AP/Eddie Pells flushed some more information out on the financing of the USADA prosecution of Landis at the hearing that starts tomorrow. Turns out WADA is footing most of the bill for USADA's outside attorneys, and the agency is irked the UCI hasn't offered to pony up. The UCI says it is USADA's responsibility. We say: Third base. Everybody is being tight lipped about who the witnesses (if any) are going to be. Don't expect much breaking news.
The AFP previews Floyd Landis' CAS hearing which commences behind closed doors tomorrow at the office's of arbiter Rivkin's law firm in Manhattan. The hearing is expected to last 5-6 days and the announcement of the panel's decision will be made from Lausanne.
The VeloNews reports the UCI has scheduled meetings with rider reps and teams concerning the recent dispute with the ASO , and will also commence disciplinary hearings with the French cycling federation over its role in the divide between the agencies .
The CyclingNews says that the "on again off again" relationship between Rock Racing and Mario Cipollini seems to be OFF, apparently for good this time.
In earlier CyclingNews reported late yesterday, AIGCP has allegedly entered into an agreement with the ASO, thus cutting out completely any authority of the UCI. The agreement concerned team invitations to the Tour de France, and other ASO cycling events, which will be staged under the auspices of the French cycling federation, as was Paris-Nice:
Now, a new chapter in the conflict will be opened, as the teams will negotiate race participation conditions not only for the next event organized by ASO - which would be Paris-Roubaix - but for all of the competitions owned by the organizer. "ASO will announce the team invitations to its races in one week approximately," (AIGCP president Eric) Boyer explained. "Then, we will sign participation contracts for the whole season."
The head of the UCI, Pat McQuaid, had suspended contacts with the AIGCP last week. Still, Boyer insisted that "it's them who cut ties with us, not vice versa. I'm still open to discuss with McQuaid. He just has to understand that our interest is to race, and that we cannot boycott an organizer who owns the most important race on the calendar."
NPR's Talk of the Nation hosted a piece yesterday about PED's and academics, everyone's getting into the act. A link to the podcast can be found with the article.
The AP has a story likely to be widely misread, about a positive in Billiards by German national champion Axel Buescher, for an EPO masking agent. What masking agent is not exactly made clear; as we've learned, the devil is in the details. To be clear, the dude did not test positive for EPO per se, and the "masking agent" might be something as innocuous as Zack Lund's finestride.
Finally, ESPN/Mark (Game of Shadows) Fainaru-Wada has a long piece about Marion Jones going to jail, outlineing her aggressive defense (which no doubt colors US and likening it to what Clemens has done. It also compares the aggessive defense to Kelli White, who confessed and moved on. (Betsy Andreu says we should just substitute a lot of other names for Jones and see if it rings any bells.)
The underlying, unasked questions are whether there is ever anyone falsely accused, and what the appropriate defense would be for such a person.
Rant pens a "fictional" tale of two cyclists that has an eerily familiar scenario.
The Boulder Report notes the set is being struck for the Ball and Cipo show, announced with a two line press release, and no availability for interviews. Well, that was fun. Lindsey goes over some of the fallout.
Hmm, we had Basso for one ToC in Disco livery, now Cipo for one in Rock. Next year, maybe we'll get Lance back in Astana for a one-0ff. They still ride Treks.
Racejunkie posts a few juicy tidbits this morning, including an interesting rumor or two, and also gives us a nice blurb. Thanks RJ.
The Steroid Report notes recent biases in the press that seem to go against Floyd Landis. SR has been reading about Landis in some old familiar places, and feels that no taxpayer money should be spent on regulating any sport.
Fatty got lots of well deserved GOOD news yesterday!
Velo Vortmax thinks sniveling disgruntled US taxpayers, who have footed USADA's bill in the Landis case, should seek relief from the AFLD:
If USADA and the taxpayers are burdened with expensive litigation to defend the poor lab performance of LNDD then WADA should encourage the laboratories to train their personnel on how to run the tests, how to set up the equipment, how to code the data on the Lab Document Package, how to make corrections correctly, and how to maintain a credible chain of custody. Then these expensive and prolonged appeals would be prevented saving everyone money. U.S. taxpayer and athlete. Until WADA makes a valiant attempt to correct the existing problems appeals will continue since the laboratory results can not be relied upon to prove the Adverse Analytical Finding
AFLD really needs a new accreditation contractor at this point since COFRAC seems incapable of meeting even the minimal audit standards required for an WADA/IOC laboratory. COFRAC accreditation audit 1 1174 was used to validate the Landis LNDD "B" IRMS tests done at LNDD in order to validate the AFLD suspension; in spite of obvious lab errors. For example, the IRMS operating guide was missing, the IRMS tubing was set up incorrectly. Frelat injected the "B" sample calibration mix into the IRMS five hours before the Carbon Isotope Ratio (CIR) was run. Between the injection of the calibration mix and the CIR the IRMS was left unattended, an obvious violation of the chain-of-custody requirement. Landis' "B" sample was degraded. Other violations are documented in the Lab Document Package and by witness testimony.
Cycledog digs his fangs into the bad headline that has been used on Pell's piece on the cost of the Landis case. He may want to avoid mistaking the headline writer for the author of the body.
The FredCast runs with the news that WADA is picking up USADA's bill on the Landis appeal, and has little sympathy for the whining by the agencies about the cost:
Personally, I don’t see why anyone is upset that USADA, WADA, or any other alphabet soup group has to foot the bill for this case. Part of the reason they exist is not only to test athletes, but also to adjudicate cases of suspected doping. If this is part of your business and your charter, then budget for it.
Typical pseudo-governmental agency. I’m surprised they aren’t considering a doping tax to be added to the purchase of all new bicycles sold in the U.S.