Friday, November 30, 2007

Different Columns!? Hiding in plain sight

In comments, Mr. Idiot has noticed something that was in plain sight all along, if anyone had noticed.

The Majority wrote, in the key seven paragraphs, at paragraph 188:

The GC column is, of course, the same in both instruments.

This is a "misstatement of fact" by the Majority, on which some significant conclusions are based.

We see that the columns were NOT the same, based on parts of USADA 124, 153 for the A sample, and USADA 303 and 329 for the B sample:


USADA 124: Using an Agilent 19091s-433 for the GC/MS.

USADA 153: Using a DB-17 (as did Shackleton) for the GC/C/IRMS

USADA 303: Using an Agilent 19091s-433 for the GC/MS.

USADA 329: Using a DB-17 for the GC/C/IRMS

These are completely different columns, with different "polarities". Polarities are known to causes significant location changes in peaks, including changing the order of peaks. It isn't known as fact whether these columns change the order of the 5bA and 5aA peaks in the setup used by LNDD.

For the record, Agilent used to be part of HP, and now also owns the rights to the DB-17. So both are made by the same company, but are of completely different specification.

Mr. Idiot writes:
[T]his all comes from Arnie Baker through email. I do have explicit permission to make it public. The down and dirty version of it is this - most of it is right there in the original LDP:

USADA 0124 says that the column used in the GCMS was an "Agilent 19091s-433." If you dig in the Agilent website, it is clear that an Agilent 19091s-433 is an "HP-5ms" column.

USADA 0153 says that the column used in the GC/C/IRMS was a "DB-17ms." Again at the Agilent website you can find the DB-17ms and learn that it is a different column with different characteristics than the HP-5ms.

Just as one example, the HP-5ms is "non-polar," and the DB-17ms is "mid-polar."

Baker has shown that the LNDD SOP required that the DB-17ms be used for both GC/MS and GC/C/IRMS, but for some (undocumented) reason they used the HP-5ms for the GC/MS. The evidence of that is a little more complicated, so I'll wait on explaining it.

The information Baker has given me also shows specific examples of how substances elute at different times and in different orders on these two columns, and even has an example of a steroid doing so (although not specifically 5aA or 5bA). That's part of the stuff that is graphics heavy and TbV will have to do something with it.

Obviously one of the first things you learn about the connection between GC/MS and GC/C/IRMS is that the chromatographic conditions have to be the same. Now we realize that not only were the temperature conditions different, the columns were different too.


UPDATE: more in Different Columns - Details.

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Friday Roundup

USAToday Sports Scope found the WSJ piece, posted here Wednesday, on the how the ADAs work illuminating.

The CyclingNews reports this morning that the UCI is determined to expand beyond its traditional European roots and is planning cycling events in Russia as well as Asia. In other news, a court in Belgium, has said that a verdict in Patrick Lefevere's lawsuit against Belgian politician Jean-Marie Dedecker will be announced in December. Dedecker had claimed that three of the country's elite cyclists underwent "doping cures" in Italy in February 2006, and Lefevere sued for damages. No riders' names were mentioned. And Bijarne Riis opins that the 2008 Tour de France will be the cleanest ever, from his mouth...
The CyclingNews Letters is a real grab bag this week with the following perhaps the most interesting, if not the most vociferous, of the lot:

The sponsors can move to another sport very easily and they will. The two largest teams are essentially gone so unless you happen to like living on bread and water you just have to stop.

It's not good enough to repent after doping, or doing drugs, just don't do it! The idiots that confessed should have the record expunged and should return all the money too. If you are caught like Sinkewitz or Floyd then you should lose your right to compete as a pro. Its over, you're done, good bye! Surely we are past the point of being lenient on this stuff.

Strewth! What a bunch of idiots pros are and what a bunch of idiots we are for not holding them responsible for drug use!
Well DT and Disco are gone and we are all the poorer. We can go back to our regular jobs or switch sports to watch, but what are the pros going to do? Bag groceries? Flip burgers? Rickshaw taxi's? I guess we will find out and so will they!
Pay attention as the final last lap bell is ringing!

Ross Kennedy

The VeloNews "Leaglly Speaking" column has been writing recently about cyclists being killed while riding, and the seeming indifference to this by the public and by law enforcement. No Landis content but if you ride, or know someone who does, you might want to take a look.

Bike World News is back and provides a number of links which review last week's cycling news. BWN posts the CAS Landis appeal filing and wonders if Floyd should just save what money he has and sit this one out.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday Roundup

The CyclingNews posts more fallout from T-Mobile's demise as a cycling sponsor, and Bjorn Leukemans has arranged for his "B" sample to be tested at the Barcelona WADA lab. His "A" sample was found positive for testosterone earlier this month after the World Championships.

ESPN publishes a Bonnie D Ford piece on the loss of T-Mobile's cycling sponsorship. The author speaks extensively with T-Mobile manager Bob Stapleton who says that cycling needs to adapt to this new reality, or face extinction. She also speaks with Doug Ellis, owner of Slipstream/Chipotle who has been very public in the battle against doping in cycling, but whose team has yet to face any kind of public scandal.

The Velonews reports that the court hearing the Andrey Kashechkin case, in which the cyclist claims doping controls violated his human rights, has stated it has no jurisdiction in the case:

However, the European Court of First Instance in Liége, Belgium, ruled Thursday that it did not have jurisdiction in the matter, noting that the case should have been filed in Switzerland, where the UCI is based. Switzerland is not a member of the European Union but is a signator to the human-rights treaty.

While the court declined to hear the case on jurisdictional grounds, it did offer some hope to those who feared the imapact Kashechkin's challenge might have on anti-doping efforts. The court noted that Kashechkin is probably contractually bound to comply with UCI and WADA doping rules, since the requirement to do so is an integral part of the agreement riders sign when taking out a license to race.


Mari and Dave, for unknown reasons, had a quote from Mr. Pound, but it's been changed. Nothing Landis there now.

Zbicyclist appreciated what he read in Fatty's blog about real courage in the face of enormous obstacles.

Traceeloran continues the debate about what constitutes a PED and if PEDs should be regulated and legalized.

reminisces about riding the mountains of North Georgia.

All on the Field posts part 2 of an interview with "Steroid Nation" author and blogger Dr. Gary Gaffney.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday Roundup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday Roundup

AP/Yahoo reports Deutsche-Telekom (T-Mobile) is pulling it's sponsorship in the wake of the Sinkewitz revelations, and the general environment of the sport. So even if he wins his case, there will be no pink Floyd.

Florida Sports Magazine posts an article about the selection of the panel of arbitrators that will hear Floyd Landis' upcoming CAS appeal, Landis is quoted:

“My hope is that the CAS panel will review my case on the basis of the facts and the science,” said Landis, “and to approach my appeal from the principle that the anti-doping authorities must uphold the highest levels of appropriate process, technical skill, science and professional standards to pronounce judgment on matters that hold an athlete’s career, accomplishments and livelihood in the balance.”

The CyclingNews reports that Stefan Schumacher has made his "suspicious" blood values public and continues to maintain his innocence, and Spanish Secretary for Sport Jaime Lissavetsky says he doesn't want to argue with the UCI over Iban Mayo's (re)retesting:

Lissavetzky advocated that "a balance between the fight against doping and the respect for the rights of cyclists," needs to be found, but at the same time expressed that he didn't want to "enter into polemics with the UCI".

"When I heard that the B sample was not 'positive', I said that the rules had to be fulfilled, that is, Iban Mayo was free of doping. But then we come into some formal legal aspects used by the UCI as a reason for claiming a new analysis of the B sample, so that I do not want to argue with the UCI", Lissavetzky told Europress.

The Fresno Bee thinks that if Tucson can attract the likes of Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong so can Fresno.

Rant thinks that Pat McQuaid's recent statements about taking cycling out of Europe are rather curious, and finds that Paolo's Bettini's comments are, in light of what McQuaid said, prophetic.

VeloGuy posts audio from Floyd Landis' recent appearance at the LA Triathlon Club. VG wants everyone to keep an open mind about Floyd's innocence since he himself has bee the recent recipient of incorrect lab work which has given him new insight into what that experience can be like.

TV Watch speculates about possible sponsorship troubles facing baseball in light of cycling's recent monetary downturn due to doping scandals.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer profiles the FRM cycling team in its blog section and notes that just as Floyd Landis had done, when you ride hard you have to nap when you can.

discusses training techniques and Dr. Allen Lim.

The Fat Cyclist proves categorically that wife Susan is tougher than Landis and Lance: She's having a hip replaced tomorrow, is fighting cancer and is the mother of four, including a pair of 6 year old twins. Send her some positive vibes in the comments there.

Joeschmo notes the "passing" of T-Mobile from cycling, and thinks that as the sponsorship money dries up so will a lot of the scandal.He also has a unique way of couching the Landis saga:

And we saw the mental gymnastics required by the two arbitrators to vote Floyd Landis guilty of doping, when they threw out the results of the first test, but accepted the results of the second test, which would not have been run without a positive in the first case, and had to ignore all the problems with the second test as well.

Tri Guy thinks he knows how Floyd Landis felt when he "hit the wall".

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Idiots look at [Brenna 2003]: Quantization and Background

Analysis of Quantization Error in High Precision Continuous Flow Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry

by Gavin L Sacks, Christopher J Wolyniak and J Thomas Brenna
Journal of Chromatography A, 2003

Review by Ali and TBV

The purpose of this brief review is to assess another of the papers that Dr Brenna co-authored, in order to determine whether anything of relevance to the Landis case is present. It is in the GDC exhibits, at the end of GDC1151 and filling GDC 1161

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of quantization noise on the measured o/oo value for IRMS. Both the traditional summation method for integration and the curve fitting method are explored to see which performed better in the presence of quantization noise. Curve fitting is not really relevant to the Landis case because it was not employed, so we'll cut to the chase on this subject and say that curve fitting generally performed better than the traditional summation method. LNDD doesn't do that.

However, our interest in the article is tweaked by a highlighted paragraph on page 274, GDC 1155:
The reproducibility of the summation background correction depends in part on the two points that anchor the background line under the peak; imprecision in the measurement of either point multiplies through the entire length of the background segment connecting the points. In the presence of a simple linear background, a background line is easily drawn between any two points on either side of the peak, as shown in Figure 2a. Chemical noise due to column bleed or contaminant peaks may cause inaccuracy in defining the background, but such noise is usually correlated in all three traces.

(emphasis added)


We're not sure which party introduced the exhibit, or marked the paragraph. It could have been Landis, talking about the effect of inaccurate background subtraction, or USADA, saying the three traces (presumably 44, 45 and 46) can usually correlate background noise from contaminant peaks.

Reading the paper as it was intended, rather than how it might apply to Landis, we first get an explanation of quantization noise For those not familiar with it, quantization noise occurs when an analogue, continuous parameter is converted into a digital, discrete parameter by the process of analogue to digital conversion (ADC). This process effectively converts the signal present at the detector into an n-bit binary number, where n equals the number of bits in your converter. For example, if you have a 5-bit converter, you would have 32 possible values that your signal could take, ranging from 0 to 31 (in binary, 00000 to 11111). If the value of the analogue input to this converter happens to fall between two of your possible 32 binary values when it is sampled, it will be converted to either one or the other, so you will have lost its true value (e.g. an input of 2.5 will be converted to either 2 or 3). This process of constraining a parameter to take discrete values is called quantization and because it distorts the true signal, it is called noise.

Experiomentally, the authors injected CO2 samples of known composition into a GC/C/IRMS system at varying injection sizes. The results were recorded using a custom 24-bit ADC running at a sample rate of 0.1 seconds. This 24-bit measurement was reprocessed to simulate the results one would obtain with 12-bit, 14-bit and 16-bit ADCs.

Figure 1: Shows quantization errors with various sampling resolutions.
(TBV caption)

As the figures are introduced, we're given some examples, pointed out in the case-cited paragraph:

Figure 2: Simulated chromatographic peaks in the presence of a linearly rising background (a) without and (b) with quantization error. In the presence of quantization error, the true background may fall anywhere within the arrows. Without quantization error background is easily and accurattely achieved by connecting points on either side of the peak.
(caption in original)

The investigation is concerned with the critical process of accurate background removal, here the effect of the subtle errors caused by quantization noise on identifying the true value of the background to be removed. The measured o/oo values are found to be a function of both the number of bits in the ADC and the CO2 injection size. CO2 injection sizes ranged from a minimum of 0.1 nmol to a maximum of approx 11 nmol. Results are expressed as the standard deviation (SD) of the observed measurements:

  • The SD of the 12-bit ADC measurement error ranged from >> 10 o/oo at the minimum CO2 injection level to ~2 o/oo at the maximum CO2 injection level.
  • The SD of the 14-bit ADC measurement error ranged from > 10 o/oo at the minimum CO2 injection level to <>
  • The SD of the 16-bit ADC measurement error ranged from ~ 6 o/oo at the minimum CO2 injection level to <>
  • The SD of the 24-bit ADC measurement error ranged from ~ 4 o/oo at the minimum CO2 injection level to <>

The paper then develops equations for estimating the potential error based on the CO2 injection level and the number of bits in the ADC. The conclusions were that at the lowest (12-bit) resolution, an error as low as 1 o/oo was unachievable, even with the maximum CO2 injection level.

Unfortunately, we idiots tried, but failed to find out how many bits the IsoPrime has in its ADC, so we can't draw a direct comparison. However, it is clear from Dr Brenna that significant errors are possible due to this effect. Perhaps he should also have addressed to impact of quantization error in determining the peak maxima and how that would effect any correction to the m45, m44 time lag.

So where does that leave us? The effect of quantization noise appears to be significant, but we may assume that it forms part of LNDD's claimed accuracy of +/- 0.8 o/oo. We think this is generous by assuming that their system achieves a high CO2 level and that their ADC is definitely greater than 12-bits. If either of these were not the case, then all bets are off.

It's important to recognise that this +/- 0.8 o/oo is a characteristic of the system. It includes contributions from the chromatographic efficiency of the system, the sensitivity of the detectors, chemical and electrical noise, the effects of digitizing the detector signals (quantization noise) and the subsequent impact of that when it comes to removing background and calculating peak areas. Unless you go out and change part of the system for something better, you can't improve on this. So, the true value for the peak will be +/- 0.8 o/oo away from the measured value (if our assumptions about LNDD CO2 levels and ADC bit size hold true).

That's the basic accuracy of the system. You've got your raw digitized data and the best you can hope to do with it is +/- 0.8 o/oo. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

LNDD close the book here and apply this tolerance to all their results.

Are there situations that may further reduce the accuracy? We idiots are left scratching our heads. Wasn't it USADA expert witness Dr Brenna who published papers confirming that many such situations exist and could result in significant additional error? Didn't team Landis expert Dr Meier-Augenstein also testify to that?

But LNND appears to be saying that even if they have a situation with overlapping peaks, it will have no impact on the accuracy of their measurement.

They don't stroke their chin and say "Hmmm ... maybe +/- 1.2 o/oo for this case ..." or "Ouch !, big overlap, that's got to hurt ... maybe +/- 3 o/oo for this one".

No, they claim that they're always within +/- 0.8 o/oo of the true value. It doesn't matter if they're 10%, 20%, 30% overlapping, they'll just drop a perpendicular down to background and ... +/- 0.8 o/oo.

On one side of the fence, we have Dr Brenna, Dr Meier-Augenstein and the Idiots, who have all both claimed and demonstrated that significant additional error is possible when you do not have good clean baseline separated peaks. On the other side of the fence, we have LNDD who take no cognizance of this irrefutable fact. And we're the idiots? You decide!


Figure 7a from GDC 1162

In comments below there's some discussion of errors observed in the paper, with reference to the figure above,

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Monday Roundup

The CyclingNews posts more fallout from Patrik Sinkewitz's latest statements to the media on systematic doping at Quick Step, this time Patrick Lefevere responds, and the Andrey Kashechkin case concerning doping tests and human rights violations will be appealed to a higher court if it is lost in Liege:

Luc Misson, who is defending the Kazakh rider who has complained that the current anti-doping system is illegal because it violated Human Rights, took the case in order to prove a point. He sees the doping controls as intrusive, and is undeterred by potential consequences should Kashechkin win his case. "The fight against doping has to be a mission of the Police and Justice system, rather than the Federations, or racing cyclists."

"I am calling for Human Rights, for the freedom of the individual to be respected. All doping must be fought by the State. There are 18 countries that have laws against doping. It is a business that moves about 8,000 million euros," Misson stated. "States should know these industries, see where the doping products are manufactured. It is the fight against crime and smugglers rather than condemning the weak," he added

In a PM update the CN notes that Paolo Bettinni is calling for an accord among all who have an interest in the preservation of professional cycling. And there is yet more fallout from the Sinkewitz allegations of systematic doping at the 2000 world championships. And Doctor Carlo Santuccione ,who had been suspended for his involvement in the Oil for Drugs scandal, has responded to the request for a life-time ban by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) by stating his innocence.

The VeloNews reports that UCI president Pat McQuaid is making preliminary plans to expand the pro cycling tour into Russia and China, something which will not go down well with many in Europe:

We cannot remain a European sport. If we remain a European sport then we die," he continued. "2008 will be a transition year for the ProTour, but by 2009 we will have a global ProTour. There will be teams within the current set-up who are not happy with that. But there are others who want the global reach and who want us to develop events outside Europe. We'll get some criticism in the next 12 months, possibly we'll have difficulty in gaining 100 percent support from some stakeholders. But I think they've got to have a bit of vision and look at what we're trying to achieve in the long term."

The Salt Lake Tribune comments on the need for increased testing for PEDs in NCAA sports and almost inevitably includes Floyd Landis in the usual list of "cheater" suspects.

The New York Times Metro Diary contains a note from Floyd Landis on random acts of kindness he observed in the big city, Floyd L Landis that is.

The Niagara Falls Reporter presents awards appropriate to the Thanksgiving season, if not the spirit, they are plucked clean turkey carcasses going to those who have embarrassed themselves in the public realm. Will Geoghegan gets second runner-up in the sports category.

Maureen expresses disappointment at some of her sports heroes who it seems will do anything to win, but still has faith in many who she feels competed cleanly.

Jim recently moved back to SoCal for the sunshine and is living in Murrieta where he feels he will eventually run into cycling "GOD" and fellow resident Floyd Landis.

Your Weekly Numerology
tells us how to compute our personal number for the year 2007 and also that Floyd Landis is in a 6 year cycle, whatever that really means.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Roundup

The VeloNews notes Patrik Sinkewitz's latest confessions about doping, all of which have allowed him to obtain a lighter suspension.

ESPN posts more about the Sinkewitz assertion that the German cycling federation knew he was using EPO in 2000 before the Worlds and lied about the reasons for his late withdrawal from that competition:

The cycling federation on Saturday confirmed Sinkewitz's story, saying it was backed up by Weibel's testimony. Weibel's suspension came after an investigation by federal police triggered by Sinkewitz's revelations about doping on the T-Mobile team.

But, Sinkewitz, who rode for T-Mobile the past two years, praised new American manager Bob Stapleton's strict anti-doping policies and internal testing.
"That wasn't just a show for outsiders," Sinkewitz said. "Bob Stapleton really wants a clean team."

The Miami Herald writes about sports scandals, the inordinate time they may take to ultimately play out, and how they affect the record books. The Olympic chronicles of David Wallechinsky have to be altered due to doping scandals, Oscar Pereiro had to wait out the "longest Tour in history", and in these trying times records are being revised with the asterisk now an all important tool. In the commentary section The Miami Herald scatters little bits of snark here and there and saves a gratuitous "give up the ghost" reference for Floyd Landis. cautions that risky hip resurfacing should only be performed by those who have had extensive training in the complex procedure. One of its recipients however is ill informed about Floyd Landis' post surgery progress,which has been remarkable, erroneously thinking that Floyd is back racing in Europe. The piece goes on further to describe the fierce competition for surgeons among the companies offering this resurfacing system in the United Sates.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday Roundup

The New Zealand Herald does a short profile of Kiwi David Williams QC who will chair the CAS panel hearing the Landis appeal. The article rather contemptuously summarizes Landis' case by stating that his lawyers will "claim" that procedural errors were made at the lab during the testing of his Stage 17 samples.

The Boulder Report writes about the troubles Team Astana is now facing, doping fallout and otherwise. Be thankful you are not Johan Bruyneel trying to patch things up.

The CyclingNews notes that Patrik Sinkewitz continues to admit to various doping activities, this time it was at the 2000 World Championships

Racejunkie is catching up and feels that it may be possible for Floyd Landis to get a fair shake from thr CAS panel chosen to hear his case. Of course with the amount of time this will all take up it may only be a moral victory if Landis wins. And what will they do with poor Oscar IF Floyd does prevail? In other opinions RJ finds that Bjorn Leukenmans has given us waaay too much information.

Velo Vortmax
, new to us, spins a tale of UCI, USADA and WADA complacency and consipiracy to protect LNDD. He starts with Mayo's EPO test, and keeps going. In his view, Catlin disabled the UCLA IRMS machine to force the Landis alternate B samples to be tested back at LNDD. We've never heard anybody utter that before, though it did seem awfully convenient for UCLA to duck out at that time.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday Roundup

The CyclingNews reports that Anne Gripper of the UCI has clarified the Iban Mayo "B" sample test delay and that now Mayo's representatives will be allowed to attend the retest at the LNDD. They had previously been barred from doing so.
Bjorn Leukemans has been told that he cannot blame his sex life for the high level of testosterone found in one of his samples from last summer. It also comes out that it was positive on a CIR done by Cologne, the lab run by Dr. Schanzer, and Cologne had given him a "High T/E OK" certificate in 2001. Leukemans wants the B sample tested at Barcelona.
Finally, Saul Raisin has been sadly told that team doctors will not release him to ride because they fear the results of another crash, which may be the end of his racing career unless he can find a team with less concerned doctors. His site is taking a beating, going up and down.

The CyclingNews Friday Mailbag is open and there are notes from readers on topics from the blood passport to Michael Rasmussen's blood values. Perhaps the most interesting letters is also one of the shortest:

I would like to thank Dick Pound for the following insight on his tenure at WADA:

Pound said he's interested in the soon-to-be-open spot as head of the International Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"I'm available," said Pound, who is both an accountant and attorney. "Listen, it would be the first time in 30 years that the IOC has given me a job that I actually understand."

Kevin Hetherington-Young

The Washington Post, in a column about coming in second in politics , snarks that Floyd Landis is, "a hard-working grunt, a natural second who tried to come in first via synthetic testosterone, it seems, and look what happened to him." Time, it seems, has failed to diminish the preponderance of Landis punchlines.

The New York Post fails to be humorous with a Landis punchline of its own.

The New Zealand Herald
gives a few words about David Williams, a Kiwi who will be the chair of the Landis CAS panel. In the picture, he looks a little like Bertrand Russell before going completely white-haired.

Pommi writes from China with no turkey in sight and with what seems a bit of jealousy that some get to ride their bikes up very big hills. And yes we might have to wait until another May for a decision.

is "catching up" with the Landis appeal brief filing announcement, Iban Mayo's "B" sample mess, and the end of Saul Raisin's all too short career.

Nashville Cyclist
provides a number of links to recent cycling related articles, a couple of which have been linked here already,with some very odd indeed. (sex WITH a bike?)

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thursday Roundup

Happy Thanksgiving!

The CyclingNews reports further on Bjorn Leukemans' positive for testosterone as he continues to claim that this latest test result comes from the same natural imbalance that produced a similar finding in 2001 and again in 2006, both of which he was cleared of:

"I had the same problem in the year 2001," he told HLN. "It seems that the values between testosterone and epitestosterone are too high in my body. That was the case then as it is now. In 2001, I underwent a special test for this at a lab in Cologne, Germany. I was then cleared of all charges."

"According to the last test, I would have used a prohibited gel. However, I deny that most definitely," he stated, noting that, "I knew that there would be a control before the Worlds. Why would I be so dumb as to use testosterone, knowing that? Besides, the scientists say this product does not make you go any faster. You don't run a red light when the policeman is standing right there. I'm not that dumb!"

Leukenmans, who was suspended by his team, states he will fight the result through the courts if need be and will also have his "B" sample tested in different labs.

The VeloNews writes that Cristian Moreni got a two year suspension for testing postive for testosterone at this year's Tour de France.

The Grand Rapids Press
can't seem to help cooking up a "turkey" of a snark.We're thankful it was short.

Steve's Peeves & Affinities wanted to keep up his blogging on the Landis case, but he has been wrestling with Word Press as his moves his old blog entries and has had to make compromises. Congrats on the new edition to the family by the way.

Top Dog Cycling read the Pedal Magazine article that inspired "Dopers Must be Stoned" by Floyd Landis. TD feels all should read the Landis op-ed piece, and that Floyd's reasoning is sound. Bring it on indeed.

Thought for the Day

Best of all is to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song.

-Konrad von Gesner-
Holiday Ride Note

TBV thought he was being lazy, driving to the base of Mt. Diablo to save some time. About 2/3rd of the way up, he heard sound like a cyclist talking, but it was coming up faster than seemed likely. Then, he blew by me, at 30 mph grabbing onto the mirror of a white pickup truck. Wearing my Phonak tights and Phonak jersey, I gathered all my righteous indignation and yelled at him, "Cheater!". I think I heard him laugh as he vanished up into the distance. Maybe it was Levi.

Back home at 10:15, in time to make french toast
for the still
drowsy kids.

The other new experience was sweat from my gloves freezing on the brake levers coming down. Sort of like Flick freezing his tongue to the light pole.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wednesday Roundup

Reuters reports that the Landis case will likely not be heard by the CAS until March at the earliest. It mentions the Landis picked arbitrator for the hearings, as well as the lawyer USADA has chosen to defend its position:

CAS general secretary Mathieu Reeb told Reuters on Wednesday the case was unlikely to be heard before March 2008, with a final verdict coming as late as May.

"The parties will have until around the end of January to submit their statements, so it is very unlikely that the hearing can proceed before March," Reeb said.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), who are defending the appeal, have selected New York lawyer David Rivkin, whose previous cases include the controversial stripping of Alain Baxter's alpine skiing bronze medal from the 2002 Olympics.

The CyclingNews reports on the Landis CAS appeal brief filing which includes a "non-comment" by USADA's Travis Tygart:
"I don't really have any comment on it," said Travis Tygart, head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). "It's a right afforded them under the rules, and they've elected to go forward."

In a later update the CyclingNews writes that Predictor Lotto has suspended Björn Leukemans, who tested positive with a 6:1 T/E ratio. He's claiming he is naturally elevated and has tested high before. We don't have information on any longitudinal study to know what the real story may be. While there never was a good time, this is an even worse climate than usual to stand accused.

CNN International
provides a bit more detail on the CAS appeal filing made by Team Landis yesterday noting that the written submissions will continue to be made over the next few weeks and that no date has been set at this time for the actual hearing.

The LA Times posts the Reuters' story about Floyd Landis' CAS appeal which was filed yesterday.

The features a story on new USADA CEO Travis Tygart, who "made a name for himself" prosecuting the Floyd Landis case last spring:
If Tygart wanted to measure his success, he could look at USADA’s record in cases that have gone before arbitration panels. It’s 35-0, and Tygart prosecuted about 30 of them.

“We are not happy anytime we have to bring a case,” Tygart said. “We fail when an athlete decides to cheat, and we take responsibility for that. While we’re going to hold (athletes) accountable, we’re also going to look internally to find ways to better fulfill our desire to not let them get in that position.

BBC News writes a short summary of yesterday's Landis appeal brief filing to the CAS.

The New Zealand Herald has apparently not been paying much attention to the Landis CAS appeal which they refer to as "last minute".

Sara Best posts that the CAS appeal is Floyd Landis' last hope, and as far as hope goes she regrets that she doesn't have much for his success.

It might not be the last hope, by the way. There have been rattled sabers about taking the case to US Federal Court for quite a while, but doing so might require the exhaustion of the arbitration remedy first. That could be why the CAS appeal seems to be getting done on the cheap rather than the full court press. See below...

Steroid Nation says "he's back", but SN has trouble hiding his cynicism. At least the CAS appeal will be "economical."

Khabar Bike notes the filing yesterday of the CAS appeal by Floyd Landis.

briefly summarizes the Landis case to date with particular mention of the CAS appeal brief which was filed yesterday. And he keeps giving us links.

Bike Girl goes on and on about how disappointed a friend of hers was to learn that Floyd Landis "doped". Despite Landis' denials of guilt BG thinks he cheated

Dugard talked to Floyd and thinks he sounds mellow, or at least mellow for Floyd.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

An Idiot Looks at [Brenna 94]

Dr. Brenna was an author on a 1994 paper that has been cited variously in the case, both for and against Landis, by the usual suspects. Contributor Ali has gotten a copy, and files this evaluation...

By Ali

Curve Fitting for Restoration of Accuracy for Overlapping Peaks in Gas Chromatography/Combustion Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry

by Keith J. Goodman and J. Thomas Brenna

(Hereafter [Brenna 94])

The purpose of this review is to summarize their findings and highlight any aspects that may have relevance to the matter at hand – the Landis case.

The background of the paper is that overlapping peaks in IRMS analysis result in inaccurate calculation of o/oo values, which we've looked at before. It says,

The conventional algorithm resulted in systematic bias related to degree of overlap

And it attempts to offer a new algorithm involving curve fitting to get better results. It also offers some experimental results on the affects of overlaps, which are of interest to us.


The conventional algorithm is separating the peaks with a vertical line at the centre of the valley between their overlap and taking that line down to what is assumed to be the background level. This is then used as an integration limit.

It's what our spreadsheet does, and appears to have been employed on a number of Landis’s IRMS F3 chromatograms to separate the 5B and 5a peaks from either themselves, or more frequently from some unidentified small peak that appears to be between and overlapping both the 5B and 5a peaks.

The paper gives a brief description is presented on the GC/C/IRMS. An integration time of 0.25 s was specified, which we believe to be analogous to the sampling rate. Peak start and stop are detected using only the 44 plot (due to superior signal to noise ratio). This differs from the LNDD process described by Brenna, where the 45/44 ratio plot is used to determine the start and stop times. Peak maxima are detected on each plot (44, 45 and 46) to identify the time shifts between the three detectors and the previously determined integration interval is applied to all three plots. Background is identified by a straight line fitted between peak start and stop points (which may be at the same level for constant background or at different levels for sloping background).

Due to the extra plumbing involved in the GC/C/IRMS process, both chromatographic efficiency and peak shape are detrimentally affected. In other words, you tend to get more peak overlaps and the peaks are generally not Gaussian, but are skewed (exhibiting an extended tail). Therefore, fitting a pure Gaussian peak to real data would not yield the best results.

To compensate for the inaccuracies involved in the conventional algorithm, the paper proposes to assess the ability of four different curve-fitting algorithms to recover the true peak shape and o/oo values of the overlapping peaks. What these four functions are may be of interest to some but aren’t relevant to this review.

Two substances exhibiting near identical o/oo values were used to experimentally generate a series of overlapping peaks. With equal sized peaks, at varying degrees of overlap (between 0% and 70%), it was observed that the conventional algorithm exhibited a depleted C13 ratio for the leading peak (-8 o/oo at maximum overlap) and an enhanced C13 ratio for the lagging peak (+8 o/oo at maximum overlap). This result was described as “unexpected”. The degree of error was proportional to the degree of overlap.

Brenna's testimony at the hearing leaned heavily on these measurements.

Application of the proposed curve fitting functions to the peaks yielded an improvement in peak area and o/oo recovery.

Similar experiments were run with a 10:1 ratio of peaks (leading peak ten times bigger than lagging peak). Using the conventional algorithm, at 40% overlap, detection of the smaller, lagging peak became problematic due to interference from leading peak’s tail. Beyond 40% overlap it was not distinguished as an individual peak.

The general trend of the leading peak being depleted and lagging peak becoming enhanced was observed for those cases where the two peaks were distinguishable.

With the peaks reversed and the leading peak being the smaller, the conventional method detected the smaller, leading peak at all degrees of overlap and it reflected a similar depletion trend as had been previously been observed.

The larger lagging peak exhibited very little error at all degrees of overlap. Curve fitting in all cases appeared to offer some advantages and generally improved the ability to recover the true o/oo of the peaks.

The curve fitting aspect is not strictly relevant to the Landis case, as it would appear that this has not used by LNDD. The conventional method and the results obtained are of more interest.

The first observation is that these results confirm Dr Brenna’s testimony of the leading peak’s C13/C12 ratio becoming depleted and the lagging peak’s C13/C12 ratio becoming enhanced. This contradicts Dr Meier-Augunstein’s testimony.

A significant factor effecting this contradiction is the effect of the m45 signal leading the m44 signal by approximately 150 ms.

Uncorrected, if the left-hand integration limit for the lagging peak is taken as the minima of the valley between the peaks and that is applied directly to both the m44 and m45 plots (not time shifted), then one would expect the C13/C12 ratio of the lagging peak to become depleted, having had a relatively larger proportion of C13 (m45) chopped off, compared to the slightly retarded C12 (m44) signal.

It would appear that performing the correction described by Brenna would resolve this issue but clearly it doesn’t. If we assume identical but scaled down peaks between the m44 and m45 plots, with no time shift (or a corrected time shift), the instantaneous 45/44 ratio would be homogeneous, presenting a constant value across the integration interval. In that case, the overlap of two peaks having identical o/oo values should have little or no impact on the measured value.

So why did overlap have such a significant effect in Brenna’s study and why were the results both contradictory to Meier-Augunstein’s opinion and described as “unexpected” by Brenna?

One possible explanation may lie in the integration time of 0.25 s.

In sampling at 0.25s intervals, how accurately will the peak maxima times on the m45 and m44 plots be identified? That’s what determines the required time shift so that they line up exactly. Remember that the required time shift is approximately 0.15s and we’re sampling at 0.25 s. A degree of error appears unavoidable. What if this error resulted in overcompensation for the time shift, resulting in a correction that had the m44 plot leading the m45 plot by some small but significant amount? This would reverse the effects described by
Dr Meier-Augenstein and result in the observations made by Dr Brenna . [un-UPDATE: incorrection removed, don't ask. ]

To this idiot, this seems the most likely reason.

In a later post, we'll look at a paper in the GDC collection, in which Brenna looks at quantization errors. These are ones where you have insufficient or mismatched sample times.

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Tuesday Roundup

The San Diego Union Tribune reports an Eddie Pells' AP story that Floyd Landis officially filed his appeal to the CAS today:

The introduction to the 90-page brief Landis' attorneys submitted to CAS said Landis fully supports ongoing efforts to eradicate doping in cycling.

“However, to wrongly strip a champion of his victory due to a flawed test is much worse than to have an athlete cheat his way to victory,” the introduction read. “To ensure a fair process and to protect against the travesty of wrongfully convicting a person for an act he or she did not commit, the anti-doping system must strike an adequate balance between the need for accuracy and reliability of laboratory test results and fairness in sports.”

Maurice Suh will again represent Landis in the appeal which is expected to be heard by the CAS sometime early in 2008:

Attorney Maurice Suh again will represent Landis. The case is expected to be heard behind closed doors in Lausanne, Switzerland. The arbitration hearing was held in public – part of Landis' attempt to shine a light on an anti-doping hearing process that he claims is flawed.

“We welcome the opportunity to present this case to CAS,” Suh said. “We will prove, once again, that the French laboratory's work violated numerous rules and proper procedure, rendering its results meaningless and inaccurate. We are optimistic that CAS will agree, and stop the miscarriage of justice that resulted from the earlier arbitration proceeding.”

The IHT reprints the AP version of the story.

AFP/Yahoo Sports reports US deputy drug "czar" Scott Burns is mad US pro sports leagues have not adopted the newly updated WADA code. He say this may in part be due to the NBA, NHL, and NFL not wanting to face the consequences of much tougher anti-doping enforcement:

"They don't want to sign on because it's tough and it's specific and there are consequences and it will be monitored and cheaters will be caught and exposed," Burns told reporters in a teleconference call.

He's in favor of "tribunals" instead of full blown court cases:

"Tribunals around the world have tried cases under the code and the process has been upheld. Athletes are entitled to representation under the process," said Burns.

"What process do you want? Do you want full blown trials like we have in the US and appeals while people with medals are waiting to find some resolution? How big and robust should it be?"

We at TBV might settle for "fair and impartial," if that isn't too much to ask. We've never heard the arbitration process described as a "tribunal" before; maybe he's confused with Gitmo.

The CyclingNews reports that Alejandro Valverde, who faces a possible two year suspension, appeared yesterday before the CAS in the ongoing UCI/WADA case which alleges his connection to OP. Valverde had no comment.

VeloNews says we should expect Mayo's B-B-B sample results out of the LNDD this week. Third time's a charm. The Spanish Federation isn't on the UCI's page on this one:

According to Spanish cycling federation president Eugenio Bermudez, Mayo's case is already closed.

"The case was closed by the lab in Ghent (Belgium). There was a result of the second test as non-conclusive, which the Ghent lab ruled as negative," Bermudez told AFP. "If the new test by Chatenay-Malabry is positive, we will not recognize the result and it could come down to a legal conflict."

Inside Bay Area says that Jason Williams is a true role model for kids, unlike those who are listed as "cheaters".

Dan Wentzel on Yahoo Sports, quoted by a blog, notes a discrepancy in attitudes -- rule-bending crew chiefs in NASCAR, and Hockey players in the penalty box don't have the stigma of "cheating" dopers.

SaltCycle talks about the "Sunday Sprints" and turns "Floyd Landis" into a part of speech.

Cyclocosm says "WADA fiddles while Rome burns", and cites the usual suspects.

Patriots and Liberty wants testing for politicians:
Drug tests have recently exposed the doping of professional athletes. Marion Jones was stripped of gold medals. Floyd Landis was dethroned as the Tour de France winner. Barry Bonds may have his record wiped from the books if proven guilty. Drug testing forces people to deal with truth.

Therefore I believe all presidential candidates should be drug tested. And while the tests may yield results of booze, steroids or marijuana, which would explain the bizarre behaviors we witness on the campaign trail, I am more interested in gender. DNA testing on Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson would determine if in fact Hillary does indeed have two X chromosomes. After Thursday night’s debate, I am convinced Bill Richardson is clearly missing the Y.

Steven Hatch
links Landis' op-ed published here.

Sports Blog is on top of things and already notes the filing of the CAS appeal by Floyd Landis.

So Quoted did too, but insisted on not getting a link, so we won't give him one.

Reference Desk

St Louis University has an Isoprime, and some instructions for use and maintenance. The site might be worth some digging. Don't see anything about CIR or IRMS, though.

Jascoint has a pdf brochure on the Isoprime from Micromass in 2001, before GV Instruments scooped them up. Some masslynx screenshots.

GV has an Isoprime user forum.

See a Simon Davis MassSpec Solutions slide show. The Multigas is compatible with Masslynx and OS/2!

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday Roundup

In case you have missed it last week be sure to read Floyd Landis' op-ed piece,"Dopers Must be Stoned" (or so says Patrice Brunet).

The Richmond Times Dispatch quotes a former prosecutor as wondering why the Feds went after Barry Bonds the way they did and not Floyd Landis. Perhaps he needs to refresh his memory on what it means to testify before and ostensibly lie to a grand jury and the consequences therein.

The Maryland Daily Record
writes about new procedures in joint replacement surgery and mentions Floyd Landis' hip resurfacing.

The CyclingNews reports that the CAS has asked Alejandro Valverde's lawyers to respond to the case filed against him by WADA and the UCI which seeks a two year sanction. But the cyclist's legal representatives claim that since he has been cleared to ride by the Spanish Superior Council for Sports to compete, WADA is merely trying to find another path to a suspension which they did not obtain in September. Outgoing WADA president Dick Pound claims however there may be evidence against Valverde:

Hinting at the case against Valverde, WADA's President Dick Pound had said at a press conference Thursday according to the AFP, "There is still the evidence coming from the documentation that is available to the UCI that would indicate this particular cyclist might have been involved in Operación Puerto.

In a CyclingNews update this afternoon former Telekom soigneur Jef D'Hont had a conversation with Rudy Pevenage who claims that Jan Ullrich was doping when he won the 1997 Tour de France and Ullrich's was not the only name that came up in the Focus magazine piece:

According to the magazine, a meeting at d'Hont's house on March 16 of this year, Pevenage admitted to having advised Ullrich and others on blood doping. He said, about "30 to 40 percent" of the riders were informed of the practice, but later they all knew about it. "You gave up a half-litre of blood three weeks before. And it is well-stored. Good, you feel a little weak for the first two or three days, but then you start to recover... You feel a lot better and then at that point you get back that extra half-litre," Pevenage described the process.

Even Lance Armstrong's name came up in the conversation. "I don't understand why Jan could never beat the other one [Armstrong - ed.]," Pevenage said, and wondered about his blood values. "One day someone told me the American is unbelievable. He starts the Tour with a hematocrit value of 46 and at the end his still has 46. How can he do that?" questioned Pevenage. "With blood doping," suggested d'Hont.

The VeloNews
also covers the Valverde squabble with the UCI and WADA.

Rant will be taking some time off to work on another project, but in the meantime he has a bunch of things he wanted to talk about including the recent WADA summit, the Rasmussen case, Patrik Sinkewitz, and the Balco investigation. But wait, Rant has a an assignment for his loyal readers.

The Philman says that no one seems to follow the rules anymore in the "win at all costs" society we all live in.

Say Hi decided the answer to a question about whether Landis will ever confess based on an interpretation of The Call to St. LeMond.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Roundup

In case you have missed it be sure to read Floyd Landis' op-ed piece,"Dopers Must be Stoned" (or so says Patrice Brunet) published here recently.

WADA Watch has been issuing a series of fascinating reports from the Madrid anti-doping summit, here he reports on the election of the new WADA president, and then says it's a "rap!"

The CyclingNews sums up the final day of the WADA summit in Madrid reporting on the controversial election of John Fahey as the new president of the organization succeeding Dick Pound, and on the adoption of a new code which has more latitude in some areas, and harsher punishments in others. In other news, the always quotable Greg LeMond says he is glad that cycling finally exploded so that it can begin from the bottom and build itself up once again. LeMond is featured in an article from the Tucson Citizen done before his participation in yesterday's El Tour de Tucson:

"I've known for many years it was a time bomb that would eventually go off," said three-time Tour de France winner LeMond about the use of doping to the Tuscon Citizen. "And I'm quite happy it has gone off. Now the sport can start over again, go

The Velonews' Charles Pelkey reports at length on the election of new WADA president John Fahey at yesterday's closing session of the anti-doping summit in Madrid, and provides just one more quote from effervescent lame duck president Dick Pound:

"The next version of WADA will not feature the shy, retiring and diplomatic leadership that I might have personified these past years," Pound said. "No more Mr. Nice Guy. So if you're out there cheating, your days are numbered."

ESPN reprints the Reuters version of the final day of the summit in Madrid.

The NY Times Juliet Macur also reports on yesterday's final session of the anti-doping summit in Madrid where a new WADA code was adopted which includes the elimination of the "B" sample "grace period":

Also new to the code is that athletes will be suspended from competition immediately after their A sample — the first of the two blood or urine samples — tests positive for a banned substance or method. Athletes who miss three or more drug tests within an 18-month period will be charged with a doping violation.

[outgoing president] Dick Pound lauded the new code, but said it would by no means stamp out doping in sports. He said battling cheats would require “unwavering vigilance and the willingness to tackle those people who are the sociopaths of sport.”

The NY Times also has an interesting piece about steroid fighting agent Jeff Novitsky who has been dogging athletes suspected of using PEDS for many months, and whose work will help lay the basis foe the much anticipated Mitchell Report on PED use..

Bloomberg neatly summarizes the changes made yesterday to the WADA code.

Provocative Future feels that the indictment of Barry Bonds is just as likely to end steroid use in baseball as the Floyd Landis saga ended PED use in cycling.

One Man's Vigil says HELP!

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Many a slip (Paris edition)

Or "tempest in a teapot," or whatever. L'Equipe reports this afternoon that Drut's candidacy was rejected (not presented by deadline), and John Fahey was elected President of WADA unanimously (as it were) with four abstensions from the European government representatives. Nothing to look at here, folks. Keep moving.

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Saturday Roundup

In case you have missed it be sure to read Floyd Landis' op-ed piece,"Dopers Must be Stoned" (or so says Patrice Brunet) published here on Monday.

WADA Watch has been issuing a series of fascinating reports from the Madrid, and today he ran into a couple of old veterans who have covered the Floyd Landis story -- and some surprise visitors to the Observer Dungeon: Pat McQuaid, Anne Gripper, Richard Young, Arne Ljungqvist, and Rune Anderson.

WADAwatch will state, clearly, that in spite of feeling a bit adversarial as to what has transpired at the nexus of doping, cyling, the UCI ProTour v ASO, and the diabolical leaks perpetually non-astonishing us all, that spread from the French journal L'Equipe, meeting these men and one woman, speaking with my convictions, was an eye-opening, and incredible moment.


Discussing the Mayo case, WADAwatch projected its amazement that the French laboratory had the right to shut down mid-contract, and that that amazement was reflected in some rather harsh words, mostly directed at the French facility, given its 'history' in maintaining itself in the wrong spotlight, case by case by case...

The LA Times Michael Hiltzik who is covering the WADA conference in Madrid, notes that the Barry Bonds indictment has been hardly noticed by the participants there who have concentrated the majority of their time in overhauling the WADA code, and finding a successor for Dick Pound. The European delegates nominated a dark horse candidate late Friday just to make things interesting today:

There remains some question whether a vote will even take place. That's because the European bloc of government members is discontented with the sole candidate, John Fahey, an Australian politician with no anti-doping record.

Late Friday, the Europeans nominated an alternative, former French sports minister Guy Drut, an Olympic gold medalist in track and field. It's unclear whether either candidate now can attract enough votes for a mandate to run the agency for the next three-year term.

The Miami Herald notes the election of John Fahey as new president of WADA and the adoption of the new code.

St Louis Today opines that every sport needs a "hero" like David Millar who has become one to cycling, and Floyd Landis just fights on.

The Globe and Mail wonders who will mourn Dick Pound's departure as controversial head of WADA, and they post a list of those who will not be sorry to see him leave.

The NY Times' Juliet Macur writes that many at the anti-doping summit in Madrid question the drug policies of professional sports, and once again Floyd Landis is mentioned in the same paragraph which states that due (in part) to his doping scandal cycling has lost revenue and TV ratings which has prompted it to clean up its act.

The CyclingNews touches briefly on several of yesterday's happenings at the summit in Madrid.

ESPN publishes a short piece on the newly adopted WADA code which will be made official today at conclusion of the anti-doping conference in Madrid, Spain .

The Washington Post provides the usual list of suspects noted when anyone pens a piece about cheating nowadays, but adds a surprising
element to the story when it reveals that even a children's chess tournament has been compromised.

The Herald Sun snarks that it's time for an Australian drug summit, because they don't want to get to the point where their athletes to turn into Floyd Landis.

Rant reacts to the Barry Bonds announcement and wonders what kind of case the Feds really might have.

Jeff Bean notes Dick Pound's stance on professional sports and PED use after reading the NY Times piece posted above.

DeFeet gave us a plug in July, and we just noticed. Thanks and sorry...

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WADA with your coffee from Paris

Apparently taking the lesson that you can't beat someone with no one, the European governmental representatives to WADA have found a candidate, according to this story filed late yesterday in Le Monde:

Guy Drut last minute candidate for WADA President

France's Guy Drut indicated Friday that he had agreed to be the "compromise candidate" for the presidency of the World Antidoping Agency (WADA) in the election scheduled for Saturday, at the conclusion of the WADA conference in Madrid. "I was the object of several overtures, and I declared myself available," the former Minister of Sport in the [Alain] Juppé government indicated. He expects to be officially presented by the member governments of the agency. The governmental representatives account for half the votes in the election, equal in number to the sports organizations.

"Compromise candidate"--Guy Drut also envisages being president only on a short interim basiis. "I could serve until next May," he explained, the date of the future meeting of the Founding Council, which would then pick a new president. Mr. Drut made clear, however, that negotiations were "not yet concluded," confirming a story on the web site of the sports daily
L'Equipe, which had announced his candidacy Friday morning.

The Europeans did not want Australian John Fahey

The candidacy of the 1976 Olympic champion in the 110m high hurdles (himself a member of the International Olympic Committee) would have the advantage of unblocking a situation that has been a problem since the opening of the world conference Wednesday. The other governmental candidate, Australian John Fahey, was the object, Thursday evening, of a hostile resolution by the European members of WADA. The Europeans asked that the election be postponed, and threatened, if it were not, to instruct their five representstives to the Founding Council to abstain.

If Guy Drut does run Saturday, despite the lateness of his candidacy--the deadline for nominations was September 20--he would be virtually assured of the support of the Olympic movement, the second component of WADA along with the governments, of which he has been a member since 1996. "I have the advantage of knowing both worlds," Guy Drut admitted.

Update [TBV]: Apparently M Drut is carrying some ethical baggage of his own that may not make him the best selection. See the comments.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Integration for Idiots, Appendix A: Everybody is right, but the results are wrong

One of the lingering disputes in various comment threads is "who is correct about the affects of adjacent peaks, Brenna or WM-A?". There are papers, data, testimony and interpretation to support either position.

In an attempt to understand the question, we went back to our spreadsheet and tried some scenarios and found, to our amusement, that they are both correct. The computed result can go either way, and it turns out to be very sensitive to the integration intervals that are selected, either automatically or manually.

What is perhaps more interesting is that it doesn't seem like any selection of intervals results in values that are correct with regards to the true values of the CIRs of two peaks.

For details, read on...


What we did was fire up the spreadsheet, and start with some peaks similar to those in Figure 11. Then we moved them closer and closer together until the results started to be significantly affected. When they were, we noticed the integration looked odd, and corrected it once, and still had odd results.

Then, we tried lots of different integrations, and found all kinds of results, none true.

Let's march down this exercise case by case. Click on any image for full-size.

We have two peaks, both at -27.0. In all examples, the ones of interest are "Peak 1" and "Peak 3"; "Peak 2 is offscreen to the right.

We start them so they don't overlap, and establish integration intervals that return correct results.

Figure A-1: Just touching,
peaks at 1307 and 1345,
integrate at 1287, 1325, and 1365;
values 027.00 and 027.18.

Then we move "Peak 3" one second to the left, and move the integration interval one to the left as well,

Figure A-2: One second of overlap, Peak 3 at 1344, integration moved to 1324 to 1364. Left peak center and start unchanged. Results: -26.77 and -26.84. Brenna's claim.

Figure A-3: Two seconds; Peak 3 at 1343, integration 1323 to 1363; results -26.58, -26.55

Figure a-4: Three seconds; Peak 3 at 1342, integrate 1322-1362; results -26.26, -26.04

Figures A-5: Four seconds: results -25.75, -25.22

Figure A-6: 5 secs; results -24.96, -23.91

Figure A-7: 6 secs; results -23.79, -21.89

At six seconds, just moving the mid-point one second as the right peak moves one second starts to look wrong, so we try moving it right a little bit so it looks closer to the crossover in the 44/45 trace.

Figure A-8: Six seconds, integration "corrected" to 1320-1358; results -24.96 and -24.10. Better, but still wrong, in the direction Brenna predicts.

Figure A-9: Seven seconds, 1320-1357; -25.17, -24.66

Figure A-10: Eight seconds, 1319-1356; -24.00, -22.84. Results starting to be wacky.

Figure A-11: Nine seconds, 1318-1355; -22.33, -20.10

Figure A-12: Ten seconds, 1318-1354; -22.48, -20.72

Figure A-13: Eleven seconds, 1318-1353; -22.73, -21.55

Figure A-14: Twelve Seconds; 1318-1352; -23.10, -22.66

Figure A-15: Thirteen Seconds; 1317-1351; -20.72, -19.11. Wow. Getting really odd!

Figure A-16: Fourteen seconds, 1316-1350; -17.43, -13.75. That's wrong.

At fourteen seconds of overlap, we're getting some really odd results. Inspection shows the integration and background subtraction is fairly far left of where it probably ought to be. Let's try marching it to the right a bit at a time to see if we can find the sweet spot.

Figure A-16: 14 second overlap,
integration moved right to 1317-1350;
-21.24; -20.80.
Still wrong, but not obviously so from the 44/45 trace.

Figure A-17: 14 secs; 1318-1350; -24.37, -26.19. Still wrong.

Figure A-18: 14 secs, integration interval moved one second to the right, 12319-1350. Results: -27.12, -31.01. Yikes! That's a swing!

Figure A-19: 14 secs, moved more to the right, 1320-1350; -29.72, -35.96.

It doesn't appear to be very hard to get wrong answers, and impossible to get correct ones when there is enough overlap, and the variation can go either way depending on where you draw your integration points.

This doesn't even begin to consider what might happen with a third peak anywhere in the region.

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