"Wake up, wake up, you've got to come see this."
That's what Mrs. TBV said on the morning of July 21st, 2006. It didn't work.
"It's on the Tivo," I mumbled, depressed and deflated from the day before.
"Floyd is doing something amazing, you've got to watch! You've got to come NOW."
I didn't, until a little later. I've been making up for it ever since.
What started as email of news links between Mrs. and TBV is approaching a million visits.
This marks the 1000th published post here at TBV. That's as many days as John Kennedy was President, and as many as his son John Jr. was married.
It seems unlikely that anyone would have thought that a year and half after Landis won the 2006 Tour that we'd have consumed huge chunks of our time blogging about it, or that anyone would want to read it.
Mario Savio memorably said:
There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!
OK, it's not that bad, but there is a stench about the way the Landis case has been handled that it is very difficult to retain confidence in the system that has been shown in operation.
We've been able to see what has gone on only because Floyd Landis was willing to make things visible. He thought he had nothing to lose, and he's stuck to it. This openness hasn't been easy for him-- the public hearing turned into a monkey dance with USADA's bait, and Landis' then-manager Will Geohegan obliging with a leap into the rotating knives. That did no one any credit.
Nevertheless, the ongoing visibility and discussion of the case has shown the clay feet of the WADA-watchmen, and the apparent absence of true concern for establishing truth in the system.
We hope the record that has been revealed and chronicled here will be useful and illuminating to anyone who wants to look deeply into the pseudo-justice of the current anti-doping crusade. It sure has been to us.
We'd like to make it perfectly clear that we have no blind-eye towards the problems that doping in sport cause. It is dangerous, unethical, and dirty behavior done too often, and too often tolerated and successfully used.
That doping is bad does not make it acceptable to have a shabby enforcement process.
Anyone who mistakes us for doping apologists is missing something important, and probably has a private agenda that doesn't admit discussions with more than one side and a straw man.
We intend to keep going until this is over, to keep the record straight. Whatever result and truths emerge, the process will have taken place in the light of observation, and be available for inspection and review by more than the immediately interested parties. Anti-doping is being done for our benefit, so we ought to see what is being done in our name.
Special thanks are due to Paula Kirsch (strbuk), who has been doing the heavy lifting of the daily roundups for more than a year. Much credit directed towards us is properly hers. We've had valuable contributions from William Hue, Marc and Ali. Important submitted posts by others including "M", John Gilliland, and Mr. Idiot, are gratefully acknowledged. We're sure one day Larry will finish his opus, so we'll thank him in advance.
We've met some marvelous and fascinating people who would never have crossed our paths otherwise. We hope it has been as interesting and useful to them as it has been for us.
Most of all, we'd like to thank all our readers and commenters. Without your interest and participation, we'd have given up long ago.