Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Identification Legal, continuing.

Picking up the conversation from comments in Larry: ISL Violations any way you look, we take the last few comments and start again.

We too would like to thank M for his diligence in posting and continuing the discussion. It wouldn't be anywhere near as revealing and interesting if he weren't around.


m said, (with clarification via email later)...

What Identification Criteria were used in the IRMS test?

1) What criteria did the lab purport to use to identify the metabolites that were tested? 2) What criteria did the lab actually use?

The short answer to 1) is that USADA Pre-Hearing brief claims that the lab used the identification criteria of TD2003IDCR including the 1% standard. The short answer to 2) is that they mostly used TD2003IDCR either including the 1% standard, or using a more relaxed standard.


The following is an outline of my argument with references and fleshing out to follow:

1. Factual Background: The lab performs a GCMS on a reference material containing all 4 of the metabolites to be identified, here Cal Mix and blank urine, and also a GCMS on the Landis sample. Retention times, spectral and other data are measured for these GCs and compared with the corresponding RTs in the Landis samples. If they match an identification is found. Next the lab performs a GC-IRMS on the same Landis samples, the same blank urine, and on a Cal Mix that contains 3 out of the 4 metabolites to be measured. In the GC-IRMS the substances are burned up, so spectral data which aids in identification is lost. At this point the RTs may be compared and an identification can be made. The testimony and record are confusing as to this last step. Which RTs are being compared with which other RTs? Meier spoke of comparing the RTs of the GCMS against those of the GC-IRMS. Brenna, Ayotte, and Mongongu spoke of comparing the relative retention times (RRTs) as measured from an internal standard substance, and not comparing the RTs directly with the metabolites in the Cal Mix or blank urine. The majority decision says the RTs were compared directly to the reference substances and matched.

2. TD2003IDCR says among other things that one way to identify a substance is to match its RT with the RT of that same substance known to be in a reference material, or a urine sample “spiked” with that subtancel. It states that RTs must match within 1% although this limit can be relaxed, and it appears that this applies to RRTs also.

3. The USADA Pre-Hearing Brief stated (p. 23) that the lab used TD2003IDCR as their identification criteria, including the 1% standard, and that this applied to RRTs as well as RTs. When you look at the lab docs cited, (USADA 0149-51) it makes explicit that the lab was using this criteria, with the assumption that the GCMS matching of RTs and RRTs was sufficient to satisfy the identification requirements of TD2003IDCR and validate the identification in the CM-IRMS. The RTs matched. Since I couldn’t read the final briefs I wasn’t sure whether USADA argued this position after the hearing testimony.

USADA 149; Click for PDF

USADA’s Pre-Hearing brief stated:

“Once the retention times and ion ratios were all entered in the form, the LNDD criteria for compound identification were applied. The LNDD criteria for compound identification are the WADA criteria defined in the WADA Technical Document entitled Identification Criteria For Qualitative Assays Incorporating Chromatography and Mass
Spectrometry, TD2003IDCR (Exhibit 12, page 2), as shown on page USADA 0149 (page section immediately below sample number):

ToldrancesJix~eps ar 1 'AMA (document : WADA Technical Document - TD2003IDCR)
Toldrances sur le tr et le trr : +/- 1 % ou +/-0.2 min (prendre le plus faible des deux)
Pour les abondances relatives >50% il est admis +/-I 0% (en absolu) de variation 25 <>


Tolerance defined by WADA (document: WADA Technical Document TD2003IDCR)
Tolerance for the RT and RRT: +I- 1 % or +I-0.2 min (whichever is smaller)
Relative Abundance >50% : acceptable +/-I 0% variation (absolute)
25 to 50% +I-20% (relative)

“The retention time or relative retention time of the compound in the sample must fall within the range defined by the retention time or relative retention time (respectively) of the reference compound, plus or minus the required value. The ion ratio for each ion in the compound in the sample must fall within the range defined by the corresponding ion ratio for the reference compound, plus or minus the required value. The evaluation of all data against criteria was all confirmed and documented on USADA 0149-0151 (Exhibit 24). Thus, LNDD identified the six compounds in Respondent's sample according to WADA TD2003IDCR.”
(USADA pre-hearing brief at 23-25)

USADA’s brief points to USADA 0149 as a summary of the identification data and criteria. USADA 0149 states in French that the document contains the GCMS qualitative analysis for the GC-IRMS confirmation, and that TD2003IDCR constitutes the identification criteria. This document indicates that the matching of the RTs and RRTs in GCMS against the reference material, Mix Cal Acetate, also constitutes the TD2003IDCR identification data for the GC-IRMS. That is, there is no direct matching of the GC-IRMS RTs or RRTs against the reference substances in the Cal Mix. If that is the proper interpretation, then one can argue that this identification procedure complies with TD2003IDCR when we relax the 1% requirement.

4. The majority opinion stated that the lab complied with the TD2003IDCR 1% standard for both the GCMS and GC-IRMS taken individually, but not across machines as Meier was arguing.

““Furthermore, as Dr. Meier-Augenstein attested, the RTs measured for the
GC/MS instrument and the GC/C/IRMS instrument separately are within the
1% criteria. There is no dispute on this point between the parties.”

I could confirm this for the GCMS, and now I think I have been able to confirm this for the GC-IRMS. USADA 0360 and 0362 show the GC-IRMS Mix Cal runs for the B sample and show RTs of: a) 870.6, b) 1241.8, c) 1316.7, d)1491.1. These RTs correspond to in the blank urine and Landis sample respectively: a) the 5A andro internal standard, b) the Etio in the F2 sample fraction, c) the 5B Andro metabolite in the F3 sample, d) the 11 keto in the F1 sample. So the Cal Mix contained a metabolite from each sample fraction, F1, F2, F3, but not the 5A Andro metabolite in F3.

Further it appears from USADA 351 that the RTs for all four of the metabolites in the sample match the corresponding RTs for the blank urine. It can be argued that the blank urine can be treated as a spiked urine sample and qualifies as a reference material for purposes of compliance with TD2003IDCR, although it does not appear that the lab treated it as such.

Similar documents exist for the IRMS on the A sample as well.

5. It appears that the lab has in fact matched the RTs of the samples with the RTs of at least 3 out of the 4 metabolites in the reference material or Mix Cal. The 5A Andro was not included in the Mix Cal so was not matched. The 5A andro is the metabolite that tested positive for exogenous testosterone. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that the 5A andro was properly identified. The Mix Cal properly identified the 5B Andro in Landis’ F3 sample, and we know from the GCMS and the GC-IRMS urine blank that the 5A Andro directly follows the 5B by about 30 seconds. In the Landis F3 sample, the 5A Andro peak also directly follows (with no intervening peaks) the 5B by about 30 seconds.

6. So how reconcile all the testimony by Brenna, Ayotte, Mongongu, and even Meier about the use of RRTs measured from an internal standard. I don’t know. My guess is that the process described by Ayotte and Brenna is actually the way most labs do it. Even Meier didn’t say, look the proper way to do this is to compare the RTs of the GC-IRMS directly with the RTs of the Cal Mix. Instead he assumed the proper method was to compare the GCMS RTs with those of the GC-IRMS RTs. I really believe we’re missing something here because we are not scientists. None of the scientists either in the Landis case or on DP seem to have a problem with using RRTs in the GCMS and then matching those peaks in the GC-IRMS. It’s only anal lawyers. The other possibility is that the ID procedure in TD2003IDCR is not thought by scientists to be applicable to IRMS, or not understood well. Labs have developed their own procedures, with only lip service to the TD2003IDCR. This notion is supported by the fact that a future IS entitled “Reporting Guidance for Gas Chromatography/Combustion Isotope Mass Spectrometry Reporting Guidance” is being planned.

7. Conclusion: The retention times and relative retention times in the GC-IRMS matched those in the blank urine, which may be considered a spiked urine sample within the meaning of TD2003IDCR, and substantially matched those in the Mix Cal, which can be considered a reference material within the meaning of TD2003IDCR. Alternately, or in addition, the relative retention times of the GCMS matched those in the GC-IRMS in compliance with TD2003IDCR when we relax the 1% matching requirement. In all these cases, the identification criteria was TD2003IDCR itself.

Original at 11:47 AM, but modified via email later.

Larry said...

M -

I appreciate the fact that you're carrying a heavy burden here, trying to deal with me and Mike S. at the same time, plus being about the only person on TBV willing to defend the FL decision. Like Mike S., I'm grateful for your presence here. Otherwise, Mike S. and I would be left "preaching to the choir", so to speak.

But I need you to take a more careful look at Procedural Order No. 2, and on the WADA rules that underline Procedural Order No. 2. This Order is not unique to the FL case; this order presents the "Catch-22" that every accused athlete must confront in a doping case. This order is not something that the FL team "agreed to" -- it is an order that was forced upon them.

I'll walk through the history that led to Procedural Order No. 2.

1. FL's document request to USADA is contained in a letter dated October 16, 2006 from Howard Jacobs. You can see this letter at If you review this letter, you'll see that there was NOTHING that the FL team didn't ask for! The items that the Fl team asked for included the following:

- Any Standard Operating Procedure or SOP used by LNDD related to the processing of sample 995474 by GC-C-IRMS.

- All documents that evidence, reference or relate to the current IRMS criteria used by LNDD for determining an Adverse Analytical Finding.

- All documents that evidence, reference or relate to the identification of each of the peaks in the IRMS analysis of sample 995474.

- All mass spectral data necessary to identify all peaks within the MSD TIC analysis in connection with sample 995474.

- All data that has been used to identify the peaks in the IRMS analysis in connection with sample 995474, including any relevant isotope standards not provided within the laboratory documentation provided to date.

- All documents that evidence, reference or relate to the selection of metabolites used by LNDD for the carbon isotope ration test for testosterone using any GC-C-IRMS method.

- Please identify the precise time at which each peak on the MSD TIC scan appears.

I encourage you to read the Jacobs letter yourself. He asked for EVERYTHING, believe me. So we can both put aside the idea that somehow, the FL team did not ask to see the TD2003IDCR criteria.

2. USADA responded to the Jacobs request by letter dated November 3, 2006, as follows (see

"After extensive review by us of your voluminous requests, I am writing to inform you that we will not be providing any documents or other information in response to your requests. As you should know, the rules applicable to this proceeding establish the set of documents that are provided by the laboratories when a sample tests positive. After studying your requests and those rules, every request you make appears to seek documents or information not called for by the rules."

In short: Jacobs asked for everything, and USADA said he'd get nothing. Nothing, that is, except for the documents in WADA's standard document package.

3. The arbitrators first got into the act on February 2, 2007, when they issued Procedural Order No. 1. In that order, the arbitrators deferred making any rulings on discovery matters:

"The Panel has also been advised that a disagreement has arisen between the parties concerning the discovery of documents. Counsels are to make further submissions on this matter after which the Panel will make its determination and any necessary orders."

4. We then reach Procedural Order No. 2, which I discussed in an earlier post. Your understanding of Procedural Order No. 2 seems to differ from mine, so let's look at it in depth. ($FILE/Procedural%20Order%20No%202.pdf)

(a) Procedural Order No. 2 relies on WADA's Technical Document TD2003LDOC on Laboratory Documentation Packages. (See I won't quote from this TD, but will only point out that the TD does NOT require a lab to disclose any of the criteria it has developed under the ISL. The TD requires the lab to produce the documents we've all seen during the arbitration and on this site: collection control forms, internal chain of custody documentation, test results and the like.

(b) Under Section 7.1 of the ISL as well as the TD, the Laboratory is not required to provide any documentation not specifically included in the Laboratory Documentation Package. Section 7.1 of the ISL reads as follows:

"the Laboratory is not required to support an Adverse Analytical Finding by producing, either to the Testing Authority or in response to discovery requests related to the hearing, standard operating procedures, general quality management documents (e.g., ISO compliance documents) or any other documents not specifically required by Technical Document on Laboratory Documentation Packages. References in the International Standard for Laboratories to ISO requirements are for general quality control purposes only
and have no applicability to any adjudication of any specific Adverse Analytical Finding."

M, you stated that "SOP is not the same as 'identification criteria'. I believe they were entitled to discover this [identification criteria]." Sorry, but you're wrong on this point. It should be clear from the foregoing that the FL team was prohibited from discovering LNDD's documentation of its identification criteria.

(c) Procedural Order No. 2 added its own twist to the restrictions placed on the FL team by ISL 7.1 and TD2003LDOC. The WADA rules prohibit production of documents other than those listed in the TD -- the majority arbitrators went a step further and prohibited any testimony on the content of documents:

"a. A discovery response that there is no document will preclude the production of the document, along with any related testimony through a witness at the hearing.
b. A discovery response that there are documents that exist but they are not required to be produced because of the ISL or the other principles set out at paragraph 2 above will preclude the production of the document along with any related testimony through a witness at the hearing.
c. Any document used to determine the ISO certification or the WADA accreditation of the LNDD is not subject to discovery."

M, you stated that "They [the FL team] were not prevented from asking the witnesses about the identification criteria." Again M, I think you're wrong here. Procedural Order No. 2 states that the FL team was prohibited from seeing the written identification criteria and from seeking "related testimony" concerning the criteria. The phrase "related testimony" could not be much broader! How could they ask witnesses about the lab's identification criteria if they were barred from seeking testimony "related" to this identification criteria?

M, you stated that "in fact they [the FL team] did ask Mongongu and Brenna about this [the identification criteria]." M, I say this with all due respect: you're wrong on this point. Please revisit the cross-examination of Brenna in Brenna's first round of testimony -- the FL team never asked him about the LNDD's identification criteria. Why? Because they were prohibited from doing so under Procedural Order No. 2. Please revisit the cross-examination of Mongongu. Suh was able to ask Mongongu what steps she took, when she took those steps and how long it took to perform each step. He did not ask her anything about the criteria she used. why? Because he was prohibited from doing so.

Now ... you raise the point that, according to Procedural Order No. 2, the prohibitions on testimony described above were contained in "agreements reached covering the documentary discovery process." You infer from this quote that the FL team agreed to these restrictions. However, there's no indication in Procedural Order No. 2 that the FL team was a "party" to these agreements. The order simply says that agreements were reached. Perhaps the agreements were among the arbitrators. It's simply not clear from the Order.

In any event, I'm not sure why it would be relevant to our inquiry whether these restrictions were 100% forced on the FL team, or whether the FL team had any ability to shape these restrictions. The point is, the restrictions were there. They were quite real.

FL's team could not get written copies of the LNDD criteria.

FL's team could not ask questions about the content of the LNDD criteria.

FL's team was forced to do what I've been doing (and interestingly, what you've done in your latest post on the TD2003IDCR criteria): they were forced to infer the contents of the TD2003ICDR criteria: by asking the LNDD witnesses what steps they performed to identify the IRMS peaks, by asking the USADA experts how they would go about identifying IRMS peaks in this case, and by looking at the documentary package to see how LNDD appeared to identify the IRMS peaks. Under the circumstances, this was the only way open to them. And unless we're simply going to say that a lab's identification of IRMS peaks is presumed valid under all circumstances and regardless of the evidence, this is the only way open to us.

4:06 PM

Larry said...

M -

Regarding your post claiming that LNDD actually and successfully used the TD2003IDCR standard ... wow. From my non-scientific background, I don't see how that can be. Dr. M-A and Dr. Brenna missed that? All the science types here and on DP missed that? Even OMJ would have missed that. I guess it's possible ...

I have not focused on how LNDD identified peaks in the GC/MS test, but I always assumed that they used RTs against a reference sample run contemporaneously on the GC/MS. I don't think there was any controversy about this, and I think this would explain the USADA brief on RTs and the statement in the majority opinion that the GC/MS RTs matched within 1%. In any event, I'm not trying to argue here that there was anything wrong with the GC/MS identification.

My understanding (and again, I'm no scientist) is that the LNDD did not identify the FL IRMS peaks by comparing them to a reference sample run contemporaneously with the FL sample. I'll put aside all of the testimony from Mongongu, Ayotte, et. al. to the effect that the IRMS peaks were identified by comparing them to the GC/MS peaks. You've raised this issue yourself in your point 6 -- I'll just point out the following:

- if LNDD was actually identifying IRMS peaks by comparing them to the peaks shown in a contemporaneous IRMS reference sample, then there would have been no need to complete a GC/MS test as part of the IRMS procedure.

- my understanding (based on the Mongongu testimony) is that LNDD does run a reference sample (I believe this is the mix cal acetate) through the IRMS, but this is for the purpose of calibrating the instrument (see testimopny p. 430, pdf p. 308). I suppose that the results of a calibration run, but that does not appear to be the purpose behind LNDD's use of the mix cal acetate.

- my understanding is that the results of the mix cal acetate run are shown in USADA exhibit 361, which you can find quickly at According to TBV, the mix cal acetate run contained the 5aA internal reference and one of the three metabolites, 5bA. The mix cal run used by LNDD was missing the other two metabolites, 5aA and 5bP. Interestingly, if I'm reading the test results correctly, FL's sample was negative for 5bA. The positive finding, I think, was based on the metabolites not contained in the mix cal acetate.

I'll leave the rest to the science types here to figure out. My only additional comment is in reference to your comment about "anal lawyers." Aren't you GLAD we don't have any of THOSE kind of lawyers around here?

m said...

Correction to my last post.

The 5A Androstandial was found positive in the IRMS test, not the 5B Androstandial. My mistake. Can't keep them all straight.

6:30 PM


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Wednesday Roundup

Have a frightfully spooky Halloween!

The NY Times publishes a story this morning about the kind of drug testing being done in Major League Baseball, saying that teams always receive advance notice which eliminates the element of surprise. Teams are however cautioned not to tell players:

According to Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice president for labor relations and human resources and the official who oversees the sport’s drug-testing programs, team officials are not supposed to tell players that tests will be conducted. He said a person with each club — often the general manager or the assistant general manager — is responsible for arranging for tester access and for space to be set aside in the locker rooms for tests.

Under the program, our players do not get advance notice about tests,” said Michael Weiner, general counsel for Major League Baseball’s Players Associatio

But officials from three teams confirmed that their clubs receive advance notice of testing, but spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss testing publicly. One official said his team finds out about testing nearly two days ahead of a visit. Another said trainers are routinely informed the morning of testing and begin setting up for the testers in the clubhouse.

Anti doping experts say that this subverts the purpose of the program and that surprise is necessary in order to get samples that have not been altered to mask PED use.

The CyclingNews reports today that the professional cycling teams associations (the AIGCP and the IPCT) think that the fight against doping should not be fought using public prosecution and they refer specifically to the Andrey Kashechkin case where a violation of human rights defense, as concerns doping controls, is being used. In a CyclingNews Update UCI President Pat McQuaid lambastes the Spanish cycling federation for not pushing the pursuit of OP:

"The Spanish authorities don't want to battle against doping," said the 58 year-old Irishman in an interview with dpa. Key events have likely led to McQuaid's belief: Judge Antonio Serrano shelved all Puerto cases this spring, and recently, before the World Championships, the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) refused to agree with the UCI President in not allowing its cyclist Alejandro Valverde to race in Stuttgart.
"I lost the hope; the clarification of Operación Puerto will never come."

The Province says that the Symmetrics Canadian cycling team wants to take the next step and become competitive enough to seek entry into the Grand Tours. But, this takes money and sponsorship and unfortunately when they go into a corporate boardroom to seek funding, the first subject to come up is Floyd Landis and doping.

has more "clever" ideas for those who need last minute Halloween costume inspiration.

ESPN posts a story about UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk who has tested positive for nandrolone use and has hired the "Johnnie Cochran" of high profile athlete doping cases, including Floyd Landis', Howard Jacobs.

Library Thing opens up a page for "Positively False".

Rant is still researching the cortisone/glucocorticosteroids testing methods that would detect the presence of glucocorticosteroids in samples at different WADA-accredited labs, and what he is finding is that there are no standards.

QuickRelease.Tv grabs the slightly overblown 2008 Tour de France route vid from Youtube which this year is blessedly without shattering mirrors.

Drug Use 2 posts an infomercial of sorts about the benefits of hypnosis in battling PED use in track and field. Wonder if Pat McQuaid and Dick Pound have seen this?

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Singing the Unsung

A year ago today, Paula saved TBV the site, and TBV the person from a complete collapse. She volunteered to start the roundup early on East-coast time, saving me from months of waking at 4:30am PT. Then, once hooked and used to the mechanics of blogging, she's done most of the updates to the roundup ever since. Paula even revealed the trade-secrets of the kick-ass brownies for those looking to fatten up their favorite cyclist.

There aren't enough words of appreciation for all we owe her in the last year, so we'll leave it as



Click. You know you want to.

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Tuesday Roundup

From the "Where did the Time Go?" department:

It hardly seems possible that it was a year ago today, after two months of pestering him with the Floyd Landis materials I had gleaned, that TBV asked me if I would be willing to start posting them myself. Since I live in the East it only made sense that someone as obsessed as I am with the case could help out by beginning the Roundup earlier every day, and so I did. It's been more interesting than I could have imagined, and through this long and still continuing journey I've been pleased to meet wonderful and dedicated people. To keep it short, sweet, and not mawkish, thanks for asking TBV!

The VeloNews reports that five time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain is adamant that he never doped his way to any of his victories, it's the way he denies it that is interesting:

"I would say ‘no.' I passed all the controls, thousands of them, so many I lost count. It's something normal; you win, you pass controls and there's no problem," Indurain said. "What's happening today is that everything is in doubt."

In the VeloNews EuroFile it's apparent that Ivan Basso's relatively short suspension is allowing him to stay focused and in shape.

The CyclingNews says that despite appearances to the contrary Patrik Sinkewitz claims there was no organized talk of doping within T-Mobile in the 2007 competitive year. In the PM update Jonathan Vaughters is quoted as being enthusiastic about the newly devised "blood passport" idea which came out of last week's doping summit in Paris and is similar to the Slipstream Chipotle program already in use.

The Boulder Report
is all over the place this week with opinions on everything from Johan Bruyneel's "retirement" to the Andrey Kashechkin's claim that testing for PEDs is a violation of his "human rights". Most amusing comment might be:

2008 Tour de France Course To Include Team Blood Draw Stage
Well, that’s not true. It’s individual, so instead of a prologue they’ll just award the yellow jersey to the rider with the best blood chemistry (and by best I mean it doesn’t look like it belongs in “28 Days Later”).

Podium Cafe is running its "rider of the year" survey all week, but the popular vote may not win out anyway. Last year Floyd Landis won, but they gave the title to Alejandro Valverde for having "fewer clouds of doubt" surrounding him. No mention is made as to whether this decision was due to a Supreme Court ruling.

Sher-ing Time thinks she has come up with a clever Floyd Landis Halloween costume, but it's just inaccurate and snarky.

Wildpitch Page 6
posts a brief biography of Floyd Landis in his blog which features Mennonite heritage.

Mike Anderson shares an essay in which he gives the reader many reasons to not use performance enhancing drugs.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday Roundup

The CyclingNews notes two legal/doping issues. One finds former Telekom soigneur Jef D'Hont fighting an injunction won in September by Jan Ullrich which prevents D'Hont from publicly speaking about the Telekom doping scandal and Ullrich's involvement in it. Another story reveals the concerns of the CPA for cyclist's rights in light of the conclusion of last week's doping summit in Paris:

The list of considerations starts with a request that "before the implementation of a 'Biological passport' and any new method of detection, all the scientific and legal guarantees of reliability are given and demonstrated to the cycling community before the implementation of sporting sanctions.

The statement, which seems to address concerns riders have in the way they are treated in the event of a positive doping test, also calls for the total confidentiality of all the riders' medical files, for the sport's governing body to not to reveal provisional results before knowing the final results of the B-samples in the event of infringement of the sport regulations, and to not modify the rules during the season and avoid, as much as possible, to act hastily.

In the PM update at the CyclingNews Jorg Jaksche claims that Bijarne Riis threatened his to be silent about doping or he would be out of cycling:

Jörg Jaksche claimed that Bjarne Riis threatened him if he spoke out on doping, he said at the "Play the Game" antidoping conference in Iceland this weekend. "If you talk, you will never come back in cycling, Riis told me. And stated that he would organize that I could never come back," Jaksche was quoted on the conference's website,

The Michigan Daily's Scott Bell has little in the way of imagination this year for Halloween and provides a banal list of ideas for dress up Wednesday night. One has you going as Floyd Landis, but if you do so Scott snarks that you must think people are stupid enough to believe you.

reports one way which athletes might cheat the doping tests they are given, Thanks ORG for the tip.

Inside Bay posts reader responses one of which complains that Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire have been continually lumped in with real "cheaters", like Floyd Landis.

Rant wants to know if perhaps it was really something other than synthetic testosterone that was found in the Landis positive test after stage 17. And he wonders why the LNDD didn't find something that we know for sure was there.

Tony Dondero juxtaposes the difficulties of maintaining our individual freedoms to the explosion of cheating in sports and society in general.

Gaff's Origami was saddened slightly after seeing the beauty of the Tour de France in the IMAX film "Wired to Win". The film predated the most recent doping scandals at the Tour, and illustrates the way the human brain works in the competitive cycling arena.

Fit for LIfe and More loves cycling and wants to see it flourish. But with rampant doping in the sport driving kids away, and into less activity and more illness, it's a difficult proposition. It does seems a bit of a stretch however to even partially blame the current state cycling for America's obesity problem.

Light the Torch
feels there is no mystery as to why we as a society come down hard on athletes who cheat.

buffalo2wheeler surveys "favorite living persons" and Floyd Landis is not his.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Dangling Issue

In the comment thread on M's post, M re-raises a dangling issue that has not been discussed recently:

OMJ concede that was a possibility but he would want to know what special substance was in Landis' urine that it would always coelute at the same RT. Remember there were positives for multiple stages. He thought it was very unlikely such a substance existed, and it was up to Landis to come up with some plausible substance. We know from the blank urine sample that there was no normal urine substance that eluted at those RTs.

We can see by inspection of the chromatographs that Landis' samples were "dirtier" than the blanks, so we know there is more stuff present.

Julich has often raised the point that Landis should propose something that might be a consistent co-elute, and this becomes a legal question. Who has such a burden? Does Landis need to prove something else was there, or should the ADA prove something else isn't there?

We think there is a tragic hole in the Rules, where there is no discussion at all of the purity of the peaks. One reading is that it purity is assumed by good practice, but as we know, if it isn't written down, it is tricky to get a Panel to accept what appears to be common sense.

As a practical matter, it is impossible for Landis to run the kind of research tests that might make the demonstration Julich requests. The circumstances that lead to co-elutes are highly specific to the particular laboratory setup and chemistry. LNDD has not provided the details of the chemistry, and they will not run experiments for Landis in any event, per the "Ethics" code. And should they do so, who's to say if they'd do a repeatable job of it.

As a theoretical matter, it has seemed to us for a long time there is a very plausible candidate: metabolites of the cortisone Landis had injected for his hip.

We note that the LNDD never really seemed to have identified the presence of this substance that required a TUE; nor did it make the slightest effort to rule out any effect it might have had, even though it was clearly identified as present in the doping control form.

As historical note, Duckstrap looked at this in March:
At DPF, Duckstrap sees two dots that might connect -- cortisol metabolites and unidentified peaks that may have skewed the carbon isotope ratio.

A different discussion is looping around the issue of whether Landis' cortisone was detected, or not detected, reported or not reported or what. What seems agreed is that the data shows it was detected in at least some tests, but it seems not to have been explicitly noted for reasons unclear -- perhaps there was an undocumented discretionary choice not to follow up, or there was an undocumented TUE evaluation. Rare participant Dumas is asking some interesting questions and bringing in good new information.

And slightly later he thought the numbers were suspiciously similar:
Just to add further fuel to the speculative fire, I will point out that metabolites of cortisol have four acetylation sites, instead of the two found on metabolites of T. The number of carbons in cortisol metabolites is 21 vs. the 19 in T metabolites. If a peak containing primarily cortisol metabolites were a significant contaminant or were misidentified, then because of the highly negative CIR of the acetic anhydride used for derivitization (-53 per p. 351), a cortisol metabolite with a corrected CIR of -24 would have an uncorrected value of -32 in the IRMS, exactly in line with the observed CIR of the mystery "5bA" in the Landis F2 sample, and with the putative "5aA" sample in his F3 sample.

This has always been TBV's favorite theory, and is what we wrote in Our Appeal Brief as a scenario that could be offered:
  1. The chemistry is bad
  2. They don't know what they are looking at.
  3. There are likely contaminants skewing the results.

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Sunday Roundup

Team Polar posts a picture of one of its member with Floyd Landis taken at the speech Floyd gave last week in LA.

Su Mining 1 tells us how Americans feel after Lance:

Lance was an inspiration that everyone loved to follow. For a time, Floyd Landis seemed to have the same qualities, but he soon broke many viewers hearts and so we changed the channel and went back to our American-way of thinking about cycling: This sport is boring, who wants to watch a guy on a bike for 6 hours a day? Let's change the channel and watch some baseball.

It's not a bad piece.

Menno, in Dutch, talks about the Mennonite faith, with a reference (babelfish):

The mennonieten (or at) are the senior doperse still existing church. They have been named after to the friese priest Menno Simons, around 1540. he was a catholic priest until he saw that a baptist was fallen down for its belief. As from that moment he became important a voorvechter of the Doperse stroming. This church has spread himself concerning a large area, but has its influence especially does money by means of the English alternative, the baptists. They are nowadays the largest Doperse church. The most known mennoniet are Floyd Landis.

Important characterising:

* Just like other (still existing) Doperse churches peace-disposed.

In 2004, million there approximately 1 mennonieten member were.

In the Netherlands they doopsgezinden (and sometimes mennonieten or at) are called.

Derailed Duk is disappointed that Landis' house didn't burn down, taking his yellow jersey as well. He also imagines we're jolly folks because of a picture he found somewhere on the interweb. That's not true either, as we're dour, depressed descendants of folks who aren't sure if they're from Denmark or Sweden, as they moved the border at some point. But it doesn't matter, because it's all melancholy Scandinavia, and people playing chess with Death for lack of anything better to do.

An emailer sent us a copy of a medical article dealing with administration of Cortisone, no doubt prompted by our "Dangling Issue" post above. It's a bit beyond me, so if the sender would like to get the point, an email indicating what to look for would help. For those interested, the article is, "Intraarticular and soft tissue injections: What agent(s) to inject and how frequently?" by W Neal Roberts, Jr, MD.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Larry: ISL Violation any way you look

Tuesday, Commenter "M" contributed a post arguing the Majority was correct. In the many comments to M's post, which are worth reading, Larry has added this epic, and it seems time to switch to a new conversation. -TBV

M -

So you'd like to do the legal analysis involving IRMS identification? Good! This is really very simple ...

The simple explanation

  1. The ISL includes TD2003IDCR. See ISL paragraph 1.0.
  2. TD2003IDCR requires each WADA lab to "establish criteria for identification of a compound." Once established, the criteria becomes part of the ISL for the lab.
  3. I can find nothing in the transcripts, briefs or other publicly available material to indicate that LNDD ever established such criteria. The failure to establish such criteria is a departure from the ISL. Alternatively, the criteria established by LNDD for identification of compounds in IRMS testing failed to satisfy TD2003IDCR, and that is also a departure from the ISL.
  4. Under WADA rule 3.2.1, USADA was required to prove that this departure from the ISL did not cause the adverse finding.
  5. USADA failed to meet the burden of proof referred to in (4) above.
Case dismissed.

The longer explanation

My guess, M, is that you're not going to be satisfied with my simple explanation. You're going to want to see something more complicated. TBH (to be honest), I think that the simple explanation works just fine, and that any more complicated explanation requires me to make a better case for USADA than they made themselves. But I'll give it my best shot.


(1), (2) and (4) above are just restatements of the rules, which we've already discussed. (3) and (5) are relatively obvious findings of fact that emerge from a reading of the trial transcript. It will take two posts to fully describe these facts. We'll start with point (3) above, to show the ISL departure based on LNDD's failure to establish and follow a satisfactory set of criteria for identifying compounds. I'll turn to the burden of proof issue under (5) in a later post.

LNDD had no criteria for identifying IRMS compounds

Did LNDD have established criteria for identification of compounds as required by TD2003IDCR? I only wish that someone had asked that question directly during the trial. But there's a great deal of indirect evidence that LNDD had no such established criteria. If such criteria existed, they should have been included in LNDD's standard operating procedure (SOP). The SOP does not appear to be available to us (it would be in French anyway), but the two LNDD lab technicians (Frelat and Mongongu) both testified in detail regarding the steps they took under the SOP when they performed the IRMS analysis. How did they identify the peaks shown on the IRMS graphs for the FL samples? I can find not one word of testimony from the lab technicians on this point, not in hundreds of pages of transcript.

Let's look at the testimony of Cynthia Mongongu, beginning at page 390 of the transcript (271 of the pdf file). Ms. Mongongu was the lab technician who performed the IRMS analysis on the Stage 17 A sample (Esther Cerpolini did the GC/MS), and verified the analysis of the B sample. Her testimony was longer and more detailed than the testimony of Ms. Frelat, plus Ms. Mongongu was the more experienced and knowledgeable lab technician, so I've focused more on her testimony. This testimony is lengthy (about 105 pages) and focused almost exclusively on how she performed the IRMS analysis. From her testimony, she took the following steps:

a. She prepared the sample, following the LNDD SOP.
b. She performed the GC/MS analysis for the identification of the compounds. According to her testimony, she verified that the GC/MS instrument is operating properly, by first making certain that the MassLynx is functioning properly and the ion source is functioning properly, then she checked the instrument for leaks, and she injected a mixed acetate into the GC/MS to make certain it was operating properly. Once the instrument was verified, she injected the prepared FL A sample, in fractions, in a prescribed sequence along with fractions of blank urine samples.
c. She performed an IRMS analysis. This involves verifying that the instrument is set up to verify the CO2, and that the instrument is stable. Then the instrument is calibrated with reference to a test on the mixed cal acetate. Finally, FL's sample is injected into the IRMS.
d. She performed a data reduction process on the data, consisting of verifying the background noise, and verifying that the chromatograph peaks are correctly integrated. This is the point at which Ms. Mongongu would make manual adjustments to the data.
e. At this point the results of the test are calculated, and it was determined that FL's A sample was positive for exogenous testosterone.

Please tell me, where does Ms. Mongongu describe how she identified the IRMS peaks? She does not do so.

On cross-examination, Maurice Suh walked through all of these steps again with Ms. Mongongu. (see testimony beginning on page 556 of the transcript, page 421 of the pdf file) If, somehow, the work Ms. Mongongu had performed to identify the IRMS peaks was omitted in direct examination, Ms. Mongongu had the opportunity to provide this information during cross-examination. In re-examining the steps taken by Ms. Mongongu, Mr. Suh was careful to walk through these steps in sequence, making certain that no step was skipped. So, Mr. Suh started with the stability runs on the IRMS machine, and then asked Ms. Mongongu to describe each step she'd performed, in sequence, using questions structured like "After you did x, then you did y, correct?" Again, there's not a word regarding how Ms. Mongongu identified the peaks in the IRMS tests.

You can also examine the testimony of Ms. Frelat, which is shorter but substantially the same as the testimony of Ms. Mongongu.

It's worth noting that Dr. Meier-Augenstein also wondered out loud how LNDD went about identifying its IRMS peaks. On direct examination (transcript pages 1418-19), Suh asked Dr. M-A: "When you look at the document package, do you see any documents which help you identify how they decided which one of these peaks constitutes the internal standard?" Dr M-A responded "No."

The cross-examination of Dr. M-A is even more damning to USADA's position, which is surprising given that USADA appeared to INTENTIONALLY use this cross-examination to prove that LNDD had no criteria for identifying compounds. When Dr. M-A tried to argue on cross-examination that LNDD must have had SOME procedure for the identification of the IRMS internal standard peak, USADA's counsel seemed intent on proving the contrary (testimony p. 1517, pdf 1291):
"Q. And where is it in the Paris laboratory's specs that says when you use the internal standard in connection with identifying retention time in a blank urine or athlete sample that it has to be within a particular delta value spec?"

Dr. M-A eventually responded as follows (transcript p. 1518, pdf page 1292):
"A. I -- I don't know. I don't know how they do it. Because, as I would say, there's nothing in the specs, so I don't know. Is it divine intervention or they just pick one? How do they -- how do they know which peak is their internal standard? They must have -- they must have some -- some criteria to say, Oh, let's see, there's one peak at this time; there's one peak at this time; that's not the peak at this time. They're also 20 seconds apart. How do they choose which of those it is? I don't know. And you're quite correct. There's nothing in the specs that actually tell you how to do it."

At this point, USADA's counsel could have easily rebutted Dr. M-A and shown him that LNDD DID indeed have criteria for identifying the internal standard. USADA did not do so. They appeared intent on making the point that no such criteria existed at LNDD.

I don't see any other testimony relating to whether LNDD has the established criteria required by TD2003IDCR. The testimony of other witnesses (like Dr. Brenna) did not speak directly to what LNDD did or what procedures LNDD had in place to identify compounds. Instead, this testimony spoke to what are acceptable identifying techniques as a general matter. (This other testimony will become relevant in a later post, when we look at whether USADA effectively met its burden of proof under Rule 3.2.1.) You can read this other testimony, and perhaps you can point out to me whether or where these other witnesses spoke to what LNDD actually did. In any event ... the testimony of Ms. Mongongu and Ms. Frelat is the best evidence of LNDD's actual practices and policies, though the testimony of Dr. M-A cited above IS instructive.

I think my conclusion here is a fair one: if Ms. Mongongu or Ms. Frelat took ANY steps to identify the IRMS peaks, these steps were casual and not systematic. There's no evidence that Ms. Mongongu and Ms. Frelat followed anything like "identification criteria" to identify these peaks. I conclude from this that in all likelihood, LNDD had no such identification criteria. LNDD's failure to adopt identifying criteria under TD2003IDCR is a clear and obvious departure from the ISL.

If LNDD had identifying criteria, the criteria failed to meet TD2003IDCR standards

But ... let's assume I'm wrong. Let's assume that LNDD DID establish TD2003IDCR identification criteria. What might that criteria be? Before we get started on this part of the analysis, I'll issue a warning: even if we assume that the LNDD had established TD2003IDCR criteria, the evidence of what this criteria might be is skeletal and not entirely consistent. I STILL think the best evidence is that no such criteria existed. However, if there WAS such criteria ... the best evidence I can muster is that any such criteria required a relative retention time analysis.

In her testimony, Ms. Mongongu testified on two occasions that LNDD computed included an internal standard in its testing in order to calculate relative retention times. (testimony p. 434, pdf p. 311; testimony p. 653, pdf p. 509). Here is one quote from her testimony:
" Q. Why do you add an internal standard to the blank urine and the athlete's sample?
A. The internal standard allows us to calculate the relative retention time of the molecules analyzed.
Q. Is that to make sure that you're looking at the right peaks?
A. Absolutely, yes."

You can also look at the IRMS SOP described above. The second step under that SOP is to perform a GC/MS analysis. What would be the point of doing such an analysis? The science types can weigh in here, but in the context of an IRMS test, a GC/MS analysis would be performed to provide peaks that could be used to identify the compounds being measured in the IRMS test. I don't know why else a GC/MS test would be relevant, other than to provide retention times that could be compared in some manner to the retention times for the IRMS test.

Dr. Ayotte's testimony provides corroborating evidence. On direct examination, Dr. Ayotte testified that she understood from Ms. Mongongu's testimony that LNDD ran a 5aA internal standard test, and that this was a good practice "to determine the relative retention time of your analytes." She went on to testify that this testing is "a necessity, otherwise, you don't know what you are measuring." (testimony pages 811-12, pdf pages 652-53) Dr. Ayotte testified more than once regarding the link between the internal standard test and the determination of relative retention times (see, for example, testimony page 849, pdf page 686).

So, if LNDD DID have established TD2003IDCR identification criteria, this criteria was based on relative retention times. The next question is, what procedures were established under these criteria for comparison of relative retention times? On this question, we're stymied. As I've already stated, there's not a word of testimony on what LNDD did to identify the IRMS peaks. However, the assumption (in the majority opinion and on this forum) is that LNDD identified the IRMS peaks by comparing them visually to the peaks identified in the GC/MS test. The best explanation I can find for this technique was provided by Dr. Brenna in his cross-examination (transcript page 1971, pdf page 1702):
Brenna: You can't use relative retention times. I explained why this morning. Would you like to know what to use? I can explain it. We have the chromatograms up there.
Suh: No, that's all right.
Brenna: Okay.
Suh: Actually, no, why don't you go ahead and explain it. Go ahead.
Brenna: Well, on the GC/MS side, we see a pattern, so we can see peak heights. And so -- and we want to look at the overall pattern is what -- an intermediate-sized peak; a small peak; this is one of the strong peaks; and then a large one. And then we move over a bit, and we find a large peak, an intermediate peak, a smaller peak. And then we move to the end, and we see a large peak. And if you look, you see the same pattern here. In fact, I would -- I would say, you see a number of peaks here, a number of peaks here, a number of peaks here, and they have approximately the same -- same look from this distance. And so -- and so I probably stuck with that peak, and say, well, that peak looks -- of course, I'm already anchored on the internal standard, because I do know what that retention time is. And I then can identify that last peak, again, based on pattern, and these center peaks, based on pattern. And that's one of the ways that I would -- one of the ways that I would identify peaks, comparing them.

We have huge problems relying on this description. First, Dr. Brenna is NOT expressly describing what went on at LNDD. He's saying how HE would identify the peaks (presumably, based on the limited data he had in front of him -- he never said that this is the method he uses in his own lab). Plus, he's saying expressly that this identification method is NOT a method for measuring relative retention times. This is a problem, given that if LNDD had established IRMS "identification criteria", our best evidence is that this criteria WAS a relative retention time analysis. (Personally, I understand Dr. Brenna to say that the method he's describing is not the kind of relative retention time analysis performed by Dr. M-A; instead, it's a more relaxed and fuzzy kind of RRT analysis.) So, it's difficult to say that Dr. Brenna is describing the LNDD's identification criteria. (Again, I see this as proof that LNDD HAD no such identification criteria -- if they had such criteria, we should at least be able to figure out what the criteria was.) However, I have nothing else to go on. So ... in the absence of anything better, let's say that if LNDD had "identification criteria" as required under TD2003IDCR, this criteria was a relative retention time analysis, performed in the manner described by Dr. Brenna.

The next question I'll address here is: assuming the LNDD identification criteria are those described by Dr. Brenna, do they meet the requirements of TD2003IDCR. I think it's pretty obvious that they do not.

We can start with a definition of "criteria". My old Oxford-American dictionary defines "criterion" as "a standard for judgment." This is also the Wiktionary definition, more or less. So, a "criterion" is a kind of "standard". I'm not a scientist, but I think that the very essence of a scientific criterion or standard is that it allows for objective review and evaluation. A "criterion" has to be sufficiently descriptive and detailed to permit person A to determine the validity and accuracy of a judgment reached by person B. If a procedure to reach a judgment is subjective, so that two people can reasonably reach different conclusions while following the procedure, then the procedure is not a "criterion".

My definition of "criterion" is supported by a review of the procedures listed as acceptable criteria under TD2003IDCR. All of these criteria are detailed, objective and independently verifiable. There's little or no "wiggle room" under any of these criteria.

Now M, you may argue that it's difficult to create objective and scientific criteria for the visual comparison of two different graphs. It may be difficult, but it's not impossible. As an example, please take a look at WADA's own TD2007EPO, which contain objective criteria for the visual comparison of EPO results: you divide the result chart into three parts, you determine which two bands are most "intense" based on a densitometry measure, and so forth. It's an objective standard. You can use this standard to review the judgment reached by a lab that an athlete doped with EPO.

TD2007EPO is a good reference point for us to use when we look at the methodology for identifying compounds as explained by Dr. Brenna. Under the Brenna method, you identify a pattern of "large", "intermediate" and "small" peaks on each chart, and then you check to see if these two patterns are "approximately the same" from "this distance." Does the Brenna methodology come even remotely close to describing a "standard" that person A could use to check the work performed by person B? How do you distinguish a "large" peak from an "intermediate" peak? How do you determine whether two patterns are "approximately" the same? And what in the world did Dr. Brenna mean when he said that you'd compare the two patterns "from this distance"? How can you possibly use the Brenna methodology to review the judgment reached by a lab technician? You can't.

M, if you look at the Brenna methodology for identifying compounds, the methodology does not even remotely look like a criterion or a standard. As I said, I think that the best explanation of Brenna' testimony is that LNDD did not HAVE a standard for identifying IRMS compounds as required by TD2003IDCR, and that Brenna did the best he could under the circumstances to justify what LNDD did or failed to do. The only alternative to this conclusion is that the LNDD's method of identifying compounds is the one described by Brenna, and that this method fails miserably to meet the ISL requirement that labs have "criteria" in place for such identification.

Of course, we could also examine whether the Brenna methodology, which is the only description we have of the steps LNDD might have performed to identify the FL IRMS compounds, is an adequate methodology to measure the relative retention times that LNDD said it used (according to Ms. Mongongu and Dr. Ayotte) to reach its doping finding. According to the only evidence we have on how to measure RRTs, which is the testimony of Dr. M-A, the Brenna methodology is invalid. And Dr. M-A’s testimony here is supported by Dr. Brenna (as well as the majority decision), who proclaimed that it’s impossible to measure RRTs across two different GC machines. I think this is the point that tbv and others have made here: the methodology described by Dr. Brenna and endorsed by the majority decision is unsound as a matter of science. But from a legal standpoint, we can make essentially the same point, but in a simpler manner that I think is impossible to refute: whatever you might think of the scientific validity of the methodology described by Dr. Brenna (and OMJ), the methodology is not a “criterion”, and the methodology thus fails to meet the ISL requirements.


Under either alternative, we've proven a departure on the part of LNDD from the ISL, and we’ve proven that the majority decision was incorrect on this point. The next step will be to examine whether USADA effectively rebutted the presumption that this ISL departure caused the doping finding in the FL case, which is the only way left open at this point to defend FL’s doping conviction.

I'll pause at this moment for comments and to catch my breath.

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Saturday Roundup

Sportingo says the "scourge of the two wheeled druggies" could be at an end with the inception of the "blood passport".

The Vancouver Sun
is not shocked that despite positive tests for PEDs most people still love their sports and the athletes they follow. A photograph of Floyd Landis accompanies the piece as an illustration of a fallen athlete even though there isn't much content about him in the article.

The posts a bunch of new memoirs that have arrived at the Cape Coral library, including "Positively False".

The Daily Page
writes about Halloween costumes inspired by athletes, including Floyd Landis.

Observations about Longmont thought "The Flying Scotsman" was a good cycling movie that had relevance to today's cyclists among them Floyd Landis.

Smithers in Minneapolis thinks Phil Liggett's recent comment on the Landis case is, "the stupidest thing I have ever heard of."

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Late Story From Leadville

Reader Dan Wiz emails the following story and pictures:

With "The Maestro" of brew procurement. Click for bigger.


I live in Colorado and went to cheer him and the others on at the Leadville 100. As my friends and I went to the finish line late in the day, I cut through a parking lot and noticed a guy on his cell phone, dressed a bit incognito with cowboy hat, glasses, jeans and a tshirt. For some reason, I just had a weird feeling about the person in question. As I continued to walk, he and I caught eyes, he smiled, it was at that time that I realized it was the Champ. I approached him, shook hands, and exchanged some pleasantries. Floyd, my friend, and I stood around and talked, had him sign a few things but even more cool was what my friend offered him. He says, "Floyd, you want a beer". Floyd says, "man, I'd love one." So Chuck runs to a beer tent comes out with two beers and we all share a quick drink and a very cool toast to the Champ and his wicked efforts at one of the hardest MTB endurance races around. So for a good 15 minutes the three of us stood around chattin and drinkin before the rest of the masses realized what was going on and that Floyd was present. Floyd had rave reviews of the race and just how hard it was, he also had rave reviews of the New Belgium brew. Floyd was so approachable and gracious. He took the time to speak to all, autograph stuff and was just super cool. I have a real hard time in believing all that has gone on with him, I read the trust but verify site on a daily basis. All that has gone just does not seem to be valid and is really unbelieveable to say the least.

Floyd and Dan Wiz after Leadville. Click for bigger.

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Shameless Plea, Dept.

I have another blog dealing with a local political issue, but can't get anywhere in google searches. So, let me shamelessly beg readers with their own blogs to link to it in hopes of increasing the pagerank. You might even be amused with a quick glance.

Alamo (Un) Incorporated.


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Friday Roundup

ESPN's Bonnie D. Ford notes that even though we know the physical route the 2008 Tour de France will take, the moral and political routes may be a bit more obscure. With blood passports, and everyone making nice, no one wants to note the elephant in the room, that is the actual lab which will analyze the "passports":

The virtual document -- all records will be kept electronically -- is an Orwellian notion whose time has apparently come. If the various organizations involved stick to their plan, riders will have blood, urine and hormone levels tested consistently over time to establish a profile. Deviations in that profile, in turn, would hint strongly at blood doping or other performance-enhancing dodges.

And none of the agency heads are addressing the elephant in the room: the French laboratory that continues to leak test results with impunity and that was scorched for sloppy procedures in the Landis case. It's not enough to say that the underlying science is OK. Any lab with WADA accreditation needs to be above reproach.

The CyclingNews revealed today that Patrik Sinkewitz, who tested positive for testosterone use this summer and was subsequently suspended, will not be paying back his team salary as required by the UCI. Sinkewitz testified that team doctors had organized and supplied him with doping materials throughout his career. In a CyclingNews update it has been announced that John Fahey will head WADA replacing Dick Pound:

"It's an enormous challenge and I'm looking forward to giving it everything that I can to further that objective we all have – that's to have confidence that sport is being played and executed fairly," Fahey concluded.

And in other news Patrik Sinkewitz claims that members of T-Mobile blood doped before and during the 2006 Tour de France:

On the day before the 2006 Tour began, Jan Ullrich, Oscar Sevilla and Rudy Pevenage were all suspended from the team on suspicion of being involved with Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. The remaining seven riders were Andreas Klöden, Giuseppe Guerini, Serhiy Honchar, Matthias Kessler, Eddy Mazzoleni, Michael Rogers and Sinkewitz.

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, part of the team was in Freiburg for treatments three or four days before the Tour started. Sinkewitz is said to have alleged that there were "repeated" autologous blood transfusions during the Tour

CyclingNews Letters
from readers this week are full of righteous indignation about the "B" sample controversy in the Iban Mayo case.

Rant thinks that on paper the "Blood Passport" is a good idea, done in conjunction with regular testing when an indication of a problem arises. But, he sees big time problems with the lab analysis of the samples due to WADA lab inconsistencies, and lack of qualified personnel to do the testing.

Charles posts a great portrait of Floyd Landis by photographer Embry Rucker.

GymSkinz Triathlon Blog notes a survey of Olympic hopefuls many of whom would sacrifice the ultimate to get a gold medal. "Gym" also posts a picture taken at the Floyd Landis talk this week at the LA Triathlon Club, and an interesting article on gene manipulation, as opposed to garden variety doping, from professor Jim Rupert of British Columbia.

Belgian Knee Warmers
talks mostly about Mayo, but tosses in this of interest to Landis watchers:

BKW spoke to a doping expert who requested anonymity for this story; he said it was curious the lab in Gent, Belgium, was chosen to test the B sample. According to the expert, the lab in Belgium isn’t particularly competent to perform EPO testing. On the other hand, he said that while the Paris lab’s IRMS group is “atrocious,” their EPO and blood group is “quite good.”
and in comments:

The expert we spoke to (who has read many EPO tests) says a properly executed test is unequivocal in its result. If the work is a little sloppy, the results will be a little wavy, but clear enough to judge.
Tarik and Art: We are told that unlike the IRMS test--which can be manipulated--the EPO test has no room for manipulation in order to force a particular outcome.

Tip from an emailer.

Smithers is of the opinion that Phil Liggett doesn't know what he's talking about as concerns the Landis case.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

The lesson took

Rant gave Phil some pointers at a fundraiser a little while ago, and Phil seems to have taken them to heart in some of his recently reported comments. (Photo: Bill Hue).

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The Swiss Team

We'd missed this detail earlier, but Bonnie D Ford's Oct 11 article on the appeal identifies the Swiss Attorneys involved with the Landis appeal:

Landis recently traveled to Switzerland to meet with Zurich-based lawyers Alessandro Celli and Lucien Valloni. The pair represented Landis' now-defunct Phonak team in a successful 2004 appeal before CAS.


From the website of their Law Firm, we get a biography of Celli:

Dr. Alessandro L. Celli

Alessandro L. Celli has been a partner in our Zurich office since 1998. He is Head of our Competition Group and Co-Head of our IP & Technology Group.

Alessandro is experienced in all aspects of IP and technology related national and international transactions (JVs, license agreements, patent pooling, research collaborations, distribution, sale and purchase of technology businesses and marks/brands). He also advises on business restructuring and is member of the board of various Swiss operative companies. He practices competition law and intellectual property law, both contentious and non-contentious. He has published extensively in these fields. Sports law and entertainment law, be it media or sponsoring are further passions in Alessandro’s practice.

Alessandro obtained his law degree from the University of Zurich in 1987 and his PhD in 1993. He is a former lecturer at the University of Fribourg. His working languages are German and English.

Alessandro is a member of the following professional associations: Zurich Bar Association, Swiss Bar Association, American Bar Association (ABA), Swiss Association of Competition Law, Association Suisse pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle (AIPPI), International Trademark Association (INTA) and Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA).

Corporate / Commercial
Insolvency / Restructuring
Intellectual Property
M&A / Transactions

Zurich Office


and of Valloni:

Dr. Lucien W. Valloni

Lucien W. Valloni has been a partner in our Zurich office since 2005.

Lucien is one of the best known sports lawyers in the Swiss market with an emphasis on sports litigation and arbitration. He has represented domestic and international clients in numerous high-profile cases (including doping related proceedings) before various sports arbitration bodies, including the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). He is a highly experienced litigator in both international and domestic commercial cases in the Swiss courts (including the Swiss Federal Supreme Court). Lucien also advises clients on corporate, commercial, entertainment, employment, insurance and (international) enforcement matters.

Lucien obtained his law degree from the University of Zurich in 1990. He obtained a Ph.D. from the Faculty of Law of the University of Zurich in 1998 with a thesis on the jurisdiction of courts at the place of performance of an obligation under the Lugano and Brussels Conventions (graduation with the distinction summa cum laude and the Prof. Walther Hug-Prize, awarded for outstanding theses graded with the highest possible mark by a Swiss law school). His working languages are German, English, Italian and French.

Lucien is a member of the following professional associations: Zurich Bar Association, Swiss Bar Association, Vice-President of the International Sport Lawyers Association (ISLA), President of the Swiss Association of Football Players (SAFP) which is a member of F.I.F.Pro (Fédération Internationale des Associations de Footballeurs Professionnels), FIFPro-Doping-Committee, President of the Swiss Association of Icehockey Players (SAIP), Employment Law Alliance, Associazone Internazionale Giuristi di Lingua Italiana (A.I.G.L.I.), Swiss-Italian Chamber of Commerce (Camera di Commercio Italiana per la Svizzera).

Corporate / Commercial
Insolvency / Restructuring

Zurich Office


These are the attorneys who helped Phonak secure a ProTour license when the UCI gave it grief, as reported at Pez:

In the court’s 31-page opinion, the judges affirmed all the objections brought by ARcycling regarding UCI’s refusal to grant the license. Furthermore, the CAS deemed the UCI licensing committee’s decision to be unreasonable and that Phonak had not sufficiently been granted their right to be heard. In addition, the judgement noted that equal treatment compared with other teams had not existed, and also that Phonak had not acted unethically. Likewise, the formal points raised during the license-granting proceedings were not sufficient to deny Phonak the license, according to the court’s opinion.

The UCI v. Phonak award for that case is interesting reading.

We'll observe that Andy Rihs (ARcycling/Phonak) seems to have been an outsider to the UCI/Procycling "old boys club", and never particularly welcome. One might wonder how much the UCI appreciated having Phonak back after contesting the license, and whether it might have been secretly pleased to have a payback opportunity.

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Thursday Roundup

The Mountain Echo posts a story largely about Cleveland Indian Paul Byrd who admitted to using HGH, but manages to besmirch Floyd Landis in the process anyway.

The CyclingNews reports that Patrik Sinkewitz testified before the German Cycling Federation yesterday and told all, but named no names. Still he hopes for a lighter suspension due to his cooperation. In other news Victor Cordero of the Vuelta approves of the bio passports, and thinks they will benefit riders like Floyd Landis who've tested positive and left others wondering who won, though how this benefits Floyd is up for speculation. In a CyclingNews update the 2008 Tour de France route is revealed with no prologue and shorter time trials. Also there will be no guaranteed place for any team according to Christian Prudhomme, though talks continue with the Pro Tour.

The VeloNews reports that Andrey Kashechkin is taking a novel approach by looking to the European Court of Human Rights to clear his name based on
Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to Luc Mission, Kashechkin's lawyer, Article 8 states:

Article 8 states that only the public authorities can interfere in people's private lives, and Misson added: "... and the sports authorities are not the public authorities."

Misson will argue that even the principle of collecting blood samples runs contrary to the international charter on human rights, and is thus forbidden.

The Herald
echoes hopes from Tour de France organizers that no more "nasty videos" should accompany the launch of future Tours. Last year's launch featured Floyd Landis splintering in a cracked mirror, this year thunder was the soundtrack for the portion of the review of the 2007 Tour de France which concerned doping controversies.

The Fredcast Podcast has been posted with comments on the Landis appeal to the CAS among many other things.

Erik's Ironman Site has no sports heroes anymore. No wonder, look how fast Floyd Landis went from a hero to a pariah.

Colby and Sarah finished reading "Positively False" and that, along with the evidence amassed, convinces them that Floyd is innocent, though he is probably screwed anyway.

Liz Oakes posts lots of great pictures of the LA Triathlon Club event with Floyd Landis mentioned below.

From an emailer

The following report is also posted in the Wednesday Roundup comments and comes from someone who attended the Floyd Landis appearance at the LA Triathlon Club last night. Thanks for sharing:

So I went to the LA Tri Club meeting last nigh where Floyd Landis spoke. He appeared to be fairly happy while taking pictures, and signing copies of his book, while enjoying a couple of cold beers. There were hundreds of people at the meeting and the resounding applause when he was introduced was longer than any other professional athlete that the club has brought in previously. It was a Q/A session with written questions submitted in advance (during the cocktail hour). Floyd is not what you would call a cult of personality, but gave a memorable prologue and answered every question far beyond the highlights that I have summarized.

+ Being a pro cyclist for so long he had forgotten about how much he used to love getting swag at races. The Tri-Club was giving out Visors, Bio-tene (sp?) mouth wash -which Floyd joked that it was not such a subtle hint that he had bad breath. A Toyota United cowbell. And most importantly, an LA-Tri Club swim cap, which is bright yellow and branded with the team logo. To which, Floyd said "You know, they can take my yellow jersey, but they can never take my yellow condom!" (Holding the swim cap high above his head). This brought the house down in laughter.

+ Overall, he seemed just like the guy next door (That happens to be one of the greatest cyclists)

+ He thinks that Triathletes are a special breed as he is pretty sure that he can't swim well and knows that he sucks at running. But felt that he could find some common ground with the bike portion.

+ He further thinks that Ironman athletes are beyond crazy and he is not able to wrap his head around how they can ride 112 miles in a TT position WITHOUT a Chamois between their legs. He has never raced a TT or ridden in a TT position longer than 40 miles and can't understand why people would. (More laughter)

+ States that besides winning the TDF that many of the days of racing he cherishes most were not victories, but when he rode in support of someone that did win. (IMO-that is a measure of a true champion)

+ Contrary to popular belief, Jack Daniels is not his favorite alcohol. When pressed for a favorite he responded that he prefers his drinks to be 'free ones' and 'hopefully in a Costco sized bottle'. (Raucous laughter)

I went into the meeting with open expectations and a firm belief that an injustice of staggering proportions had been committed. And walked away with some melancholy knowing that it was happening to what seemed like a genuinely good person who was taking it far better than I would be able to.

Oh, yeah. I got a Toyota United Cowbell, but not the mouthwash. Maybe there was something to it..

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