Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday Roundup

The CyclingNews announces that it's been made official, Astana's year won't pass by without any grand tours. It has been invited to the Vuelta. In other Astana news, former team member Alexander Vinokourov has been formally stripped of his stage victories from last year's Tour de France.

ESPN reports that Italian scientists are looking into the "technological doping" they insinuate is provided to those who wear the new Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit. The suit has been cleared twice for use by FINA. Maybe the Italians should have to suit's characteristics analyzed by the LNDD.

Apropos yesterday's NYT story on genetics affecting T/E tests, Tom Fine notes sagely:

The Times seems to have skipped half the story - that those with two of these genes are prone to false positives on the T/E test.

That little detail must not be of interest. So it goes.

In another ESPN story reported courtesy of Reuters, the CAS has upheld Danilo DiLuca's three month ban which has already been served. The CAS press release is here.

The Alessandro Petacchi CAS decision for excessive salbutamol use should be announced any day.

CAS also says the Pistorious arbitration hearing is over, now wait for an award. Rivkin won't have much record to go through with that one, since it was a one-day hearing. He still owes us his part of the forthcoming Landis award.

In more WADA news ESPN also says that the anti-doping agency is close to an agreement with Interpol which would allow the international police force to use it's resources to help in the fight to catch dope cheats. According to WADA General Director David Howman,
"We can see now that for little money those who are already carrying out their jobs under national legislation and so forth can gather evidence, share it with sport and make sure that those who are cheating are sanctioned."

But there's more from WADA president John Fahey, who characterizes the fight against doping at this summer's Olympic games as a struggle between the forces of light and darkness:
"There will be more tests this time than ever before and I think I can be very confident as WADA has evolved and got better in its expertise in the past eight years or so there will be a much more effective outcome in dealing with anyone who seeks to cheat"

"In the battle with the scientists, there's little doubt that the scientists who are actually working for the white knights are getting better all the time and countering the scientists who are working with the "other side"

Bicycling Magazine has a blog column by St. David Miller:

I then flew over to Montreal for the WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) Athletes Committee Meeting. This couldn't have come at a worse time considering how I was feeling physically, but I'm very glad I did go as it was productive and a good opportunity to put faces to the names I have corresponded with in the past. It's a very forward thinking and pragmatic organization and without it the future of all sport would be in serious jeopardy. I will save my Idiots Guide to Anti-Doping for another entry, but I will definitely supply one at some point as I think there is a serious lack of understanding regarding the anti-doping movement. It's a confusing world made simple by WADA and complicated by sports governing bodies and national sports agencies. Again, for another time...

We can hardly wait for his "Idiots" guide.

The VeloNews says that French legislators have toughened France's anti-doping laws with fines and jail time for offenders.

Members of Parliament adopted a new law which penalizes the possession and trafficking of doping products in sport with prison sentences and fines. Under the new measures offenders will receive up of five years in jail and a 75,000-euro fine, when it relates to drug trafficking, explained French Minister for Sport Bernard Laporte.


Racejunkie wheels her way through this week's cycling buzz, with a special "shout out" to Astana who finally got into a grand tour, Vino? Vino who? While on the subject, just how long will it be before "baby" Contador takes his act elsewhere?


Jim said...

"Technological doping"? I'm sorry, that's just an asinine way of describing a technological advance. Why not accuse wearers of the swimsuit of committing Frictional Fraud, or some other pseudo-criminal sounding act? Equating the use of a non-prohibited, non-physiological piece of equipment with the rules violation and crime of doping, is just jackassery that undercuts the prohibitions and stigma attached to more serious violations, e.g. actual doping and the various frauds and conspiracies arising out of it.

If wearing a new slippery type of swimsuit is a form of doping, then what was it when the old time riders drilled and ground down their bike components to achieve lightness - Mass Misappropriation? File Fraud?

("Eightzero") said...

The CN story on notification to Evans and Kirchen of their stage wins is interesting for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that it was notification by the UCI, not ASO. Is UCI Up To Something? Sure, the 2007 race was a UCI event, but why now?

So Vino is DQ'ed, but is there any appeal pending? I think he just retired and walked away. Was there any prize money for winning those stages? What of the effect on the points classification, or were there time bonuses on those stages that Vino snapped up that could/should be awarded to other riders?

Anyone know if the UCI has taken similar action to notify the second place finisher on the 2006 stage 17? Or done anything about Riis' confession?

I note with some interest that the French tabloid L'Equipe hasn't released any doping results from 2008. Could it be the pro peloton is now squeaky clean? That LNDD is now the most reliable scientific laboratory on the planet? We've been living next to the waterfall for so long, but we don't seem to notice the silence. Curious....

whareagle said...

I guess we should all go back to wooden wheels and velopeds.

I would like to know is whether the 'evidence' was ever released to the public. It'd be interesting to compare notes on this case to the 'other' case that was so important.

jrdbutcher said...

TdF/ASO has not paid much of the prize money from the 2007 TdF, and used the excuse that they were unable to calculate the money owed until a ruling on Vino & Ras was made. I'm guessing the funds in question were not put into an escrow account earning interest for the riders/teams who may eventually be paid.

As to the whole swimsuit thing, let's just agree the athletes will swim naked......

snake said...

... and shaved !

As a swimmer, I have to admit that the lzr suit bugs me. It's clearly an advantage, and it's unfair to compare performances between the suited and non-suited (unsuited ?)

And, of course, nobody wore them prior to now, so you can't compare current performances to the past.

Until more recently swimming wasn't about the gear. Now and then I compete against guys in their full slick suits. I'm not all about winning, but I'd like a fair contest.

The lzr really tilts the field.

("Eightzero") said...

Looks like ASO finally paid up on the TdF 2007 prize money:

Likely the stage win awards and release of the money are related. Somehow. I sure don't understand it.