Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tuesday Roundup

Bikepocalypse Now!

- Stephen Colbert, possibly



News
Velonews (pointer from Fritz) says Trek is (counter-)suing Greg LeMond to terminate their business relationship, this a few weeks after LeMond sued Trek, again. The lovefest is clearly over. VN does a good job pointing to the primary documents:

The last is interesting, in a train-wreck kind of way. In paragraph 49 on page 10, it begins allegations about Lance Armstrong, which continue through paragraph 88 on page 18; Para 141 on p 29 begins charges about Armstrong being a Trek shareholder of improper influence against LeMond; Landis reference in para 148.)

As discovery request 18 on page 12 of an appendix, it asks for,
All documents relating to professional cyclists' actual or alleged use of performance enhancing drugs, including Trek's communications relating to the same, doping allegations relating to Armstrong or any other professional cyclist, and Dr. Ferrari.

This is the meltdown. The closeouts on LeMond brand bikes will be starting soon.

The Trek media page has more,

Local coverage in the Milwaukee Journal.





AP/Yahoo reports some results in "Oil for Drugs" cases: Mazzoleni, 2 years; Quagliarello life ban on second offense. Mazzoleni was 3rd in last year's Giro.

Blogs

Racejunkie is going to be computer-free for a few days and wants us to ponder a number of things in her absence among them the guilt, or innocence, of Floyd Landis. Haven't we pondered that enough already?

33 comments:

wschart said...

I don't recall seeing this mentioned here before, if so I apologize. It's an article by Michael Shermer, of RAAM fame, on using game theory to devise a system to combat doping.

I don't agree with everything he says, nevertheless it is interesting.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the-doping-dilemma

calfeegirl said...

INteresting article above. I don't get why on earth I should believe this guy when he said that the 1984 Olympic cycling squad told him they injected themselves with blood drawn earlier in the year. Why on earth should I trust Greg Lemond's story of being clean? Why should I believe Joe Papp? Why should I believe Frankie Andreu (and was he really the super domestique claimed in the article?) And he is insinuating that Jonathon Boyer used PEDs in RAAM simply because he rode up a hill faster than the author of the story?

So where does that put RAAM cycling great Pete Pensyres who came back the following year to crush Boyer's record? OH, and notice that the author of the story was also passed eventually by Micheal Secrest..but no mention of him doping...probably because he's an ultracycling legend as opposed to Boyer who was pretty much hated by the ultra guys for being a proroadie.

Fritz said...

It looks like Lance Armstrong is calling in some favors: Trek sues LeMond.

bill hue said...

I run for election every 6 years. I do not run as a Democrat or Republican. I do not want to be controversial. I do not want to make "statements". I want to do my job to the very best of my ability and devote myself to the product I aspire to deliver; justice. I want everyone to vote for me, believing me to be the best person to do the job.

Similarly, if I made bikes, I would want my spokesman to sell my bikes. I would not want him to sell himself over the product, or even seem to. I would want him to apply himself to the sale of the product and at the very least not disparage or bring disrepute to that product or to any other product I produce.


If Greg were my partner, I'd sue him too, if I suffered quantifiable damages because he chooses to devote himself to some other cause, to the detriment of my product sales. I'd sue him even if Armstrong asked me not to. Many lawsuits are simply about money.

Ali said...

In this quiet period, waiting to see if June will bring the verdict which both USADA and WADA must dread ... a tsunami sweeping away the existing anti-doping establishments under an unstoppable wave of reform ... I consider why I believe Floyd Landis is innocent.

One thing I can state is that it is not because he claims to be innocent. That's old hat in the world of sport. Been there, seen that, did NOT buy the t-shirt. So why did I buy the Landis t-shirt ?

I know why and I'm 100% comfortable with my decision. I formed that decision based on the evidence I've seen (and I'm including all of evidence going right back to the AAF - the excuses, etc). The later "science" discussions seen here and elsewhere (well, mostly here) have simply been the icing on the cake for me.

A hypothetical question posed in that other place (I think ?), if Floyd confessed to doping would I feel foolish or fooled. For me the answer is neither. Nobody told me to come to the conclusions I have. I take full responsibility for my beliefs. If I were proven wrong, well, I was wrong ... big deal.

As much as I'm cool with being wrong (it must happen some time), I believe that I am right and the June decision has no influence on that belief.

Ali

whareagle said...

Anyone want to reach and try to make a connection with the elder Burke's demise? Looks like later 2007 was pretty stressful.

Bill Mc said...

Ali,

Re: you decision vis-a-vis Floyd's innocence.

At this point in time the weight and credibility of the evidence against Floyd is simply not sufficient to support a "guilty" verdict, So, absent a divine revelation to the contrary, he should be considered innocent. Future events may either confirm or refute this position, but as of now, with everything that is known as of now, that is the only position which the evidence will support.

As for the June decision, if the past is any guide, it will be based more upon politics than truth or justice. That said, I do not think that it is a foregone conclusion that Floyd will lose because the CAS arbs have to weigh the risks of being too brazen in their disregard of the truth of the farcical nature of the prosecution's case and just may conclude that finding in Floyd's favor may be the wisest course of action. If that does happen, I would expect that the finding would be very narrow, i.e., a technicality, so as to minimize the amount of damage to anti-doping establishment (WADA, et.al.)

whareagle said...

I'm reading through this stuff even more, and now he's quoting DUGARD?

jrdbutcher said...

A rather high school (ish) filing by St. GL and reps.

Money probably better spent on good professional noggin help.

Ali said...

Bill Mc,

I wasn't exaggerating the impact of Floyd winning his case. This won't be like any other. He's pushed the stakes higher than ever before. If he wins, then the win must be based on basic lab accreditation criteria, the competence of WADA, the honesty of USADA ... these are very, very high stake decisions. Both international and national prides are at stake. Let's face it, he's fighting an apparently impassable obstacle.

If he manages that ... good. If he doesn't, well, as you said, we're dealing with pretty high level politics.

Ali

Gary O'Brien said...

You guys are missing the point with Greg. It lays out, clearly, that he invented modern cycling by almost single-handedly creating the American bike industry, sunglasses and helmets. It's amazing he didn't pull out the fact that if it weren't for him, Scott would still just be making ski bindings.

But that is all beside the point. This is a First Amendment issue for Greg. He is being denied his right to speak openly by Trek. That is how powerful Trek is. They can destroy the constitution.

Don't you see? Greg is trying to save cycling and America. He's a hero.

You know, even when he was racing whenever Greg opened his mouth it bugged me. Didn't stop me from pretending I was him when I was bombing through my neighborhood on my 700 lb Sears special (Roadmaster?).

tbv@trustbut.com said...

Gary,

"That's the spirit!"

TBV

Cub said...

Maybe this is the end of Lemond's relationship with cycling. It would be fine with me if he just went away.

However his Wikipedia entry will still be around. There's a section about Floyd there which I think contains a small but significant factual error. It references TBV so it might be worth correcting. It says...

"LeMond's testimony is supported by an online posting Floyd Landis made on the Daily Peloton forum, in which he states that LeMond disclosed personal information of a sensitive nature to Landis, and threatens to use the information to damage LeMond if he continues to involve himself in Landis' USADA appeal process: "

My recollection is that at the time of the supposed "threat", Floyd had no reason to think Lemond would be involved in his appeal. Floyd was angry with Lemond making statements to the media suggesting Floyd's guilt.

whareagle said...

I guess I should be expecting a call late at night this week.

Mike said...

Cub, I think you are right. From what you quoted, it sounds like the Wikipedia article conflates the events of the first hearing with the posting at DPF.

syi

Mike said...

Can anyone explain to me where the name "Oil for Drugs" came from? I know the outline of the investigation/case/charges, but where did the name come from?

syi

Michael said...

So basically, if LeMond kept his mouth shut about LA, Trek wouldn't have any issues working with LeMond.

Doesn't seem too hard. Maybe LeMond's big mouth is why his bikes never seemed popular. I've seen LeMond bikes advertised a lot in every cycling magazine I've seen.

Why can't some people just sit back and enjoy their spoils? Not many of us get that kind of chance.

And finally, how does doping affect selling bikes?? This should be a business decision, not a he/she said issue about drugs.

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

Anyone else notice that the March 2008 filing seems like the 2004 filing, only updated with references to events that have occurred in the interim? Lots of material in the March filing looks to be identical or nearly identical to LeMond's 2004 complaint.

Other than being informed that Trek doesn't plan on renewing his contract (and some apparent slights -- whether purposeful or not, we only know LeMond's side of the story), why is Lemond taking action now?

If this was a real problem, why didn't he do something earlier?

whareagle said...

And the DPF'ers are 'ranting' about this being another 'omerta' style move. NOW who's guilty of the conspiracy theories?

Get out the tin foil hats, kiddos, this one's only going to get weirder. Whaddaya wanna bet that some more 'Lemond Laundry' gets aired out?

tbv@trustbut.com said...

Cub,

Fixed the wikipedia entry, I did. We'll see whether this provokes a wiki-war.

TBV

tbv@trustbut.com said...

Whareagle,

Of all the words of tongue or pen,

The saddest are, "it was a business decision."


TBV

Mike said...

Paraphrasing Whittier: you never cease to amaze me TBV.

syi

calfeegirl said...

All of this scandal/accusation/lawsuit stuff is making me puke. Will it ever end??? On second thought, just one or two more, and I'll be at my goal weight for my next big climbing race. Keep it up! (cyclists with eating disorders, rejoice!) HA!

BTW: Gary, I had one of those Sears 700lb monsters myself...rode my first ever Tri on it. Boy did I get the looks when I put the kickstand down in the transition area instead of hooking it over the racks like everyone else!

Mike said...

Boy did I get the looks when I put the kickstand down in the transition area instead of hooking it over the racks like everyone else!
Hilarious.

wschart said...

TBV:

I just checked at Wikipedia and your edit has been undone.

GMR said...

Kudos to the scribe who coined "Bikepocalypse Now!" since I am also a covert Stephen Colbert fan.

It accurately and succinctly describes what a fine mess that only Greg LeMond can create.

Having seen a LeMond bike just this weekend I politely withheld my questions and comments. Which leaves me with just one query:

Why can't we all just bike along?

-- GMR

Reid Rothchild said...

Looks like a big mistake on the part of Trek. Not a surprise really. Look at who they are aligned with, Astana and Johan Bruyneel, the most corrupt man in cycling.

When is LA going to sue Random House? The silence from him is deafening.
http://www.investigatelance.org

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

Reid,

Trek was responding to legal action taken by LeMond on March 20th. They had 20 days to do whatever they were going to do, and April 8th by my calculations was day 19. This whole legal tangle starts with LeMond. You can debate Trek's reaction and/or strategy, but they didn't initiate things.

As far as Lance suing Random House, it ain't gonna happen. Lance is a public figure, and in this country you can pretty much say whatever you want about public figures and get away with it. Whatever Lance may be, he knows how to pick his battles. And he knows when not to throw his money away. Paying lawyers to sue Random House, knowing full well that the public figure exception in our libel laws applies to him, is just throwing good money after bad.

Don't take the fact that he won't sue as an admission of guilt, however. More likely, it comes from an understanding of how the case would play out, and choosing not to fight this particular battle.

In the UK, where libel laws are different, he sued over certain stories published and certain books published, and he won. Over there, public figures are afforded the same rights as the rest of us when it comes to libel and slander. Different countries, different laws, different outcomes. Even if we're talking about the same allegations published in print in both places.

Reid Rothchild said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reid Rothchild said...

Daniel,

How stupid do you think people are? The reason LA won't sue is that he has to prove that Walsh knew what he was writing was false. This is this public figures exception you speak of. The problem for LA is not only can he not prove Random House knew what they published was false, a trial would prove that the allegations were true, which is a complete defense to liable.

The truth is that Trek sponsors Astana who's director is Bruyneel, the greatest cheater left in cycling.

LeMond is being vindicated daily.

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

Reid,

There's the rub. Proving that what Walsh wrote is false is not enough to win a libel suit in the US. On the other side of the pond, you merely have to prove that the statements are false, not that the writer knew they were false. That's what makes it so much easier for a public figure to win a libel lawsuit over there.

Walsh's books and articles about Lance could be true or they could be false. More likely there's a bit of both in there. But even if Armstrong can prove that all of it is false, he still can't win unless he has some evidence to prove that Walsh actually knew it was false.

That's a tough nut to crack, wouldn't you say? Unless someone can come up with a tape recording or document where the man admits it's a pack of lies, then Armstrong won't win. And I rather doubt that Armstrong's side could do that.

Armstrong is smart enough to know when not to waste his time and resources. There's no way he can win here, regardless of what the truth is. So why bother? However, the fact that he won't challenge Walsh and his publisher in court isn't enough to conclude that everything Walsh has written is true.

As for who the biggest cheater in cycling is, there's plenty of candidates from the present and the past for that dubious honor.

tbv@trustbut.com said...

Reid,

you've made the same accusation against Bruyneel twice, without much change of content or form. When repeated, it becomes inflammatory rather than informative of your opinion.

I won't ask you to change your opinion, or say not to express it -- but if you just repeat it as assertion with no variation, I will use my delete button, because it does not move a conversation forward.

Also bear in mind this isn't a Lance blog, nor a Bruyneel blog. Our main interest in mentioning Trek/LeMond was because of the involvement of LeMond in the Landis case.

In terms of US Libel law, Lance (and Landis) are in the same boat. It is effectively impossible for a public figure to successfully bring a suit, even when the presented facts are incorrect.

The test identified in the landmark ruling in the NY Times v Sullivan case decided in 1964 contains two parts -- the publication must be both made with "actual malous" and a "wreckless disregard" for the truth of the statements.

As Rant notes, it would be hard to prove what malous was in Walsh's head, which makes such a case legally pointless.

The libel laws of the UK are quite different, and explain why at least one of Walsh's books was not published there.

thanks,
TBV

tbv@trustbut.com said...

Brain fade, not "malous", "malice"

oops,

TBV