Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Roundup

Late in the day, the AP reports that Justin Gatlin has gotten his first good news in two years. A Federal Judge in Florida has granted him an order that may allow him to compete in the US Olympic Trials, and possibly compete in Beijing. A further hearing is to be held on Monday.

"In the midst of this intractable situation, it is abundantly clear that, if anyone were to actually deal with the facts of this case head-on, they would readily conclude, formally, that plaintiff was not at fault for the first violation, and would as a consequence end his suspension immediately," the judge wrote.

On the other hand, the USOC predictably doesn't like it:

"We view this as an anti-doping matter and believe the appropriate forum for adjudication and resolution is through the American Arbitration Association or the International Court of Arbitration for Sport," USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said at the time.

Well, "he would, wouldn't he?" -- it's his ox that got gored. In the same vein, USADA wants people to look at the court they prefer as well:

"Mr. Gatlin's defenses to his steroid doping violation have already been fully considered and rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport which he agreed has exclusive jurisdiction over this matter," USADA spokeswoman Erin Hannan said in a statement.

Not if the Feds think they have jurisdiction, and Gatlin couldn't go there until he had exhausted his remedies through the sporting judicial system. Done and done. Is this the first crack in the dam, or a small hole that will get plugged?

Bill Hue notes:

The Judge seems to be saying that Gatlin's rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act were violated by USADA and the applicable US Olympic federation when he was punished (the first prosecution) for taking an ADD medication appropriately, with a doctor's supervision, in consideration of all applicable anti-doping rules. At that time, using their amazing abilities to manipulate public perception, USADA captioned the incident as an "amphetamines" violation. The Judge in granting the Temporary Restraining Order, found Gaitlin to have a reasonable prospect of success on the merits. In other words, he was likely to prevail on that theory.

When an athlete escapes the Star Chamber and finds a forum concerned with fairness and due process, his/her chances of success certainly change significantly. Whether the Judge's decision will have any effect on the IOC is at issue though, as I have noted in previous articles highlighting the U.S. Federal Court's lack of jurisdiction over International Olympic disqualification matters.

Reuters has a similar report. We don't have the ruling, but will look.

The CyclingNews reports authorities in China have commenced closing down many of the steroid labs that are purportedly a major source of the PEDs that find their way into the "marketplace". Also in a double blind study conducted by WADA and ASADA to determine the possible effects of HGH, it was suggested that "doping" test subjects with placebos did have some effect in enhancing test performances.

CyclingNews letters range from comments on ASO world domination, along with more fallout from Tom Boonen's positive for cocaine.

HuffPost/Stanley Bing mocks the idea of the AP charging $12.50 for a link to a story. We agree-- such an environment would kill what we do here. The doctrine of "fair use" in copyright is a big target for those who want to prevent "piracy" of ideas, at the expense of the informed discussion and debate that is key to a healthy participatory democracy.

An emailer points out the case of NFL Player Ryan Fowler, who is twisting in the wind on some steroid use allegations. Fowler has come out denying everything this week.

A few weeks ago, we mentioned the steroid dealer David Jacobs, who had been found shot dead in his home, after he had spoken to the NFL about players he claimed to have supplied. The death was ruled to be a suicide.

It appears that Fowler was one of the names mentioned, and the league has threatened him with a suspension. However, there's apparently no evidence, and the league is supposed to have a confidentiality policy preventing mention of such things before there is a suspension. Typically, the NFL says, "So and so has been suspended for a violation of the league's substance abuse policy" and no more. With the accusation now having been made public, Fowler is experiencing the joy of limbo.

It's not clear to us how Fowler's case became public knowledge. reported last week getting a confirmation from Fowlers attorney, and the AP a little later, but we don't know how someone got a tip to call the attorney to ask.

The good news is that, unlike cycling, he's still getting his paycheck and is free to practice and play while this works through. The bad news is that it's likely no one will be held accountable in any way for the confidentiality breach. Of course, if it's like Boonen, it might turn out to be someone thought to be on Fowler's side who tipped off the press.dfs

The Outside Magazine
article on Joe Papp is now online. It's not kind to Landis, but not outrageously mean either. Papp comes off as a confused pawn.

Bike World News is starting up another Floyd Watch, disappointed the award isn't out yet.

LunarPoodle imagines a cross-examination at the Landis appeal, probably not taken from the actual transcripts. If only we had a few good men.


wschart said...

So, do we need to come up with a test to detect the presence of placebo in an athlete?

Mike said...

I think they can "eye-ball" it.

syi said...

It's incredibly abused, over prescribed, and undetectable when microdosed. The same substance that is largely responsible for the epidemic of obesity. Now shown in a recent study to enhance athletic (and probably male) performance.

What to do about this scourge? Where is Mr. Pound now that we need him?


marc said...

Very hard to write a testing protocol for it. It mimics the effects of so many drugs, and its functionality varies so much from individual to individual.

wschart said...

Yeah, but I'd bet LNDD knows it when it sees it. Their experience and all that.

Anonymous said...

Here's the funny thing about placebos - they are already banned by WADA and most drug testing agencies.

If an athlete "thinks" they are taking a banned substance, then its just as wrong as if they actually took a banned substance.

Anonymous said...

David Jacobs told many journalists and bloggers about athletes he sold steroids to - and many of those names were not made public. The Dallas Morning News (Jason Trahan) admitted to knowing about Fowler's alleged use of steroids several months ago.

("Eightzero") said...

I confess. I'm a doper:

Thomas A. Fine said...

if anyone were to actually deal with the facts of this case head-on..."

This statement cuts right through it. Just think of the number of people that have to run around with their fingers in their ears, saying "la la la, I'm not listening" in order to make the current anti-doping system function the way it does.