Continuing the previous discussion, Larry and M are cogitating over the recent document release, and Larry is trying to get at the identification issue one more time.
TBV is hoping to have a major look this week with a new collaborator working over integration issues, including contaminated peaks, so keep that in mind.
Larry wrote (in part):
I think we now have the definitive statement of USADA's final position on how FL's S17 IRMS peaks were identified by LNDD. You and I, and everyone else who is interested, needs to go to p. 46, Section H, at the following link:
USADA's Final Word
This link is to USADA's proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. I need to read this more carefully, but it appears that:
1. FL's S17 IRMS peaks were identified at LNDD (a) by using RTs or RRTs to identify the IRMS peak representing the internal standard 5aA-AC, (b) then counting large IRMS peaks to the right of the internal standard peak and idenfifying each peak by reference to the large peaks identified in the GC/MS test.
2. So, probably the best way to characterize LNDD's criteria here is not to call it "pattern matching", but "large peak counting".
M, we can go on with this discussion a while longer if you like, but I have another idea. Why don't you and I take this opportunity to "rebrief" our respective positions, using the new material available here and all of the stuff we've learned over the past few weeks. Here's my proposal:
1. You and I would "stipulate" that the method used at LNDD to identify IRMS peaks is the one described in the USADA document cited above. We might agree in advance to a short statement of the facts in the case, so we wouldn't have to repeat that in our briefs.
2. Then each of us would write a relatively short brief setting forth our respective positions. The brief would be limited to whether the LNDD's IRMS identification of FL's S17 sample is an ISL departure sufficient to overturn the FL doping finding. We'd agree in advance to keep our briefs under a specified word limit.
3. I would propose to write my brief here on TBV, in stages, so that everyone could comment. I'd reserve the right to make the final edits.
4. We could limit these briefs to whether there was an ISL violation. This way, we wouldn't have to address the burden shifting kinds of arguments we'd have to make on causation, should the ISL departure be established. We could save THAT argument for later.
5. We'd each write out briefs in as non-formal way as our training will allow. We'd keep the tone friendly and respectful.
M wrote (in the document release comments):
I'm making a vow to take a break from reading all the exhibits.
and TBV is personally giving him permission to take a break, at least for Saturday :-).
Mr. Idiot tweaks us not to belabor this much more:
First, M wrote:
"I tend to agree that the blank urine shouldn't be used as a GC-IRMS RT reference material (spiked urine sample) for the same reason I don't think that the Cal Mix Acetate even if it had contained all the metabolites should or could be used as an IRMS reference sample. Since there are no mass spectra, if you include all the metabolites, some of them are so close together that you can't be sure if you've identified them correctly by retention times alone in your Cal Mix."
Sure you can sure, as long as the chromatographic conditions are the same. Isn't that the way it's supposed to be done (or at least one of the ways)?
Second, before you guys do a whole lot more work, can one of you step back and remind me why you are arguing this out? TbV sort of started this discussion by saying that there was a violation of TD2003IDCR. Are you still arguing that fairly narrow (although by no means unimportant) legal issue, trying to decide whether there should have been a burden flip or not?
OR, Larry, in trying to show the unreliability of the IRMS peak identification, are you suggesting the (stronger) point that the peaks themselves really are misidentified? As in, "There is no 5A in the one labeled 5A, or 5B in the one labeled 5B" ?
OR, am I missing something altogether and this is really about the possibility of CONTAMINATION of the peaks.
Ms favorite DP poster, OMJ, has called this peak identification argument a red herring. And although I don't ultimately agree with OMJ, I think he's right about this (unless it is a matter of establishing the burden flip, as TbV originally suggested). The real issue is contamination of the peak(s), isn't it?