The CyclingNews makes small note of the AFLD ban imposed on Floyd Landis yesterday. Meanwhile Bjorn Leukemans' "B" sample for exogenous testosterone tested positive, which Leukemans continues to protest, and finally Iban Mayo's "B" sample result, retested by the LNDD and leaked by L'Equipe, came back positive:
Mayo's attorney José Rodríguez, who is the ex-president of the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA), insisted the counter-analysis by the Chatenay-Malabry lab was illegal. "We continue insisting that this analysis is a totally illegal control because it is not provided in the norms of the UCI, and so, this can not be valid when it comes to any sanction," said affirmed Rodríguez according to Marca
The Colorado Springs Independent places the Floyd Landis story as the #6 sports scandal this year, and says that his guilt has been "proven",hold on there not so fast.
The VeloNews notes changes in the WADA code that could affect cycling. Perhaps the most pertinent is this:
Proof - Tougher Burden on Athletes
The new Code will make it more difficult for cyclists and other athletes to challenge positive test results by arguing, as Floyd Landis did, that the lab did not follow International Standards for Laboratories (ISL).
Under the current Code, if an anti-doping agency introduces enough evidence to prove a violation, the athlete can show that the laboratory did not follow ISL. The burden then shifts back to the anti-doping agency to prove that the ISL violation did not cause the positive test result. Under the new Code, the initial burden remains with the anti-doping agency. However, the athlete will need to show that the lab departed from ISL, and that the departure was serious enough to have caused the positive result. Only then will the burden of proof shift back to the anti-doping agency.
This amendment brings to mind the case Euskatel-Euskadi rider Iñigo Landaluze, who argued that the lab violated ISL because a lab technician was involved in analyzing both the A and B samples. Landaluze won despite not presenting any evidence that this ISL violation actually caused his positive test result. His win came largely because the prosecution - in his case the UCI - was required to show that the error did not cause the result.
Attorneys for the UCI, however, simply stated that the error had no impact, but failed to provide evidence to support that assertion. Reviewing the decision, it's clear that the Court of Arbitration for Sport felt that because the UCI failed to meet its burden it had no choice but to rule in Landaluze's favor.
Early drafts of the Code amendments show that WADA was going to increase the burden of proof on the athletes to show a "significant" departure from ISL. The Landaluze case may have prompted WADA to clarify what "significant" means. That will leave the burden on the athlete to show that the departure from procedure is what could have caused the positive result.
The VeloNews concludes that this will make it more likely that athletes will cop to whatever they are accused to have used since fighting any charge will be a more difficult proposition. But, IF athletes have been unfairly accused this will only make due process more improbable. This also does nothing to address what is an obvious issue and that is the assurance of laboratory regulation and competency.
The VeloNews Wednesday Mailbag has a couple of leftovers on the Michael Ball controversy, and a picture of a nice pair of found sunglasses that could be yours.
Rant thinks that the AFLD decision that bans Floyd Landis from competing in France in any way until late January 2009 may have been a foregone conclusion. Rant is also shocked, shocked that the LNDD found Iban Mayo's "B" sample positive.
Racejunkie "rejoices" that Christmas miracles can still happen, like the Iban Mayo positive "B" sample retest at the LNDD which was discovered without the use of science. Of course Floyd Landis got his Christmas present too, from the AFLD, and RJ thinks there are now few in the world who have not "dopeslapped" poor Floyd:
The French cycling fed has undertaken the pointless exercise of smacking him around yet again, this time by making sure to ban him from non-UCI races in the rather unlikely event that Christian Prudhomme drops to his knee like a proposing swain and begs Landis to ride a non-UCI Tour de France next year. Now, if I recall correctly, the Landis-lovin' organizers over at ASO not only have spent the last year and a half calling Floyd a cheating testosterone whore, but also kindly introduced the route of the 2007 Tour de France with a video of Landis' head shattering, so I'm fairly sure--and this may be too speculative, I know--they're not exactly planning to rip the maillot jaune off Oscar Pereiro's back and joyously bear Floyd on their shoulders down the Champs-Elysees next year. But you go right ahead defending the unimpeachable Tour's virtue from the filthy likes of Floyd Landis folks!
BTW, thanks for the plug RJ.
WADAwatch remains skeptical about the transparency and fairness shown by WADA in dealing with athletes, and he also notes the AFLD decision on Floyd Landis. Ww waits for details.
The Age of Fallibility discusses the marketing of brain scans which would be used to uncover and understand subjective human behaviors. He snarks that an illustrative photo of "cheating champion" of the TdF Floyd Landis appears on the FKF website above a blurb about the applicability of brain scans in determining motivations behind decision making. Its a pretty interesting choice by FKF to use that picture, being the moment of the break-away to Morzine. Do they think people will understand the significance of that instant? Do they think people will recognize Landis? Do they think it is about bike race tactics, or PED use, or deciding to risk PED detection by trying for a win with inevitable testing?
Dink and Flika give out "The Floyd Landis Award", whatever in the world that is, to a commenter on their blog.
DrunkCyclist japes at the AFLD ban, with mixed reaction in comments.
Get Outdoors thinks the "nefarious" French hate the superior Floyd Landis.