Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday Roundup

News
The CyclingNews notes the morphing of T-Mobile into Team High Road with the departure T-Mobile from the sport. The piece emphasizes Patrik Sinkewitz's role in the situation and Bob Stapleton's commitment to keep the new team viable.

The VeloNews reports that Rabobank is changing its team management structure and internal doping controls in the wake of the Rasmussen firing last summer.

The WSJ Opinionjournal wonders since Floyd Landis, and others, failed doping controls does that not mean they are guilty? Welcome to drug testing 101. The piece goes on to describe the evolution of WADA and how it tries to maintain high standards in order to catch cheaters and avoid accusing those who are innocent. Dr. Don Catlin, former head of the UCLA USADA accredited lab interestingly states:

"The whole system of testing grinds to a halt if the samples aren't perfectly collected," says Dr. Donald Catlin, who until March ran the UCLA lab for 25 years and now heads the Anti-Doping Research Institute in Los Angeles. "That means the right sample in the right bottle and the proper numbers and the proper name, and the chain of custody. It all starts with the collection."

Labs receive surprise tests during the year and if they fail to find drugs in the blind samples they are sent they may lose their WADA status. But can they make mistakes and if so how is anyone to know what the truth is:

"When an athlete gets caught up in a situation where he didn't cheat but ends up with a positive test, he's screwed," says Mr. Hoberman, the expert on sports doping. "The rest of us are left with the spectacle of Floyd Landis on Jay Leno. I was sitting there like a dummy, trying to turn 'The Tonight Show' into a polygraph--and I failed. I couldn't tell if he was telling the truth or lying."

Another fun quote from Don:
If the door is open to cheating, can an honest athlete also be prosecuted? There are precautions. If the "A" sample tests positive, the athlete can opt to have the "B" sample tested. If both tests are positive, there is an appeal process. Ms. Hingis originally announced her retirement on Nov. 1 after both samples tested positive. Then a week later her agent told the BBC she would fight the test.

The two samples and method of appeal are an effort to avoid athletes being falsely punished.

"I'd like to think the odds of that happening are low--it's a disaster when it does," says Don Catlin. "How often it does happen I can't tell you, but nobody's going to raise the flag and say I had a problem with a test in my lab. I have my ear to the ground and I hear of such things, but it's hard to document."


Like the Jones "B" sample EPO test that didn't match the "A" that Catlin's UCLA lab reported?


Blogs

The Bleacher Report rails at Barry Bonds and the "goofy looking" Floyd Landis for destroying the dreams of countless young sports fans by cheating.

Rant is very busy with other projects but took the time to comment on the seemingly self serving Patrik Sinkewitz's role in T-Mobile's departure from cycling sponsorship.

LukeS is rather upset at the relative lack of understanding he perceives from his Dad about his love of cycling and his eye wear and uses a "colorful" Landis quote to express his displeasure. It's tough being a kid, but even tougher being a parent.

Churbuck thinks that cycling has turned into a Greek tragedy on wheels in part due to Floyd Landis' situation and the demise of T-Mobile's sponsorship in the sport.

4 comments:

chiefhiawatha said...

Why do you always say "The cyclingnews" or "The velonews".

I can't just let it be anymore.

wschart said...

Labs who fail to find drugs in spiked samples submitted for testing lose their WADA status, but does the WADA test them on clean samples and bust them if they "find" drugs in them?

strbuk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
strbuk said...

Chiefhiawatha, I am aware that the two publications you refer to do not use "the" in their titles and while I appreciate your comment and concern about the usage of the word "the" before "CyclingNews"and "VeloNews" it is my opinion that the sentence retains greater "flow" with the use of the "the". Thanks for reading.

str