Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday Roundup

News
The CyclingNews reports that at the ToC post stage press conference yesterday UCI president Pat McQuaid split hairs about why he feels the RCS's exclusion of Astana from events it sponsors is not as egregious the ASO's. Also in rather confusing OP news Spanish judges have ruled that they will allow riders to voluntarily compare their DNA with the DNA gathered from the blood bags stored in Madrid. The judges maintain that the riders are "witnesses" in the cases against Dr. Fuentes and Jose Merino and as such are not "accused." Still they could be liable to punishment by their respective sporting federations (or perhaps the UCI?) if a match is discovered. One wonders then why any rider would dare to attempt such a comparison. In later news the "scandal of the day" is that a female doping controller was asked to accept the samples of Quick Step's Kevin Hulsmans, chaos and modesty ensued:


But the controller was a female, upsetting Hulsmans. "I don't think it is normal that a woman is indicated for that job," Hulsmans complained to Sportwereld.be. "We politely asked her to leave, but she refused. What were they thinking? That I would try to escape through the roof?

He further wondered what would happen if the situations were reversed. "Would they send a man to look at eight naked female athletes?" he asked.



Would
they?

The VeloNews'
Mr. Rogers Neighborhood does the obligatory "fashion review" that we expect from any event held in California, and in another article Greg LeMond wants the remainder of the millions owed him by the developer of a land deal up in Montana who tried a buy out LeMond's shares at less than their estimated value.
In more VeloNews suspended cyclist Patrik Sinkewitz faces jail time if he continues to refuse to "rat" on his alleged compatriots. Apparently, for now, "Sammy the Bull" he is not.

Blogs
Copperhouse Dance Party sees a conspiracy in France targeting American riders, citing the Landis case as an example, as he tries to garner support for Levi Leipheimer.

Swim! Bike! Run! says Robbie Ventura is his coach, and Robbie is Floyd's coach, but SBR is better than Floyd. It's nice to have a fantasy life, Mr. Mitty.

Left Handed Leftist does a "trust but verify" on some claims made about gas prices. We advise caution conflating correlation with causality.

Racejunkie catches Alberto Contador trying to "bail" on Astana without effect, and how about those OP blood bags?

7 comments:

bill hue said...

The OP news is more bad news for riders. Despite the fact that no method in the WADA Code allows such a request, UCI/WADA will "ask" riders to request to compare their DNA to DNA in blood in Spain. If riders refuse, then a non-analytical case will be opened against them, not by their national federations but by WADA and or UCI, directly.

One wonders how long cyclists will tolerate this kind of unrestrained "investigation" in violation of their very basic human and due process rights.

What a shame.

strbuk said...

I agree that it's a shame Bill, not to mention a sham. One wonders what it is about cyclists that seems to make them appear to be so "passive". Perhaps this is why Floyd Landis stands out like a "sore thumb" as it were. His defiance in the face of so much passivity seems to cause resentment among the "ruling class" as well as some fans and riders. Interesting.


str

Larry said...

Bill -

You wrote: "UCI/WADA will "ask" riders to request to compare their DNA to DNA in blood in Spain. If riders refuse, then a non-analytical case will be opened against them, not by their national federations but by WADA and or UCI, directly."

Is this your opinion of what will happen, or do you know of some indication from WADA and UCI that this will happen?

MMan said...

He further wondered what would happen if the situations were reversed. "Would they send a man to look at eight naked female athletes?" he asked.

Genevieve Jeanson once had to give a urine sample in front of a male witness:

http://veloptimum.net/courses/athletes/Jeanson/dope/4/Globe15juin.html

"She said she was also rattled when she was required to submit a urine sample before a male witness when no female doping control officer was available."

ddt240 said...

If this were hapening in any of the four major sports here in the US (Hockey, Baseball, Football, or Basketball) we'd be looking at a year off due to a players strike.

bill hue said...

Larry,
Remember the pledge all riders were asked to sign prior to last year's Tour? Just extend that to this situation or apply the pledge as signed on to. This is my guess but to do so, I had to pretend to be a Richard Young type and that wasn't something I was very comfortable with.

Larry said...

Bill, it's also possible that through the biological passport, UCI now controls enough DNA data on its riders to perform DNA matching without the cooperation of the riders. However, I don't know whether the Spanish authorities would cooperate. At least in the blurb in Cycling News, the authorities are expressing the proper concern for the riders' medical privacy rights.

This is a very sticky area. If UCI compels a cyclist to "request" the Spanish authorities to make a DNA match, the Spanish authorities might refuse, on the grounds that the rider had not freely and willingly waived his medical privacy rights.

I don't know a thing about Spanish law, but my rough understanding is that European medical privacy law is at least as strict as the HIPAA privacy rules in the U.S.