Thursday, January 10, 2008

1000

"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.

Why?

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.

TBV

21 comments:

ct said...

I'd like to say THANK YOU to all the dedicated people who keep this site going. Everyday when I log in, this is the first site I visit 1) because it's always worth my time and 2) I care that much about this injustice. It's been difficult reading lately because of all the 'year-in-review' snarks. It made me sad for Floyd and his family to read this stuff, because it was mean-spirited and because these "journalists" who should be enlightening us, can't even be bothered to learn the facts of the case. So congrats to you all for maintaining this repository. I wish I was educated enough to understand all the data posted, but at least you're providing a place for those who do understand it, to 'dumb-it-down' for the rest of us (my thanks to those contributers as well).

nahual said...

"All the world's a stage
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,......." Shakespeare

TBV you provided the stage for this class act and brought it star power with yourself and those you mention. Bravo! And good work!!

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

TBV, strbuk, Bill, Marc, Ali, and all who have posted at TBV ("M", Larry, and a cast of many),

What an accomplishment! One thousand posts is quite the feat. With all respect, I certainly hope that when this saga has concluded that it won't have stretched beyond May, and that the number of posts won't hit 2000 -- at least with regard to the Landis case. What you do here is invaluable, and I certainly hope you continue on -- even once the Landis case is done.

As you said, since anti-doping is being done in the public's name, we deserve to see what the authorities are doing. Without your site, and without Floyd's openness (at a considerable cost, I suspect), we would be poorer for the lack of knowledge about how this system of "justice" operates.

Thanks for the wonderful job that you all do.

- Rant

Larry said...

TBV and strbuk, thank you for doing this. Bill, Marc, Ali, Rant, Mr. Idiot, Duck, "M", Russ, and everyone else within earshot, thank you for participating.

I often ask myself, why do I spend so much time here? There is a cause here, to be sure, but there are probably more important causes. We are focused on an ongoing injustice, but there's a lot of injustice out there that we could focus on as well. Yet I have the sense that what we say on this forum IS important ... even if I can't exactly explain this importance to anyone else, or to myself.

I think part of the importance of what goes on here is the "untold story" -- everyone talks about doping in sports, but precious few seem to know anything about it. I've been struck watching the fallout from the Mitchell Report: the press and the public simply don't get it! I would be a happy man if TBV, or Rant, or Mr. Idiot (three examples) were hired by ESPN to cover the issue of doping in sport. THEN I'd have a good reason (OK, a better reason) to watch Sports Center while I eat my oatmeal.

Part of the importance I sense here may be the fact that this is so compelling a story! The story DEVELOPS. It grows in complexity. The good guys have flaws that, to my way of thinking, make them better guys. The bad guys are complex and nuanced. Plus, the story keeps growing. Mr. Idiot finds a column switch. Side characters are introduced, like Mayo and Roger Clemens.

And every now and then, something happens to remind me that this isn't a "story", that we're talking about the real lives of real people. Such as when FL posted his piece here reacting to the Patrice Brunet article.

It's hard to describe exactly why this forum means so much to me. But I know in part that it has a great deal to do with all of you. This is a community. Sometimes, the mere existence of a caring and passionate community is just as important as the reason why the community was formed.

So. Thank you all for being here.

(back to work on the opus! ;^) )

strbuk said...

It's hard to believe that the 1,000 mark in posts has been reached. I want to reiterate my thanks to TBV for letting me help. I too feel that doping is unacceptable in any form, but so is injustice and unfairness. So is unnecessary public humiliation and the lynch mob mentality of the press. The Landis case became my obsession, and this wonderful place full of so many who care so deeply, not necessarily about whether Floyd Landis is guilty or not but about the desperate need for reform of an inadequate system, became a home of sorts to me. I don't say this lightly but it has truly been my honor to have helped in any way I did, and I will stick with it until...well until whatever, whenever.

Paula (a.k.a. strbuk)

PEM said...

TBV:

A bittersweet congratulations on your 1000th post.

What an informed world this would be if the mainstream media followed your diligence before they report the news.

Craig said...

As a daily reader, I want to thank everyone involved for helping make the information in this case available to everyone.

I appreciate the hours and hours of volunteer work that you've put in, that could have been spent more enjoyably on a bike.

I don't know if Floyd is guilty or innocent. The sloppy lab work insured the fact that we may never know. But I know that if Floyd is acquitted it will be in part because of the bright dose of daylight y'all have shone on the ADAs.

colin said...

Thanks for all you have done and continue to do. As has been said (and better) by others -- you have been casting a light into a dark corner. Without your efforts we would still be in the dark.


While I think at least some of the people who support the current doping system so zealously have good intentions -- "the road to hell . . . etc." We need someone to guard the guardians and we are all fortunate that you have taken on the task.

Rubber Side Down said...

Set Floyd Free, said TBV,
"But how can we", said LNDD,
"You see his pee is high in T",
Many peaks in IRMS, you see"

But dug, we did, into this mess,
and found too many errors, about this test,
"Ve lost ze data", they did jest,
An end to valid science tests.

Floyd's heroic ride is gone,
ASO didn't even throw him a bone,
But Greg is still on the phone,
Explaining how the dope is done.

And so, we look for justice now,
A hope and prayer, someday, somehow,
The world will soon declare, and
how!,
Of Floyd's true and great win, we bow.

Rubber Side Down

Diablo Scott said...

The day before THE MIRACLE, some friends asked me; "Could Floyd still make a comeback?". Not wanting to be a pessimist, I answered "If he does, it'll be the most amazing thing I've ever seen."

Mil gracias.

Cal & Lorie said...

As one of those blessed to make new friends in this cyber community, congrats tbv, Paula and company. May 2008 be a better year than 2007 for Floyd. Thanks to all who post regularly, I read faithfully.

Cal

bostonlondontokyo said...

Thanks for providing the forum for so much lively discussion and thoughtfulness about a very complex and rather Post Modern struggle of human vs. abstractions. If there is one thing that we've all learned here, I think it could be this: There is no 'truth' that's closed off from discussion.

Whareagle said...

First off, thank you so much for donating your time and endless energy, everyone, and for making this forum so complete.

I'm pretty depressed that this blog had to be formed in the first place, but even more frustrated with the lack of understanding and logic that yielded the first judgment, and the "Final" judgment in the eyes of so many.

Floyd, I wish you peace and success in your upcoming years, and I will never bow to the tragedy that this has become.

TBV and Judge Hue, Starbuck, all others, even the dissenters, thanks for your contributions, and thanks for keeping it civil.

Ali said...

I'd also like to thank the TBV crew and ALL contributors for providing a haven of sanity, respect for others and genuine honesty in a search for the truth.

Even some of my own excesses are forgiven (they must be good people !)

The new year promises some new opportunities for discovery. This is primarily about Floyd Landis, but we shouldn't take our eyes off the secondary goal ... reforming the system. Anything is possible if we apply ourselves.

Respect to all,

Ali

5-iron said...

I'm not sure how I found you, but since I have, you're the first thing I look at when I fire up the laptop. Thanks so much for all the excellent work.

sam said...

I was on the phone earlier today with the folks who are responsible for the Pulitzer Prizes. I wanted info on the process for nominations for the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism because I believe TBV is a worthy candidate for consideration. They told me that only Newspapers could submit candidates for consideration...when I explained what TBV was all about, they said that if a Newspaper "picked up" TBV as a source of journalism...they could enter TBV as a candidate for the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism. If any of you are newspaper journalists relying/reporting on TBV as source material, please consider submittting TBV as a candidate for the prize. I believe TBV exemplifies the highest standards and principles of journalistic integrity that are the hallmark of the tradition of the Pulitzer Prize awards.

dailbob said...

Like others here, this is the first site I look at everyday. I've had the thought more than once that it would be cool if we could all meet for a beer somewhere/somehow. I'd certainly buy you guys a round (or two, or three)!

wschart said...

I'll echo what others have said above. This is one of the sites I check on 1st thing in the a.m., and I will come back several times a day to check on news, comments, etc. I appreciate the work the whole TBV crew puts in, TBV himself, STRBUK, Bill Hue and Marc, and also the many people who have contributed posts. I have learned some about many things: law, chromatography, the often arcane world of WADA, to name a few. Thanks to all!

floyd said...

Thanks to all of you, I get my news here as well. Also, I'd love to meet you all for a beer one day, even "M" if he's so inclined.

"F"

Ty Sayman said...

Thank you TBV, Mrs. TBV, and all of the contributers and commenters here.

Your investigations, commentary, analysis, and general tone of searching for answers is inspirational. I visit this site every day and follow the discussion very closely.

So many days ago, I was on the Col de Joux-Plane during S17 and saw Floyd along with the others struggling in the hot afternoon sun. One memorable picture I took was captioned "The Face of Pain." It was an amazing day in sport for me, and for the world. I was proud to be an American sports fan that day. We even extended our trip an extra day to see S18 and get one more look at Floyd and the rest of the peloton.

After the horrible news of Floyd's positive test, it appeared that there was an open and shut case. How naive my engineering (no, I'm not a "scientist" either :) mind must have been to expect concrete tests returning solid results. Little did I know that the tests were NOT just litmus tests with a YES/NO answer. I figured that with these fantastic machines all you had to do was put a few drops of urine in the machine and viola! out comes your answer. Anything but, to be sure. The procedures are as much an alphabet soup as the names on the machines.

I develop control systems, create software, run measurements, and analyze data for a living. This may not qualify me as a scientist, but it does give me some insight as to what good (and certainly bad) data actually looks like. There is certainly too much bad and not enough good data, especially the plots, to go around.

Hopefully this saga will end soon and some good will come of it.

Morgan Hunter said...

Thanks for being there - ahard job well done - admirable to say the least

You represent the best that can be called a democratic idea. Thank you for that.

Floyd - Thank you. And naturally thank you to all involved - too many to mention a most humble "thank you."

I've wanted to connect with you TBV - but sadly it has taken me a year to manage it - the mule train is slow around here.

As said by others - you guys are first - then I surface on the Rant Line.

Keep up the "work" - without you guys the situation in cycling and sports would be much darker.