Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hue's View

INITIAL REACTION

Eddy Pells got it first and it didn't seem to get to him from the Landis side. The decision was released through the AAA well after Pell's article. Landis' team received the documents at 10:16 Pacific time. The "gag" order no longer applies.

You need no longer wonder what Dr Botre's opinion about the IRMS testing protocol. The majority, with Botre's help, concludes that the IRMS procedures were performed within International Laboratory Standards.

[MORE]


I have said it before, in a "real" court, in Europe or in North America, the flaws identitfied by all 3 Panel members would cause the case to be dismissed before the fact finder would apply the standard of proof. Sad day for justice. Great day (and vindiction) for WADA, the Federations and USADA.


Landis is banned until January 29, 2009. This is the 2 year anniversary of the date in which Landis "voluntarily" pledged not to compete in International events and that was determined to be the first day of his 2 year suspension period. USADA had argued for 2 years from today's date (the date the decision was rendered).

The Panel ordered USOC to pay its fees and Dr Botre's.

The decision is very technical and makes decisions on the science. The majority did not find the testimony of Joe Papp "helpful in determining the issues before it..." and held Papp's testimony "...in no regard ..."

Panel finds Landis's testimony on his conversation with Lemond did not constitute an admission of guilt. Calls Lemond's testimony "inchoate" when he refused to answer questions the Panel determined to be proper. Panel accepts the statement and explaination of Mr Landis and rejects the testimony of Lemond to the extent he claimed Landis confessed to him.

Campbell says Landis not only proved his case by a preponderance of the evidence but in many ways, "beyond a reasonable doubt". Says LNDD has not "been trustworthy from the beginning". Finds LNDD violated International standards, fails legal and ethical standards and should not be "entrusted with Landis' career."


"62. Because everyone assumes an athlete who is alleged to have tested positive is guilty, it is not fashionable to argue that laboratories should comply with strict rules. However, if you are going to hold athletes strictly liable with virtually no possibility of overcoming a rcported alleged positive test even in the face of substantial and numerous laboratory errors, fairness and human decency dictates that strict rules be applied to laboratories as well. To do otherwise d doesn't safeguard the interest of athlctes."


63. WADA should be writing rules that mandate the highest scientific stantiards rather than writing rule for a race to the bottom of scientific reliability so convictions can be easily obtained, as this cased demonstrates. Givcn the plethora of laboratory errors in this case, there was certainly no reliable scientific evidence introduccd to find that Mr. Landis committcd a doping offense."

From paragraph 52:
"When you consider all the errors and ISL violations in this case, the fact that the results also do not comport with known science is dispositive. I cannot be comfortable satisfied that LNDD’s results are correct."

From footnote 13:


13. I was very concerned with my evaluation of the errors associated with Mr. Landis’ tests. To confirm that there was a problem with cherry picked of data I asked the Panel’s expert, Dr. Botrè to review my concerns. His response was that he could not figure out where the data came from. While this is certainly not evidence in the case, Dr. Botrè’s response is in accord with what both parties agreed, that the Panel could have an expert to explain complicated scientific information. His response confirmed my suspicion of the problem.

So, that is how Botre came to help the Panel, by agreement of the parties, since the parties would not or could not (according the majority decision), agree on an expert in that regard.

Campbell comments on "two metabolite" issue:

58. Mr. Landis had diligently requested the positivity criteria for the LNDD laboratory for reporting a positive test under an IRMS analysis. He wanted to know whether you needed to identify one, two or three metabolites' delta delta values as positive. The only response from LNDD was that they followed the WADA Criteria. The WADA Criteria is so vague that a laboratory could
have done any of the above. This is likely why there is no uniformity in the various WADA laboratory's positivity criteria for IRMS tests. I really wonder whether the LNDD would have reported Mr. Landis’ sample positive had they properly calculated the measurement of uncertainty in the beginning and found that only one metabolite had a delta delta value above the 3 per mil threshold.

Campbell finds "Chain of Custody" so difficient as to negate the sample's themselves:


E. LNDD Did Not Have A Proper Chain of Custody for the Samples of Mr. Landis


21. Having an impeccable chain of custody is necessary to “ensure that the urine tested suffered no contamination, tampering, or mislabeling.”29 “On request the laboratory must be able to give exact documentation on details such as where a certain sample was located at a given time and the identity of the person handling the sample at the time in question.”30 The ISL 3.2 defines Laboratory Internal Chain of Custody as follows:
Documentation of the sequence of Persons in possession of the Sample and any
portions of the Sample taken for Testing. [Comment: Laboratory Internal Chain of Custody is generally documented by a written record of the date, location, action taken, and the individual performing an action with a Sample or Aliquot.]31


22. There were numerous examples of problems with the chain of custody in Mr. Landis’ case.32


One example clearly stands out.33 The Exhibit, USADA 0235, contains a portion of what purports to be the LNDD’s internal chain of custody for Mr. Landis’ sample.34 On July 22, 2006 the document shows that Ms. Mongongu had possession of the sample for IRMS aliquot testing.35 She testified that at 11:25 she gave the sample to Esther Cerpolini.36 She further testified that Ms.
Cerpolini performed a density test and pH test on the sample and placed it back in storage.37

23. The laboratory internal chain of custody has no record of a density or pH test being done on the sample. Further, the document does not show Ms. Cerpolini having possession of the sample until more than an hour after the time testified to by Ms. Mongongu.

24. This example best illustrates that the documents used to show the chain of custody for Mr. Landis’ sample have no relationship to what actually happened to the samples in this Laboratory. Further, there are also other significant gaps regarding the sample in the laboratory’s internal chain of custody that are too numerous to mention. The chain of custody was severely deficient compared
to examples of the UCLA Laboratories’ chain of custody documentation.

25. When you have flaws that are as obvious as the flaws in LNDD’s document package in this case and you combine that with the fact that actions were taken on Mr. Landis’ sample that are not recorded, then I do not see how you can state with confidence what happened to those samples at any particular time. Flaws of this magnitude in the internal chain of custody render’s any results
from tests done on those samples unreliable.


29Catlin, Cowan, Donike et al., “Testing Urine for Drugs, International Federation of Clinical Chemistry (1992), Exhibit GDC0219-0232.

30Id.

31The World Anti-Doping Code, International Standards For Laboratory, Version 4.0 (August 2004), ¶3.2.

32Landis’ Proposed Finding of Fact and Conclusions of Law, supra, at pages 47-50.


32Landis’ Proposed Finding of Fact and Conclusions of Law, supra, at pages 47-50.

33Transcript of Proceeding, supra, at pages 661-662:2.(testimony of Cynthia Mongongu).

34Id.

35Id.

36Id. at p. 539:1-14.(testimony of Cynthia Mongongu).

37Id.

5 comments:

Mike said...

Haha, everyone admitted that the testing was flawed but Botre said everything met the standards?

I could have written their decision for them before the hearing.

MMan said...

When do we get to see Campbell's whole write-up?

Cub said...

Banned until Jan 2009!? Is there an explanation for that?

If true, Floyd's choices are probably appeal to CAS or just retire.

S. Anthony said...

Will you post the decision?

tbv@trustbut.com said...

They are posted in Decision Documents.

TBV