Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Roundup

New
The VeloNews posts the announcement that Team High Road, formerly known as T-Mobile, is implementing a new anti-doping program which will be managed by the Agency for Cycling Ethics (ACE). ACE also runs the anti-doping program for American team Slipstream/Chipotle:

Each of the team's riders will give a minimum of 26 random blood and urine samples per year, allowing ACE to build profiles of each individual that will help detect small changes in body chemistry that may be caused by blood transfusions or banned substances.

The VeloNews Monday Mailbag editor answers a question about the insular world of defense lawyers for those accused of doping, as in Maurice Suh.

The Desert News writes about WADA representative, and former DEA administrator and persecutor, Scott Burns who feels that even though athletes like Floyd Landis are not criminals it is still important to make examples of them as they are role models.

Blogs
Chicago Bike Racing talks with the organizer of the Tour of Elk Grove, Craig Johnson.
I'm not sure if you remember, but Floyd Landis was going to race that year.

I remember that.
And six days before our race he got caught. That was kind of a blow to us. We had ESPN coming out to cover the race. We had all the major networks coming out. This was going to be Floyd's first race, since he won the Tour de France, back in America.


WADA Watch preens briefly for being cited in a legal opinion on the WADA website, but is not impressed by the result. He has problems with the lack of definition of the "aggravated circumstances" in the new Code, and isn't thrilled by the offered clarifications.

Mr. Buddy wonders about the inequities in the length of the suspensions given to MLB drug cheats as compared to that of say, Floyd Landis'. It's a short comment.


25 comments:

Mike Solberg said...

Hey Ali, I read in a Dr. MA study that

"due to the chromatographic isotope effect [9–11] the m/z 45 signal ( CO ) precedes the m/z 44 signal ( CO ) by 150 ms on average an effect not observed in ordinary CF–IRMS systems. This time displacement depends on the nature of the compound and on chromatographic parameters such as polarity of the stationary phase, column temperature and carrier gas flow.

I never figured out how to use your spreadsheet. How much difference in the 13C/12C ratio does this isotope effect make?

If the exact isotope effect depends in part on the column used, do they have to choose some setting to account for the different effects? If so, what if LNDD set it up for one column, but then used another (which, as we have seen, is entirely possible)?

syi

bill hue said...

Did anyone else catch this from Saturday's update?

It is from a Dutch article on what can best be put as a typical SNAFU by ADAs/Federations in announcing identity, prior to the expiration of their own protocol concerning confirmation of an individual PED "non-negative".

In this case, it was announced that Rasmussen had failed a test for Dynepo when, in actual fact, he had not.

What is more interesting than destroying an athlete's reputation prior to due process (which is de rigeur these days)is the revealing of HOW identity is known to Labs and anyone else who can eyeball the numerically "coded" lab sheet and KNOW the rider's identity (throw the nod to "blind testing" required by the Code out the window as well...... and file under "Who cares. The rider is a cheater and he deserves it!!!)

"The forms filled out by the test are papers on top of each other. On the first is written the name of the rider. It presses through (if that is the right English expression) on the second where it is supposed to be. But should not on the form meant for the lab. With a pencil it sometimes is possible though to find out the name of the rider. In this case the lab (worker) is fully at fault."

Good grief, the method of scorned lovers and amature detectives is now alive and well in WADA accredited labs. Let's see how that can justified.

Bill

wschart said...

Bill:

My impression of the article is that this is merely a suggestion of one possible way in which the identify could become known without UCI leaking the information, not a confirmed fact that this was the method. It is entirely possible, but it also is possible that there are leaks. One wonders why (seemingly) only high profile names are leaked; do they apply the pencil technique to all or are some known/suspected to be high profile and thus subjected to the pencil technique?

bill hue said...

wschart:

If the "pencil method" exists and it appears to be a viable explaination if the sheets are "carbonless" copy documents, then the whole "blind" testing requirement is out the window.

The qustion remains, then; "Are the forms "carbonless" copy forms? I suspect they may be from real world experience.

I'm mind boggled if the forms are actually "carbonless" copy forms. Thus, i wrote my forst comment. If the article writer engaged in speculation, then the state of journalism is dismal.

While I do appreciate the next logical follow-up question; "Did the technician ACTUALLY know the rider's identity", such inquiry only exists as a result of WADA's inaapropriate and unfair "burden flip".

In real life, we see this, if it does exist, for what it is..... a blatent and disqualifying error that deserves that remedy as a result of its ridiculous existence.

In the WADA world, it is a "technicality" easily remedied by declaration that the person doped.

Amazing.

Ali said...

syi,

The chromatographic isotope effect makes a very big difference, depending on the circumstances. With baseline separated peaks, as long as your integration interval fully encloses both peaks (the m44 and m45), the error is probably negligable. However if you set up one of your integration limits so that either part of the m45 peak or part of the m44 peak are not included, you can get big errors. That's with a conservative 100ms (as used on spreadsheet). Set it at 200ms and errors are magnified significantly.

As to how (or if) LNDD compensate for this effect, I'd have to say I'm not 100% sure. The way their SOP is described for setting the limits, it implies that they don't compensate but attempt to set the limits so they encompass both peaks. This done by observing the instantaneous 45/44 ratio plot to see where the 45 peak starts and where the 44 peak stops.

That's fine and dandy, but as soon as you have interfering peaks, it's not easy to judge where you should set your integration limits because your 45/44 plot is distorted by the partial co-elution of the interfering peak. Hence increased chance of excluding something you shouldn't (and including something you should't - interfering peak)

So, to answer your question:

1) If you set the integration limits by the 45/44 ratio plot and you have no interference from neighbouring peaks, a greater or lesser m45-m44 time difference should have little effect.

2) If you followed the process above but had interference from neighbouring peaks. Your errors would be magnified if you had a greater m45-m44 time difference (and vice versa - can't get away from that Latin today !)

3) If you compensated by applying a fixed offset to the m45-m44 time diff, apart from being a high risk strategy, it could potentially result in impressively large errors if you miscalculated by even a small amount.

4) If you compensate on the hop, you should ract to changes in the m45-m44 time diff, but you can still get errors and in my opinion, the direction of those errors may be unpredictable. This is what Brenna did and, in theory, it should have removed errors due to this phenomina. However, he compensated and still observed significant errors in the less negative direction (this is what Brenna and WM-A argue about).

I believe that LNDD use method 1)/2), but I'm not 100% sure. If they used 3), that'd be suicidal. If they used 4) ... who knows.

Ali

Mike Solberg said...

marc, how would you translate this?

Techniciens de la logistique technique et vacataires TDF

Babelfish gives me "Technicians of technical logistics and free-lance TDF" but that seems overly literal.

I'm especially interested in that word "vacataires" - does that really carry the English connotations of "free-lance"? Which in the context of LNDD would probably be extra "free-lance" help hired during the TDF?

syi

Mike Solberg said...

Thanks, Ali. You were very clear, although, of course, there is a lot we don't know. Latin schmatin'.

syi

Ali said...

syi,

My pleasure.

As for the Latin:
Pretentious?...Moi?

:-)

Ali

marc said...

hi syi,

According to my sources, "vacataires" doesn't have our sense of "free-lance" (which looks at things from the standpoint of the worker's independence). It means, simply, a temporary worker--someone hired for a fixed amount of time.

You had the sense right in your comment on the likely meaning. "Techniciens de la logistique technique et vacataires TDF" must be "technicians of logistical technique and TDF temps"--hired no doubt for the extra work at TDF time.

marc

Mike Solberg said...

Thanks marc!

I find it interesting that on USADA 153 there is a "correction" to the IRMS SOP (M-AN-41), changing the amount of time the oven is held at a certain temp. It is whited out and written over (the illegal way), and initialed/signed by one of these "TDF temps." You can see the matching signature on USADA 0013 near the top in the middle (the name is W. Rabali).

A "temp" making a change to the SOP? Seems odd.

syi

Mike Solberg said...

As for the Latin:
Pretentious?...Moi?


Just like Ms. Piggy.

(Although I don't know that you'll get that cultural reference. Do you have the Muppet Show over there?)

syi

marc said...

hi syi,

You're taking that "V" next to Rahali's ID number as signifying "vacataire." Probably right.

But I think you've got the wrong person. (It's a funny parody of all of the peak-matching discussion. To identify the signatures, we've got to match the letter "peaks.")

I think the signature belongs to "Dr. A. Molina," #04--see USADA 0014--not a temp.

Could the peaks have shifted? ;)

marc

Ali said...

syi,

We certainly used to get the Muppets. Good stuff.

Ali

Ali said...

syi, TBV, anyone ...

It occurs to me that the person who should be able to resolve the question of whether LNDD compensate for the m45-m44 time diff is Dr Simon Davis. I'd have thought he would know that off the top of his head.

If anyone has contact details, I'd be happy to ask the question (or questions, if there are others). It would be nice to tie up some of these loose ends.

Ali

Mike Solberg said...

Yeah, you're right, marc. It's Molina. That makes more sense.

Now it's kind of funny that the guy responsible for quality assurance uses whiteout to make corrections rather than strike-through. Nice example he sets.

syi

Keith said...

Maybe "Beaker" from the Muppets could be a temp at LNDD. Couldn't hurt. Of course there is always the chance something will spontaneously blow up with him around. On second thought ...

Larry said...

Ali, if you end up contacting Dr. Davis, could you ask him (1) whether the combustion phase of the IRMS is the same length of time for every GC peak, as the majority arbitrators said, and (2) is there any way to figure out how much time the IRMS combustion took from the available data? (I'm trying to work out a way to factor in combustion time to a proper calculation of RRTs, and the ways that have been published here to do this do not work IMHO.)

Mike Solberg said...

Ali, based on the pattern from other names at the website, I would guess

simon.davis@mass-spec.com

but I bet TbV has it for sure.

tbv@trustbut.com said...

1. They did The Muppet Show in the UK, for ITV, and it was syndicated to the US.

For relevance here, see QuickRelease.tv

2. I haven't communicated with Davis, and don't know his address.
Sounds like a good guess, though.

TBV

Ali said...

syi, Larry,

I've sent off a speculative email to mass-spec through their contact address (not addressed specifically to Dr Davis). I want to see whether they are amenable to providing this information, before hitting them with all the questions.

In the past I've requested specific information from GV on their Isoprime and had no response.

We'll see what happens.

Ali

Mike Solberg said...

TbV wrote:

1. They did The Muppet Show in the UK, for ITV, and it was syndicated to the US.

For relevance here, see QuickRelease.tv


And here we thought your real passion was the doping accusations against Floyd Landis. Now we see the truth: it's the Muppets. Go figure.

syi

bostonlondontokyo said...

Les vacataires can be translated most accurately as 'contract workers'. For those of you who work in the Web world, you will know many companies hire contract employees to do specialized tasks (for example, we hired a very specific-skilled contract project manager to handle a content management system for an intranet that I helped to build.) The word 'temp' really wouldn't be the right translation.

marc said...

D'accord, up to a point, blt. But one essential aspect of vacataires that has to be clear in any translation is that their contract is for a fixed term.

marc

Mike Solberg said...

It's a moot point anyway, since I had the wrong signature. But I'll be sure to consult both of you on all my future translation needs. So, blt, do you speak Japanese too?

syi

bostonlondontokyo said...

mike - I speak very little japanese, I'm afraid, and I'm struggling with Mandarin. Marc, good point, the terms would be need to be spelled out for any kind of contract, c'est vrai. In fact, a good friend of mine (who speaks 4 launguages?!?!) is trying to hammer out a deal teaching english and russian in Paris to help sports announcers learn about American football for French television - facinatingly apt!