Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday Roundup

The VeloNews reports on the positive doping control for Ariel Richeze, who had naturally been withdrawn from the Giro. He has been accused of using stanozolol.

ESPN says that Italian pole vaulter Giuseppe Gibilisco has had his doping ban overturned by the CAS:

The investigation focused on the relationship between athletes and Carlo Santuccione, a doctor who is alleged to have supplied athletes with banned substances. Gibilisco was initially banned last July by the Italian Athletics Federation (FIDAL) after a request from the country's anti-doping prosecutor.

However, he won an appeal in September; a FIDAL spokesman saying the ban had been lifted because Gibilisco had never failed a doping test.

The CAS did not comment on the ruling, but issued a press release. It has not apparently publicly issued the ruling. This is typically the case when the parties decide to keep things quiet. The release says:
The CAS Panel found that there was no conclusive evidence to determine that Gibilisco attempted to use prohibited substances. Contrary to what has happened in the case Danilo di Luca, the UPA-CONI did not sanction Gibilisco for his medical encounters with Dr. Santuccione. The appeal to CAS was therefore limited to the issue of attempt of doping.

The Boulder Report reveals more of the unsavory side of cycling today with his column about Kayle Leogrande's civil lawsuit against Matt DeCanio and Suzanne Sonye:
Leogrande’s second case is a civil slander suit in Los Angeles County Court against former Rock soigneur Suzanne Sonye and former pro racer turned anti-doping advocate Matt DeCanio. The seven-page filing alleges that Sonye and DeCanio worked in concert to defame Leogrande last February when DeCanio recorded a conversation between them and later posted it on his anti-doping web site, Stolen Underground. In the conversation, alleges the lawsuit, Sonye told DeCanio that Leogrande had admitted to her that he doped and was worried he had failed an anti-doping test. The post was taken down a short time later when Sonye’s attorney, Jean-Jacques Cabou, sent a cease-and-desist letter to DeCanio.

But beyond that, said Cabou, the timing is questionable because Sonye has filed an affidavit in the USADA arbitration and is a witness in that case. “It’s fair to say the timing of the suit and the target certainly bring to mind the possibility that there were strategic reasons for bringing it that might apply to proceedings other than this lawsuit,” he said. Cabou declined to speculate on whether he considered the suit a form of tampering or intimidation.

Howard Jacobs, Leogrande’s attorney, said that the timing and nature of the lawsuit have “nothing to do with any affidavit that Suzanne may or may not have filed.” Jacobs declined to comment on the status of the USADA arbitration or even concede that one was taking place and also declined to confirm that the John Doe filing was Leogrande’s (although the plaintiff is a Jacobs client). He said that the basis for including Sonye in the new lawsuit is that because of DeCanio’s reputation, Sonye had to know what would happen if she talked with him.

Considering what happened in the Landis case with Jacobs attempts to cross-examine LeMond about the allegations he made there, it might be good tactics to have a case in real court with the same parties, allowing depositions and testimony prior to any arbitration with USADA -- if there is one pending. At least a full examination can happen without time-pressure and procedure fouled up by a supervising authority that does not understand the law.

At the same time, opening up another legal front will present Leogrande to discovery and unfriendly deposition, so it is a knife that cuts all ways, and ought to be handled with care and respect for the risk.

As we've seen in several cases lately, one can have perjury problems testifying about PED use. It would be a major foot-bullet for it to be from a case you brought yourself. If Leogrande was using the stuff that is alleged, and did have a positive AAF, then you'd have to wonder whether this is smart. If he wasn't using anything, then it makes more sense.

Kadisco talks about how Chamillionaire did clever business with his rap single "Ridin Dirty", and links to the Landis-themed parody.