Sunday, June 29, 2008

CAS Appeal Final Briefs

We've established the archive for documents related to the CAS appeal. The first two that Landis has made available are:


These will provide background for the issues that ought to be discussed in tomorrow's final award.

We'll broadly summarize the briefs as follows.

Landis: I didn't do it. There are lots of things wrong with the test process as documented to us, and we've been unable to get to the bottom of what happened because of obstruction and lies by USADA. You can't have comfortable satisfaction with this state of affairs.

USADA: He's a doper. We have found explanations for everything he has complained about that ought to be good enough under our rules to find him liable. Trust us, he did it.

We expect to have transcripts and exhibits next week, along with discussion of the award.

5 comments:

Mike said...

An chance we'll still see Exhibit 26 from the AAA hearing?

syi

tbv@trustbut.com said...

I assume and believe so.

TBV

Larry said...

THIS IS AMAZING STUFF!

If the Landis decision was not hours away, we'd be pouring over these documents for the next few months. We may STILL pour over these documents for the next few months.

I HAVE to shut down my Landis focus to get some other work done, but three REALLY fast observations:

1. Suh et. al. are focusing heavily on improper conduct on the part of USADA and LNDD: intentional lies, falsified documents and the like. I doubt that they expect these arguments to be persuasive at the CAS; I think this is to create a record for use at a federal court case seeking to overturn the arbitration.

2. The discussion in part III B of the Landis brief closely tracks discussions we've had here for months about peak identification, including our discussions of pattern matching and possible use of the mix cals and blank urine as a means of peak identification. It appears that the arguments back and forth here on peak identification were eerily close to the arguments at the CAS between the Landis team and USADA. Kudos to "M" (wherever he may be) for so closely anticipating the arguments that were apparently used by USADA to defend LNDD's method of peak analysis.

3. It appears that Brenna testified at the CAS that a column switch COULD result in GC peaks switching positions!

Larry said...

I should preface this by saying that my 11th hour hunches are almost never right, but after a quick read of both the USADA and Landis briefs, I think ...

could it be?

Landis won?

Evidently, the parties spent a great deal of time arguing one of our favorite topics here: peak identification. According to the USADA brief, LNDD used two different methods to identify the IRMS peaks. First, they compared the peak patterns in the IRMS chromatograms to the known peaks in the GC/MS chromatograms. They then compared IRMS retention times for the peaks of interest in the blank urine to the IRMS retention times for the Landis samples. It is this second method, the comparison to retention times for the blank urine, that USADA claims met the criteria set forth in TD2003IDCR. See USADA post-hearing brief p. 32.

USADA follows this discussion with discussion of how USADA's witnesses used the mix cal acetate to identify some of the peaks ... but the critical testimony concerns what LNDD did. That testimony is on p. 32. It appears from that testimony that at the 11th hour, USADA argued that IRMS peak identification was performed by reference to the retention times for IRMS peaks in the blank urine sample.

There are two huge holes in USADA's argument, holes large ehough to drive a truck through. First, in order to use the IRMS peaks in the blank urine as a reference for identification, you have to identify those peaks. IRMS analysis of a live urine sample does not, by itself, identify the peaks in the sample. The lab needs a method to identify the IRMS blank urine peaks before those peaks can be used to identify the peaks in the Landis samples. How did the lab identify the peaks in the blank urine sample? I don't see anything in the USADA brief to answer this question.

Also, you have the considerable problem that comparing the Landis IRMS sample peaks to IRMS blank urine peaks probably cannot comply with TD2003IDCR. TD2003IDCR requires an athlete's sample to be compared to (1) a spiked urine sample, (2) a Reference Collection sample or (3) a Reference Material. It's unlikely that blank urine (which is "live" urine, urine that came from human beings that is supposed to resemble the urine of a "clean" athlete, could possibly satisfy any of these criteria. (The late hour does not permit me to undertake the analysis of whether blank urine is "spiked" or could meet the "Reference" definitions in the ISL.)

Back in the day, "M" tried to argue that the lab could use the blank urine as a means to identify the peaks in the Landis sample. We pretty much shot down this theory, and ultimately "M" relied on different arguments.

I do not believe that an honest and competent arbitration panel could possibly support an AAF based on the use of blank urine as a means of identifying IRMS peaks.

For the first time since the AAF was announced, I have real hope that the AAF will be overturned.

The hope is limited mostly by my knowledge of how many times I've been wrong before.

Cal & Lorie said...

Larry,

I have silently held to a theory, as wild as it may be. m was/is Matthew Barnett.

Cal