Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wednesday Roundup

News
CBS News posts a lists of books that it has featured over the past few months and "Positively False" is one of them.

Bicycling, in its' Changing Gears column, publishes a first person account of what it was like to ride with Floyd Landis in last weekend's Univest Cyclosportif. The rider, Tom Francis of the Boston Road Club, stayed with Floyd for quite a while, long enough to chat with him and get impressions of how the long summer of waiting for an arbitration decision has weighed on Landis:


Between the first KOM and the second KOM, I got to chat with Floyd quite a bit. We talked about waiting for his decision to come down and the WADA official from Rome who's advising the panel. We talked about Lance's climbing style ("your natural pedaling style is best"), and Floyd's time trial posi
tion ("they outlawed that, they outlawed everything I did"). We talked about guys in pick-up trucks flipping the bird at cyclists. Floyd asked what I do for a living - I told him I raised children. He said that nobody in America tries to stop you from being what you want to be. He seemed bitter about his European experience but otherwise, his bearing and every word out of his mouth were very gracious and thoughtful.



The Independent writes about drug cheats in sports citing Floyd Landis as having tested positive for high testosterone levels. It goes on to describe how doping athletes attempt to stay one step ahead of the anti doping programs, and how those programs continually develop new more sophisticated testing in order to catch them. Dr. Don Catlin, former director of the UCLA USADA lab who also testified at the Landis hearings, is widely quoted in the piece and expressed his opinion of how things need to change to clean up sports:

Nowadays Catlin is trying to devise a new way to combat the problem of drugs in sport. "I don't think the 'chase 'em down, collect their urine and test it' approach is going to work for ever," he says. "I don't think we've done anything that really ameliorates the problem; we've just pushed it into different areas."
Hence the programme he is establishing with his new venture, the non-profit laboratory Anti-Doping Research Institute. Catlin hopes to persuade athletes to volunteer for intensive monitoring and self-testing, working towards a change in the culture surrounding doping. "I think you need to reward athletes rather than punish them. Once we have the funding, there's the question of where to start. Do we start with a simple sport or with some of those that are pretty riddled with drugs? On one hand those riddled sports are the ones that need it most, but they're also the toughest nuts to crack."


VeloNews flashed in their Tour of Missouri coverage this tidbit:

11:44 AM Newsflash
BMC announced this morning that former Phonak team director John Lelangue will be taking over the No. 1 car for the U.S.-based pro continental squad. Lelangue was front and center during Floyd Landis’ run to the 2006 Tour title but then distanced himself from the American when news broke of his positive test for testosterone. Now he's here in Missouri working with likes of Scott Moninger and aforementioned Schmatz."

BMC is owned by Andy Rihs, who's been supportive of Landis, and Lelangue has been a Landis critic. Must have made for interesting negotiations. Tip from a comment below.


Rochester MN Post Bulletin got a letter in reaction to a column we linked last week.

Landis column biased
9/12/2007 7:39:44 AM

Journalists have an ethical duty to get their facts straight and maintain impartiality, Fox News notwithstanding.

Mr. Swalboski's column fails on both counts. In asserting that Floyd Landis had a spiked testosterone level, he displayed a lack of an even rudimentary understanding of the case and in assuming him guilty, he deprived readers of the impartiality that should be present for a case still being considered by arbitrators.

One has a right to expect higher editorial standards from the Post- Bulletin.



An emailer reports on ESPN-TV:
Jeremy Schaap did a story today (9/12) on ESPN about cheaters in sport. The story was about the alleged cheating by the New England Patriots. He referenced past incidents of cheating in sport, including the "hand of God" goal by Diego Maradona, steroid use by Ben Johnson to set the 100m record at the 1988 Olympics, and the New York Giants "shot heard round the world" story about stealing pitching signs in the 1951 National League Pennant Playoff Series. To my surprise, he did not mention the alleged doping scandal involving Floyd Landis (or any cycling related cheating).


Which shows how much mind-share cycling has.

Blogs

PJ notes what may be the official beginning today of the "Landis Conclave", though none will know when the actual balloting commences:

During this time period which can last for ten days, there is no contact with the outside world. Except, of course, through the chimney that we have been watching for some months now.
The buzz in the square is returning as the world prepares for its vigil. No one knows how the decision will fall. Will the Capita Ordinum vote with their conscience? Or will they vote along political lines? The secret ballot, or scrutinium, requires two-thirds to render a decision.


We anxiously await the appearance of the white smoke.


Rant speculates about the final meeting today between the Landis arbitration panel, who seem to rewrite the rules of arbitration, and Dr. Francesco Botre, the science adviser who also heads the WADA lab in Rome. Conflict of interest? Who knows, and who knows when the hearings will end and produce a decision?

Ruminations on Life and Cycling had the perfect picture of Floyd Landis with the Three Floyds, if only he had taken it.


The Des Moines Register's Brian Duffy blogs about what he did this summer vacation. He trained for and went to the Leadville 100 where he almost finished. In what is the most vivid description yet of what it means to ride Leadville he tells of training for it in the summer, where he was warned by Lance Armstrong about the difficulty of riding Leadville, to having to abandon the race itself which only left him with more desire than ever to complete it next year.


Gwadzilla was a little bit starstruck by the presence of Floyd Landis at the recent SM100. The day before the race he went to the local observatory with his kids to get a peek through the telescope. While in line he met a nice Mennonite couple who he later discovered were Paul and Arlene Landis.


The Stonewall Jackson Inn B&B features Floyd Landis in its' "guest spotlight of the month". Floyd stayed there when he rode the SM100 and the breakkie looks good, it could feed a family of four.





Floyd Landis eating a great breakfast at the Stonewall Jackson Inn B&B.



Durham in Wonderland, watcher of the Duke Lacrosse case, has some thoughts identified by a commenter about due process in Undergraduate Judicial Code.
Slowly but surely, [the Undergraduate Judicial Code has] transformed (at least, on paper) an objective, transparent and responsive system into one with little transparency, dubious checks and balances, no accountability to the student body and procedures bordering on incoherent—greatly extending its reach and expunging our rights in the process.”


“The claim is that if you have procedural rights, the focus becomes ‘getting off’ and that stands in the way of the educational process of admitting that you’re guilty."

In its most basic form, the administration’s restrictions of rights suggest a failure to understand that procedural safeguards present the best path for determining the truth.



2 comments:

Gary O'Brien said...

Velonews just posted this in their Tour of Missouri coverage:

" 11:44 AM Newsflash
BMC announced this morning that former Phonak team director John Lelangue will be taking over the No. 1 car for the U.S.-based pro continental squad. Lelangue was front and center during Floyd Landis’ run to the 2006 Tour title but then distanced himself from the American when news broke of his positive test for testosterone. Now he's here in Missouri working with likes of Scott Moninger and aforementioned Schmatz."

BMC, of course, is owned by Andy Rhis.

MMan said...

Over at the Durham-in-Wonderland blog, which has been following the Duke/Nifong case, some food for thought in a post titled "Dashing Due Process" regarding Duke's "Undergraduate Judicial Code":

http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2007/09/dashing-due-process.html

It would seem indisputable that a major lesson of the lacrosse case is that due process matters. Surely, with all the talk of case-related events as a “teachable moment,” we would expect all parties at Duke to rededicate themselves to celebrating the importance of transparent procedures as the best way to achieve the truth.

“Slowly but surely, [the Undergraduate Judicial Code has] transformed (at least, on paper) an objective, transparent and responsive system into one with little transparency, dubious checks and balances, no accountability to the student body and procedures bordering on incoherent—greatly extending its reach and expunging our rights in the process.”


“The claim is that if you have procedural rights, the focus becomes ‘getting off’ and that stands in the way of the educational process of admitting that you’re guilty."

In its most basic form, the administration’s restrictions of rights suggest a failure to understand that procedural safeguards present the best path for determining the truth.