In the comment thread on M's post, M re-raises a dangling issue that has not been discussed recently:
OMJ concede that was a possibility but he would want to know what special substance was in Landis' urine that it would always coelute at the same RT. Remember there were positives for multiple stages. He thought it was very unlikely such a substance existed, and it was up to Landis to come up with some plausible substance. We know from the blank urine sample that there was no normal urine substance that eluted at those RTs.
We can see by inspection of the chromatographs that Landis' samples were "dirtier" than the blanks, so we know there is more stuff present.
Julich has often raised the point that Landis should propose something that might be a consistent co-elute, and this becomes a legal question. Who has such a burden? Does Landis need to prove something else was there, or should the ADA prove something else isn't there?
We think there is a tragic hole in the Rules, where there is no discussion at all of the purity of the peaks. One reading is that it purity is assumed by good practice, but as we know, if it isn't written down, it is tricky to get a Panel to accept what appears to be common sense.
As a practical matter, it is impossible for Landis to run the kind of research tests that might make the demonstration Julich requests. The circumstances that lead to co-elutes are highly specific to the particular laboratory setup and chemistry. LNDD has not provided the details of the chemistry, and they will not run experiments for Landis in any event, per the "Ethics" code. And should they do so, who's to say if they'd do a repeatable job of it.
As a theoretical matter, it has seemed to us for a long time there is a very plausible candidate: metabolites of the cortisone Landis had injected for his hip.
We note that the LNDD never really seemed to have identified the presence of this substance that required a TUE; nor did it make the slightest effort to rule out any effect it might have had, even though it was clearly identified as present in the doping control form.
As historical note, Duckstrap looked at this in March:
At DPF, Duckstrap sees two dots that might connect -- cortisol metabolites and unidentified peaks that may have skewed the carbon isotope ratio.
A different discussion is looping around the issue of whether Landis' cortisone was detected, or not detected, reported or not reported or what. What seems agreed is that the data shows it was detected in at least some tests, but it seems not to have been explicitly noted for reasons unclear -- perhaps there was an undocumented discretionary choice not to follow up, or there was an undocumented TUE evaluation. Rare participant Dumas is asking some interesting questions and bringing in good new information.
And slightly later he thought the numbers were suspiciously similar:
Just to add further fuel to the speculative fire, I will point out that metabolites of cortisol have four acetylation sites, instead of the two found on metabolites of T. The number of carbons in cortisol metabolites is 21 vs. the 19 in T metabolites. If a peak containing primarily cortisol metabolites were a significant contaminant or were misidentified, then because of the highly negative CIR of the acetic anhydride used for derivitization (-53 per p. 351), a cortisol metabolite with a corrected CIR of -24 would have an uncorrected value of -32 in the IRMS, exactly in line with the observed CIR of the mystery "5bA" in the Landis F2 sample, and with the putative "5aA" sample in his F3 sample.
This has always been TBV's favorite theory, and is what we wrote in Our Appeal Brief as a scenario that could be offered:
- The chemistry is bad
- They don't know what they are looking at.
- There are likely contaminants skewing the results.