Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tuesday Roundup

This is Day 6 in the Landis decision watch, time passes slowly.

The Batt.com Texas A&M's newspaper, says it's out with the sports heroes and in with the scum. It says Floyd Landis "failed a urine test" and was stripped of his TdF title. The first part is better than "high testosterone", but misses the "allegedly"; the second part repeats misinformation. In an unrelated piece the issue of bicycle safety is discussed, and in some cases it's the cyclists themselves who seem to be creating some of the the safety hazards with irresponsible riding.

The San Diego Union Tribune
posts an AP write-up of the ToM in which the author emphasizes the large enthusiastic crowds not discouraged from supporting cycling by doping scandals such as that which Floyd Landis has been embroiled in for the past 14 months.

The CyclingNews
reports late today that the RFEC will take legal action on behalf of Alejandro Valverde against the UCI to the CAS:

RFEC President Fulgencio Sánchez said that "the Federation is going to take the Valverde's affair to its end. So, we are going to take immediate legal actions in the courts of Switzerland, as well as in the Court of Sport Arbitration."

AP has a report with no Landis content:

A Wall Street stock broker has been charged with assault after he became enraged during a cycling class at a posh health club and slammed a fellow member and his bike against a wall, according to a complaint.
"This is spin rage," said Samuel L. Davis, Sugarman's [the victim's] attorney.

No claims of PED use have been made.

PJ seeks the signs of a decision in the Landis case on this chilly Day 6 and the first ballot again shows us the all too familiar black smoke. While PJ has been languishing in the square endlessly watching the stack he has missed several recent cycling events, not the least of which was George Hincapie's GC victory in the ToM. PJ's dedication is steadfast however and he, like the rest of us, waits.

Rant says that Floyd Landis is not the only one playing the waiting game, Iban Mayo knows all about being suspended in time too.

Dugard also posts an entry dedicated to the "Floyd watch". He is glad that we will know something soon, and then passes on some confusing anecdotes about being in Colorado where people tell of a "dissipated" Floyd who gets beaten by women in MB races. Maybe that was true at Teva, but someone should clue Marty in on the Leadville 100 and SM100 results.

Sara Best waits to hear the results of the Landis decision, and feels the USADA deck may have been stacked against Floyd all along. She is trying to send the most positive thoughts she can muster though. Sara also waits to hear if Levi Leipheimer will follow Johan Bruyneel to Astana, something that she feels might be a bad choice for both of them.

Veloguy notes that the Landis decision is due soon.

Finger Food wants to know what's up with Floyd Landis' media people? He wrote an email and got a reply from USADA, but got nada from the Landis camp. Maybe they're a bit preoccupied.

The Daily Spin blurbs the impending Landis decision, among other cycling tidbits.

The Outdoor Weblog finds Floyd Landis has already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion even though the actual results of his USADA hearings will not be known until sometime this week.

Swap Blog's opinion is that the only person who really cares about the Landis decision is Floyd himself, the rest of the cycling world has moved on. We beg to differ.

One Life, One Lifetime has become disillusioned by cheating in sports, particularly after seeing Floyd Landis' spectacular Stage 17 ride in the 2006 Tour de France become tainted by doping accusations. So, OLOL voted the Barry Bonds home run record ball banished to outer space.

waits on the Landis decision like the rest of us, and figures no leaks and no news, so far, are good news for Floyd. Thanks for the generous plug.

CrystalZENmud creates a questionnaire, available for download and printing, for the participants in the November WADA summit. Part 1 of this post gives an idea of the contents within. Zen feels after reviewing the now hidden "redlined" revisions to the code, that they likely will not concentrate on what he considers the most pertinent issue facing WADA, that is consistency within its member labs:

I am convinced, and hope to convince readers, that the upcoming session will not focus, as it should, on the most important, heretofore ignored aspect of the WADA CODE: full harmonization of laboratory procedures, and further tightening of sanctions against laboratories that do not display adherence to the scientific International Standards, or who fail proper, 'results management' procedures by allowing premature releases (or leaks) of 'A Sample' results, prior to the 'B Sample' testing/confirmation of those, to the press.

Under an Hour says there's a rumor floating around that Floyd Landis will show up for the Mt Diablo Challenge.

Finger Food finally got a call back, and is almost sorry for snarknig Landis' PR people, but got over it. He also observes:

If I were a betting man, I’d wager that we will know whether or not Floyd is exonerated or will face a ban and more legal wrangling by Saturday… or Sunday… absolutely by Monday.

Over at the Daily Peloton Forums in the "Landis Decision" thread CAMPYBOB posts a picture purportedly of a USADA official's kid, with a WADA style pencil like one that may have been used to write the Landis decision.


Dan Brekke said...

That Texas A & M paper -- boy, oh boy. The cycling safety article is nothing more than a collection of related sentences; hard to figure out the lesson of the bike rider who was killed by a car (no details given) juxtaposed with the pedestrian who suffered a broken elbow; except maybe s**t happens.

atown, tx. said...

All I can say about the Batt.com is well it did come from A&M. I mean we are talking about a school that teaches .... Well you just need to see the pic to under stand why they are the butt of jokes in Texas.

click on image below to "get it"


just one of many classics.

Atown, Tx.

atown, tx. said...

here is the same image as previously posted but with a tiny url.


Atown, Tx.

("Eightzero") said...

If the report from the Landis legal firm is true (the panel has reached a verdict and will announce it within the allotted time) I'm sort of curious what they have been doing since closing the hearing and/or reaching this verdict. I suppose it is possible there will be 3 separate opinions written. Are they still writing? This too brings up some interesting questions: many judges don't actually compose their own opinions, but task a clerk to do so. Are the arbs writing their own opinions? The panel was supposed to meet with Botre (their "expert") on 9/13. I wonder how long that meeting lasted and whether all 3 were there?

Anyone know what the fee is paid to the arbitrators? The fee is usually allocated by the parties by contract. Wonder if this is available with a FOIA request - USADA is federally funded, after all.

PEM said...

Okay, while we wait for the decision, here is another idea to think about (that will never happen).

For the Tour de France and other major races held over multiple days, sample all you want, but do not analyze between stages. Just store the samples until the race is complete. Then test them all – A’s, and B’s if necessary – then report after all tests are complete, disqualify the cheaters, and readjust the standings. No racer should be disqualified in the middle of the event, which means between stages.

All teams are accountable for their riders. If one rider is proven to cheat, the entire team is disqualified and their standings removed. There should be a very heavy price to pay for cheating, both to oneself and one’s team. If you were the overall winner but your teammate cheated, then unfortunately, you are disqualified since a cheater aided you.

All prizes for the race, and exhibition races that follow The Tour, are held for the teams, who then distributes them to the riders by whatever agreements were made, after all the test results are back. If the “winning” rider and team are disqualified for cheating, the prize money goes to the “non-cheating” winner’s team.

How would this help? Landis would have been able to keep riding after The Tour and his team would have earned the prizes from the exhibition races. The prize money would still be available to Landis and his team if he is exonerated. Rasmussen, and Vinokourov would have finished this year’s tour. There would be no debate that Rasmussen may have won if he finished. Even if cheaters ride the whole race, their presence is still part of the race, like a referee getting in the way of the play, or the fan knocking over a rider. It would be unfortunate, but they are part of the race.

What would have happened if Landis had tested positive in Stage 3? By Stage 7, it would have been announced, Landis gets pulled from the race, life would go on us and we would all think Landis is just another cheater. Unlike Vinokourov, it was “fortunate” for Landis that the results came after the race ended.

So, everybody starts, everybody finishes, have the celebrations, figure out who cheated, make adjustments, then award the monetary prizes. This way, everything is clean. No leaks to the press to really worry about. Noone can shoot their mouth off. No official has to retract any comments.

Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Seems to me other international sports organizations for soccer, tennis and formula 1, do a better job than cycling when dealing with doping, cheating etc.

And I don't believe that cheating is any more pervasive in cycling than other sports. So I would look to those other sports organizations for a better way to police cycling.

I've been thinking about Floyd's situation lately and I imagine he will be exonerated. After all, wasn't it Einstein who said, "Our imagination is just a preview of our coming attractions."

("Eightzero") said...

You can't abandon testing between stages. The optimal process would be to test both samples independently in different labs between each stage. This is obviously expensive and difficult, but necessary to avoid effecting the race. As we saw this year, the complexion of the race changes drammatically day by day depending on who is where in the standings. Allowing a cheater to continue in the race changes the result, and arguably, the specatacle we are watching. No one wants to tune in weeks later to find out what they saw.

The suggestion to disqualify an entire team based on a signle rider's test failure is worthy, but what to do with those who move up in the standings because they drafted off those riders?