidiot

bi_anne2001 said...

"Paid off by WADA"!, Floyd is a twat. Like I've always said, to fail one test he may have been unlucky, but 4 was too much. Do you really think he was that unlucky to fail 4 tests??? If so you're naive too. The defence was a smokescreen which you all bought, Floyd just couldnt have been that unlucky with the tests. Maybe he'll go back to the conspiracy theory now. Shame you guys will never accept a fair decision, but for most of the world we can see that justice has been done and that Floyd wasn't superhuman, just a guy who cheated to beat a whole load of other cheats.

Rich said...

I truly don't know if Floyd cheated or did not cheat. Only one person truly knows this. I however suspect he did not cheat.

After reading the California Association of Criminologists quarterly publication that I discovered on TBV, it reinforced my belief that Floyd was not treated fairly.

I considered donating to the FFF the first time, but I did not. However, if Floyd wishes to pursue an appeal to the CAS, I will give as generous a donation as I can afford (getting married in December so I have to watch my finances!) :-)

Floyd, I hope you are reading this blog.

Best Wishes.

pfinjt said...

bi_anne2001:

You miss the point. If the lab has systemic errors in its testing process then Floyd will fail most of the tests the lab conducts. If they do the tests incorrectly, they'll get incorrect results every time.

Don't tell me you're continuing to assume that the lab conducted all the tests correctly? Even the majority of the arbs couldn't make that conclusion.

Bob Thomas said...

Has anyone else noticed how close
Travis T. is to
travesty?

as in a travesty of justice?

I have just matched my earlier contribution to the FFF. If Floyd decides to go ahead and force CAS to either makes fools of themselves or overturn the decision I will bump up to the next level for another contribution.

As RANT has said, "If you can't believe their analysis for the T-E ratio how can you believe their other results?"

Floyd, we'll stand by you as far as you want to carry the fight.

Bob Thomas said...

Here's another thought.

At the Worlds in Stuttgart or some other high profile race, let's test the whole bleeping peloton and let's not stop at one analysis, let's run the whole gamut, but this time let's submit some spiked samples and some known "clean" ones.

Collect a pint of urine and a gill of blood from everyone who rides a bike.

Then collect the same from the team support staff, the race officials and all the lab workers.

Go further and submit the samples to at least two different labs.

We'll see if anyone should be paid to ride a bike or to control who rides a bike.

tbv@trustbut.com said...

Bob,

We should also send them all to the LNDD. If they have confidence in their results, why not?

TBV

Cheryl from Maryland said...

Dear Floyd:

As you consider an appeal, please remember that your first duty is to yourself and your family. For all of us who wish to see WADA and the cycling powers clean house, there will be other ways to get those rat b..s, oh sorry.

As Mr. Idiot says, you have nothing to prove. And we still support you.

All the best,

Cheryl

Keith said...

Bianne,

The vulgar namecalling of Floyd as a "t**t" is absolutely inappropriate. Nobody here has used similar terms to describe you even tho it seems maybe they might be accurate.

And again you either completely have no understanding of the proceedings, or more likely, are just trolling.

To address a point in case they may somehow penetrate the fog.

If the lab screws up one (simple) test that does not mean the next (difficult)tests will be valid, rather all susequent tests will less likely to be valid, especially when the lab knows whos sample they are evaluating, and the tremendous pressure to duplicate the previous flawed results. What part of this is unclear? All arbitrators agreed that the tests were flawed to the point the next person will probably get off.

But Landis couldn't be let off because he has already exposed the system's multiple flaws, and he must pay for that.

This is not the conviction of a cheat but rather the exposing of a corrupt and morally bankrupt system that wouldn't know the truth even if they were inclined to try and find it.

Good luck to you; maybe truth will run into you when you are not looking.


keith

Michael said...

H$#& S(%^

I just read the ESPN article with the following from the LNDD lab director:

"We took a lot of flak," lab director Jacques de Ceaurriz said. "It was a little exaggerated. Things could have been handled better, without attacking the laboratory."

Calls to World Anti-Doping Agency president Dick Pound were not immediately returned -- but WADA said in a statement it will "thoroughly review the panel's decision."

De Ceaurriz said he understood Landis' attorneys had the right to defend their client -- but didn't agree with all the methods they used.

"We are on the front line no matter what. It's normal. The lawyers use all the means at their disposal. They shoot with cannons," de Ceaurriz said, adding that some of the lab staff were affected by the hype surrounding the case.

"I think they'll be happy but no more than me. They will be happy because they were dragged through the mud a little bit," he said. "That the laboratory or its director is dragged through the mud is not too serious. But it is bothersome when it touches the staff."

Still, the panel did find fault with the lab, throwing out its initial screening test to measure Landis' testosterone levels because it was not done according to World Anti-Doping Agency rules.

Asked about the panel's finding, de Ceaurriz said it was because Landis had epitestosterone levels that were at the limit of what is detectable. "The first test is a screening test which is imperfect," he said.

He stressed it was the more precise and expensive carbon-isotope ratio analysis (IRMS) that counted.

"There is no ambiguity with the IRMS," de Ceaurriz said.

He added the most tiresome aspect from the lab's point of view was how cases drag out after the initial rush for results.

For example, he said the testing of Landis' backup B sample fell the day before the lab usually closes for a summer break, after the finish of the Tour de France.

"We even had to requisition staff, change airplane tickets," de Ceaurriz said. "We were made to rush, and it was in the rush that the staff made little mistakes. ... We were put under pressure. What we see most of all is the disconnect between the demands that are placed on the lab, that it be very reactive and give responses immediately, and then the whole procedure that lasted more than a year," he said.


You've got to be kidding me! 1. The lab director admits the T/E test is imperfect 2. States the IRMS test excellent - yet his techs restarted the process a number of times when they didn't get the results they wanted 3. "We were made to rush, and it was in the rush that the staff made little mistakes. ... We were put under pressure. " - The director flat out admits they made 'little' mistakes and yet a man's career has been severly damaged.

I still cry foul. How in the world can a lab ADMIT they made mistake (no matter how big or little) and get away with destroying a man's reputation. And all because they were rushed and had to change their plans??

This gets worse and worse for Landis every day.