The NY Times writes about the results of yesterday's doping summit in Paris where there was nothing but praise for the biological passport program to be instituted for the 2008 cycling season. Dick Pound, outgoing president of WADA, is convinced cycling needs to do something to curb doping and save itself:
“I think the cycling federation looked into the abyss last year, after the second consecutive nightmare in the Tour de France, and saw the sponsors leaving and saw that they were looking at extinction if they didn’t do something immediately,” Pound said yesterday from Paris. “Now we finally have a live federation that is committed to making a big change. They are doing something to save themselves.”
Don Catlin, now head of WADA's Anti-Doping Research Institute, expressed some reservations about the program, though he feels it is a step in the right direction:
Don Catlin, head of the Anti-Doping Research Institute and part of WADA’s Health, Medical and Research Committee, said that thousands of biomarkers could be monitored; determining which ones to analyze is one of the program’s many mysteries.
The VeloNews posts a conversation with the UCI's Anne Gripper at the conclusion of this week's anti-doping summit in Paris.. She describes the "biological passport" program:
It's really a series of tests that enable us to make a determination as to the likelihood of doping based on that rider's individual profile. So rather than comparing one single sample to a population norm, we're comparing a range of samples to an athlete's expected profile. So it gives us a lot greater sensitivity, enabling us to determine that this rider is likely to be doing something that manipulates their blood, or likely to be doing something that relates to steroid use. We may not actually be able to say what it is, whether it's autologous blood transfusions or micro-dosing with EPO, but what it will show is that this rider is highly likely to have been doing something illegal. So it's a whole new approach; it's using that forensic approach, assessing evidence to the point where you believe you've got a quality set of data that can take us to the use or attempted use into doping
Another discussion at the conference was the need to accurately determine the whereabouts of riders for out of competition testing. Team Slipstream will issue Blackberries to all of its riders which will have GPS capabilities allowing the movements of riders to be monitored.
The VeloNews Wednesday Mailbag is full of comment on bio passports, anti-doping czars, the LNDD, and more.
Bicycling's La Scene also reports on the anti-doping summit completed yesterday in Paris. The conclusions reached by the attending agencies are that a bio passport, or baseline profile, will be required for each rider, and a new system will be devised to keep track of the whereabouts of riders in order to facilitate out of competition testing. Cost may however be a stumbling block and details of the new programs need to be worked out.
YAHOOSport UK posts a preview of the proposed 2008 Tour de France route which will be announced tomorrow, and mentions that anyone who participates should have a "biological passport". The piece mentions in passing that Floyd Landis was stripped of his 2006 TdF championship in September, but fails to note the Landis appeal to the CAS.
Bike Radar.com posts an item about the just completed doping summit in Paris and uses some "interesting" adjectives and syntax to describe the Floyd Landis saga, the misspellings are theirs:
Cycling is in the midst of a massive spring cleaning operation following two years of disastrous doping stories that have tainted the sport and affected most notably the sport's blue riband event, the Tour de France. Last year the event was hit by a positive doping test submitted by its initial victor Floyd Landis, destroying the myth of his miraculous recovery from a pitiful day in the mountains to a triumphant resurrection the next day that launched him to victory.
The Daily Princetonian wants to know where all the "Michael Jordans" have gone and asserts that the cheaters, such as Floyd Landis, are not only inappropriate role models for kids but are also taking their future opportunities in sport from them.
Rant surmises that the UCI will test and retest Iban Mayo's disputed "B" sample until it gets the results it wants. McCarthyism is alive and well.
The Nashville Cyclist read "The Greatest Beatdowns in History" on ESPN's Page 2 and thinks that IF Floyd Landis had not tested positive after the 2006 TdF his name would have appeared on the list for the ride he did on Stage 17 of the Tour.
Say Hi clears up some confusion about Floyd Landis and his choice of careers.
Racejunkie discusses the fact that the UCI wants to "shop around" until they get just what they want. Gotta love those long vacations.
The Boulder Report's Joe Lindsey is wondering, what with the increasingly odd case of Iban Mayo and the Floyd Landis affair, if the current anti-doping system passes the smell test:
We – and athletes – need to have resolution on a test in much less than three months, or a verdict – in Landis’ case – in much less than a year. The whole sorry Mayo situation doesn’t necessarily point to a way out of the mess as much as it does a need for one. As of this writing, most of the stakeholders in cycling just finished a summit in Paris to address that very question, and everyone emerged saying the right things (it appears that the UCI even patched up its relationship with the Tour de France). That no riders are present is a huge red flag that this may not produce the badly needed solution to the problem, but there’s some hope yet. The question is whether a modest rise indicates a recovery for anti-doping in all sports, or just the last bounce of a dead cat.
PJ has been on the road and is catching up. Wonder if/when we will all be back in the piazza again soon awaiting more smoke.
Apparently Floyd Landis is speaking at a triathlon club meeting tonight. No details on where this is othet than the LA area or what it involves.
From an emailer, thanks!:
Floyd is talking at a meeting of the Los Angeles Triathlon Club at the Proud Bird restaurant near LAX. Non members can get in at the door for $40. Not sure if you must be accompanyed by a member; the e-mails I received are unclear on that point. The schedule is as follows:
6:00P - doors open7:00P - dinner7:30P - Floyd speaketh