Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday Roundup

Everybody was working going up Knuckle Hill. Click for bigger. Photo: Amy Kate Foster

News spoke with Floyd Landis, who took a quick detour, after the Cyclosportif yesterday in Montgomery County Pennsylvania. Floyd had some things to say about his long wait since May for the arbitration decision that could determine the course of his life, the dysfunctional anti doping system at work in sports at this time, and what might happen if he loses the verdict:
"We've demonstrated on a hundred different levels why they're going to have to find me innocent," Landis said. "So they've got themselves a dilemma. Because I have no choice but to try to recoup the money I've lost and paid to lawyers. And it's not going to be pretty.
"It's not like all those other cases where they just could cover it up and find [accused athletes] guilty."

On the arbitration system currently in place Landis commented:
"I think they need to get rid of the people that are running it right now," he said, "because those people see the world in black and white, and it's really gray. They believe it's wise to track down everyone they can just to make a point and risk [the careers] of innocent athletes in the process. It's not productive, and it's not furthering their cause."
After climbing Knuckle Hill, Landis must have been happily plotting his little detour. Photo: Amy Kate Foster also posts a late piece on yesterday's events.

The VeloNews recaps the Univest Grand Prix from yesterday citing a large amount of confusion at the end due to lapped riders and errant team cars on the course.

reports that Asafa Powell (Jamaica) just broke the world 100m running record he'd shared with Justin Gatlin, 9.74 beating 9.77. We await the results of the inevitable testing, because outstanding performance seems to be an indicator of distrust and intense scrutiny.

Rant talks about reading the inspiring story of cyclist Saul Raisin who is recovering incredibly well from a traumatic brain injury suffered in a cycling accident. Rant knows a lot about the subject as he also covered the
story of a young woman back in the 80s who also suffered a brain injury for the Detroit Free Press. Saul is doing well, and in the age of bad news in cycling he is a real joy to read about. The young woman Rant wrote about years ago is doing well too in what appears to be an equally inspiring story of courage and determination.

Diablo Scott dragged TBV up the N Gate approach to the Diablo Junction last week, and also prepared some informative grade charts comparing Mt. Palomar in Landis training ground to the Diablo Challenge route. Today's ride for me set some personal records, but they are bad enough there is much to be humble about -- 1:37, if we're optimistic.

Amy Kate Foster sends some mail with pictures and some tales.

After telling Amy Kate that he got in a lot of trouble for posting on Forums.

Waited on climb #3. Floyd came by us in a small group obviously enjoying themselves and laughing. Got some great shots with the camera! Met him briefly after the ride, and I thanked him for all the action on the forums and he said "I got in a lot of trouble for that!"


jrdbutcher said... does a report, and like all reports, some items can be taken out of context. Still, Floyd sounds frustrated, and I think rightly so.

Instead of enjoying the fruits of his labor in winning the 2006 TdF, he’s spent ~ a million dollars of his own and another ~ million he raised to defend himself. The system (arbitration) he has had to contend with in defending his interests cuts corners with regard to due process, discovery, the right to cross-examine witnesses (LeMond), and other protections generally afforded to the accused party involved in court cases in the United States.

A theory behind the required WADA/USADA arbitration process is that arbitration is quicker and less expensive than litigation. That assumption would be difficult to prove using Floyd’s case as an example, even if it ended now. However, the eventual ruling from the arbs isn’t the end. Regardless of the ruling there is likely to be an appeal to CAS from whichever side does not come out favorably in the eventual ruling. Then there is the possibility of other remedies being sought to compensate for a variety of wrong deeds that were brought out during the process. I’m not going to muddy the waters further other than to mention there is a separate case pending in France that Floyd was able to temporarily delay by promising not to race in France in 2007 and the “public” part of Floyd’s public hearing will be compromised by Botre (of a WADA approved lab and under professional obligation, right or wrong, not to criticize another WADA lab’s work) having private conversations with the three arbitrators as their “expert” on the science, thus becoming a de facto fourth arbitrator that is in now way sanctioned by the rules and is just another in a long line of examples of how the system is stacked against the athletes.

Given the evidence presented in spite of the lack of protections usually in place for those accused in the United States, the honorable thing for USADA to do is to capitulate and offer themselves to Floyd’s mercy. That’s not realistic and a snowball has a better chance in hell, but it would be honorable.

USADA essentially played poker with marked cards and a stacked deck. Still, they failed to show a strong case, resorted to character assignation, and lost (IMO) on the evidence presented. LNDD was shown to be incompetent in the use of their instruments, incompetent with the software associated with those instruments to conduct the tests, and LNDD was shown to be incompetent in both tracking and recording Floyd’s samples. The latter even allows for doubt that the samples LNDD attributed to Floyd were in fact his. Further, testimony showed LNDD personnel knew they were testing Floyd’s samples, on at least one occasion, which violates the blind testing presumption of the process.

From a rational cost/benefit, damage control, or “do what is right” kind of mentality, I can’t imagine what USADA is or was thinking. They should be looking for ways to apologize to Floyd and to make him as whole as possible. They might refer to the City of Durham and Mike Nifong to understand the possible consequences of knowingly denying due process and rigging the system.

For those that don’t follow news of other sports, Nifong has reigned in disgrace, been disbarred, and recently served a token 24 hour jail sentence. The three falsely accused lacrosse players have retained high profile attorneys, including Barry Scheck, and are threatening to sue the City of Durham for ~ 30 million (~ 10 million each) if the city does not come up with an acceptable alternate settlement that would build in protections that would not allow for the conduct Mike Nifong, the Prosecutor, engaged in against the players.

Floyd should recoup his costs and more. I, for one, applaud Floyd’s efforts and will find a way to contribute more to his defense fund (FFF) as his case moves excruciatingly slowly forward. If you are moved to do so, give what you can afford. Floyd deserves more than moral support from those that are angered by the unfairness of the system in place.

My rant for the day.

jrdbutcher said...

some typos in jrd above:

Par.3, last sentence, should read: "that is no way sanctioned by the rules..."

Par. 7, should read: "Nifong resigned in disgrace,...."

blackmingo said...

I wrote a letter to Frank Fitzpatrick regarding the article, which I thought was well done, except for the "one of his urine samples disclosed an unusually high level of testosterone" part. I can't believe it still gets to me. I'm glad to see that Floyd sounds like he would not be done fighting if the arbitrators ruled against him.

strbuk said...

Amy Kate, thanks for sharing the photos from the Cyclosportif on Saturday!


Glendora Mountain Road said...

Its early in the morning, but I did a double take on the picture of TBV on the ride on Mt. Diablo with D. Scott. said...

GMR, unfortunately, there's no magic in the kit, and there's a lot of lard in that butt!