The long awaited Mitchell Report into PED use in Major League Baseball was released today. Among those present on the dais for Mitchell's press conference was Richard McLaren, the arbiter selected by USADA for the Landis AAA hearing. Given a chance to speak, he told the assembled press that he reiterated Mitchell's recommendation that an independent body be responsible for drug testing. One can only imagine he thinks that WADA and USADA are part of that "independant" solution space.
We suspect there are readers here and members of the Player's association who may think there's a need for a different independant body than the WADA crowd. Donald Fehr, leader of the union, had this to say about HGH testing:
[W]e've committed, when a valid urine test is developed for human growth hormone, we'll adopt it," Fehr said. "It has to be a valid test that complies with all scientific protections and safeguards, that's peer reviewed by people other than those who develop it. My understanding of the current state of the science does not yet allow for that. It is being worked on.
"Looks good to me!" may not meet the standard of "peer reviewed by people other than those who develop it" raised by Fehr.
The VeloNews contains an interview this morning with the controversial owner of Rock Racing, Michael Ball, who has many bones to pick with WADA/USADA and how they conduct business:
As I've said before, this sport is eating itself, they are eating their young. These rogue elements, if you will, within the USADAs and the WADAs, are absurd, and are killing this sport, for whatever reason. They might think in their warped sense of righteousness or crusading to save the sport, but they are killing it.
The VeloNews Wednesday Mailbag feature is still discussing Vino and his ignominious exit from cycling.
The CyclingNews writes that a new system of keeping track of riders' whereabouts has been established:
The online whereabouts system, known as Anti-Doping Administrative Management System (ADAMS), will enable riders to enter login with a username and password and then enter their location. The system, already implemented by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in other sports, will only be available in English, French, Spanish, German and Chinese – the current UCI athlete location form is currently available in Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese versions
ESPN reports on the much hyped meeting yesterday between WADA president Dick Pound and BALCO founder Victor Conte in which it was assumed name athletes would be exposed. They were not, but Pound says that Conte described loopholes in the testing system that have allowed competitors to get away with cheating in the past, and he hopes to maintain a productive relationship with Conte in the future.
The NY Times says that the Mitchell Report, due out this afternoon, will be highly critical of the baseball commissioner's office and the way that the sport has tolerated the use of PEDs for years, this coming from a source who has read the full report:
That person and one other person familiar with Mitchell’s findings said the report would name more than 50 active and former major league players who are linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The person who read the report said among those named would be the winners of Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards. The report is also expected to call for beefed-up testing, but it apparently does not address the use of amphetamines.
As Joe Lindsey in the Boulder Report said yesterday this may truly be the Festina affair of baseball, but will have far more impact due to baseball's wider popularity.
Discussion heard on cable news networks this morning about the Mitchell Report float the speculation that not only can baseball survive the controversy that is sure to ensue, but that discussion of the PEDs is "sexy". Cycling would obviously not see it that way.
Reuters refreshes our memories with a "factbox" of recent US doping scandals in anticipation of the release of the Mitchell Report this afternoon.
AlterNet thinks the Mitchell Report hangs Bonds even further out to dry, as perhaps the scapegoat symbol for all of Baseball. Some think Landis has a similar media role in Cycling.
East Coast Bias is impressed with Travis Henry's fight against the league's allegations that he used a banned substance, and feels that most athletes, like Floyd Landis, face an uphill battle when trying to defend themselves against "false positives":
Most major sports leagues which have drug policies exercise a dictatorship over the process and its results, and the players' appeals are usually fruitless. No better example of this exists than the Floyd Landis case. Floyd spent millions of dollars over more than a year to demonstrate that the lab had conducted the test incorrectly, and in spite of gross errors noted in the final decision, he was still found guilty...
Eightzero writes stirringly of Floyd Landis' impending CAS appeal and describes what some of the ramifications of the hearing's outcome might be. He only wants to see Landis vindicated, and though he acknowledges the many doping scandals in cycling this year he feels Floyd was screwed, and thanks for the nice plug:
But what will really make me cheer is the day that CAS gives us back what was taken from us in 2006 – Floyd’s great stage 17 comeback in the tour. When I see the tapes of it, I laugh at Liggett and Sherwin’s commentary of “this is a stage win that will be talked about for years to come.” They had no idea how true that was going to be. At the finish, I punch the air with Floyd – I do that on my own bike when I have a great ride myself. And I wait for the day I read when the CAS gives it all back to us.