Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thursday Roundup

WADAwatch scoops us (and steals our format, which we don't mind):

Several journals have reported that Dick Pound has lost the CAS presidency, which may negate the rest of this column.

Pound loses bid to become CAS president (Globe and Mail)

Auletta beats Pound to CAS role (BBC - who wins BEST HEADLINE PUN(S))

Mino Auletta elected president of Court of Arbitration for Sport (IHT)

Having served its purpose, we now expect the UCI to withdraw its suit against Mr. Pound before it gets really expensive (hiring actual litigators) and truly embarrasing (having testimony). Which reminds us to wonder, did paperwork ever get filed, or did the UCI only make an announcement of intent to do so?

ESPN says WADA is upping the ante, it will perform out of competition HGH tests leading up to the Olympics this summer. The announcement was made by WADA's David Howman partly to deter athletes from making the choice to use HGH. The piece also reveals a bit more about the manufacture of the test, it is believed that it is being produced in Germany after a deal with an American company fell through, and about how the test performs:

The window for detecting HGH use has been limited to a period of 48 to 72 hours, giving athletes a chance to avoid detection by stopping in time for any traces to clear their system. Howman said the test has been "enhanced" but declined to elaborate.

Howman said the HGH test has been validated both on a scientific level and on a legal basis to ensure it stands up against any court challenge

The CyclingNews notes the CAS decision in the Alessandro Petacchi case, heard yesterday, will likely be announced next month, and Frank Vandenbrouke appears to be in trouble, again.

In an earlier edition of the CylingNews the ASO/UCI/French cycling federation battle rages on with Paris-Roubaix at the center of some discussion now.

CyclingNews' letter column
has a few interesting comments on the war between Pat McQuaid and the ASO and Rock Racing's troubled season gets a few choice words from readers as well.

The VeloNews
has done it again, it "fooled" quite a few readers with its April Fool's Day nonsense, and it has the letters to prove it.

An emailer points us to The Economist, which has a review of the Genetic T/E report, with this illustration:

It concludes with a suggestion that athletes carry a genetic profile with them to Beijing in case they are accused of a T/E violation. We think the Economist doesn't understand how WADA adjudication works, or they are joking.

Racejunkie appreciates the SciAm article on doping, which is about game theory, not testing science. As an attorney, RJ doesn't understand IRMS separation fractions, but she does understand the workings of greed, er, "maximized outcomes." We look forward to her sprightly examination of the Nash Equilibrium as applied to the peloton.

Rant has been doing some thinking about a couple of items from yesterday one of which is the credibility of the newly designed WADA HGH test kits to be used at the Olympics this summer, and another is the controversial essay by former Olympian Alexi Grewal. There are interesting comments there as well.

Millard Baker read yesterday's Grewal essay, and Rant, as well and he thinks the concept of putting athletes who use PEDs in jail, merely for PED use, indicates our world has gone just a little mad:

Really? Which criminals are in prison for less severe crimes than doping in a professional sporting event? Maybe so-called criminals who use steroids for non-medical purposes but do not compete in competitive sports? Has our world gone a little crazy regarding steroids and doping such that we have inflated the seriousness of doping over REAL crimes against person and property?

Finally, commenter Anthony thinks we'll be amused by this Coors Light team picture, with teammates Greg LeMond and Alexi Grewal, possibly from 1989:

Captions in picture as provided to TBV.

Michael Zanoli appears to have died in 1993 age 35 of a heart attack, according to the SF Chronicle. We make no representations about the "EPO" in the picture annotation.


N.B.O.L. said...

The link to WADAwatch has one too many "http"s in it. It doesn't work without edit in the url line of your browser.

strbuk said...

It's fixed.


Laura Challoner, DVM said...

The BBC article has a picture of Pound and it says he will remain on the CAS Board. Was he a memmber of the CAS Board while he was the Chair of WADA? The same people prosecute cases and judge them as members of Arbitration Panels. They also, apparantly, run the appeals division.

Is there no end to the incestuous make up of those who control these alphabet organizations?

DBrower said...

Bill, "is there no end?"

Evidently not. The world of sports is small, and only a select few have adequate expertise to understand what must be done.


Thomas A. Fine said...

I love that graph that's supposed to be proof of effective anti-doping. Did anybody notice that the bottom is 90, not zero? It's a much flatter graph than it looks like. Even at that it's still somewhat compelling, but that by no means leads to one single conclusion. Improved training techniques seem just as likely to cause spikes in a graph like that.

Also, a graph of "bests" isn't really the best thing to graph if you're looking for performance enhancement effects. For one thing, it has to be normalized against the number of athletes at any give time, otherwise this might just be a graph of sport popularity.

And are women's javelin, discus, and shot-put the only sports that were cleaned up?


Thomas A. Fine said...

You know, that graph peaks in 1988. Wasn't that like the first fully-attended olympics since 1976?


Thomas A. Fine said...

Well, maybe a slight retraction. I misinterpeted what they meant by "best". Apparently it is the best performance within each year and sport (normalized to 100 in 1980). And in 1988 world records were set in Javelin and Discus. Shotput had a record set in 1987, and nearly met in 1988. These records all stand today.

So this is a better thing to graph than what I thought they were graphing.

But otherwise my complaints about this graph still stand.


ZENmud productions said...

FYI, guys...

I didn't think I was 'stealin'' your format: I walked in to my office, with a pre-drafted 'what's CAS going to decide TOMORROW?' article, and as soon as I opened the right email, found that the decision was DONE!

I didn't think they'd decide on which candidate before the second day...

And I still haven't 'analysed' the decision... it was too good as it was! (fuzzy and warm feelings from universal justice...)

I haven't had much time to plow in to the CAS 'case' as Hue mentions, about who sits on their panel... I didn't realize R Young was on board.

That could change how I perceived CAS to be influenced by my contention that he is fighting Landis to prove his CODE is viable.

Stay tuned, in a week or so, for the Supplemental Arguments.

OH. CAS has not answered my emails regarding submission of my 'amicus brief'... you'd love to know who wanted me to send it in, however........