Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday Roundup

The VeloNews introduces something that will probably be declared illegal performance enhancement everywhere eventually, but which we could use right now actually.

A reader also points to a Velonews article on the continued canonization of St. David Millar, in an episode of Real Sports on HBO tonight. If anyone has HBO and watches it, post a report, please.

In Other VeloNews Andrew Hood reviews Johan Bruyneel's new book, "We Might as well Win", and interviews the former DS as well. Written for a wide "non-cycling" audience this book stays away from controversy:

VN: One name that is not mentioned in the book is Michele Ferrari, why did you avoid this topic in the book?

JB: I wanted it to be a positive book. There are a lot of things that have been said that are negative. I wanted the book to be focused on the philosophy of winning. That wasn’t necessary to mention, and it is controversial anyway. That’s a battle I gave up on a long time ago. I don’t want to have to keep explaining and keep defending ourselves. I’ve passed that stage a long time ago.

VN: One thing you don’t bring up a lot in the book are the doubters, how do you react to the people that just don’t believe in the victories?

JB: That’s too bad for them. We’ve tried to explain too many times. How much harder can we try to explain? Right now with Astana, we basically have the top team with the strongest riders, we’re dominating the races, at least the ones we’re allowed to race, and we have the strictest anti-doping program that exists. (Anti-doping director Rasmus) Damsgaard and what he’s doing – it can’t get better. There are a lot of cynics out there and critics who say they prepare for a race this way or that way. Now we go to the Giro, eight days before it starts, we show and we still win it. The team is a good level and that speaks a lot.

Reuters has the latest on Gatlin's Florida case, where the judge has given in to the USOC, and Gatlin, for now, is out of the trials:
Judge Lacey Collier lifted a 10-day restraining order that would have allowed the 26-year-old Gatlin to take part in the trials in Eugene, Oregon starting on Friday.

The judge ruled that determining the United States' participation in the Olympic Games was the "exclusive jurisdiction" of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

Now, maybe Gatlin appeals up the Federal chain.

The AP has it too but gets an "oops" point for the Judge's gender and gets bonus points for knowing the Judge's gender when we didn't.
A federal judge now says sprinter Justin Gatlin cannot compete in this weekend's U.S. Olympic track and field trials. The decision reversed his earlier order that allowed Gatlin to run.

Judge Lacey Collier said Tuesday the court had no authority to overrule the recent Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling that upheld a four-year doping ban against the defending Olympic 100-meter champion.

Chicago Tribune carries more of the Gatlin hearing yesterday, quoting IOC director of legal affairs Howard Stupp:
"Should he wish to appeal this CAS decision, he must go before the Swiss Federal Court"

The (UK) Press Association says Judge Collier has delayed a ruling until perhaps today (she did; see above).

The (UK) Guardian says the alphabets involved are likely to appeal a ruling in Gatlin's favor, presumably up the Federal chain. We not sure why they would do that if they deny US Federal Jurisdiction. Maybe it's the international agencies who feel that way, yet they showed up in the US court, which may be taken as submitting to jurisdiction. It'd be hard for the USOC and USATF to deny US jurisdiction.

The IAAF is HQ'd in Monaco, and positively crowed "IAAF defeats Gatlin in CAS appeal."

Later, Reuters and AFP report that the USOC is appealing the TRO granted Gatlin, and the international alphabets are saying no matter what a US Court says, he can't run in international competition without a Swiss ruling. Since he needs to compete in the US Trials this week, a US Court order should suffice for that; and should he qualify by competition, he has time to go to Swiss Court. It's unlikely he could get to Swiss Court in time for the trials, so what he's doing may make practical sense -- and the agencies can just try to win in their home court rather than in the US. Which makes us wonder why the USOC would feels the need to dispute the TRO at this point, since that is unlikely to be the last word.

NBC Sports/MSNBC is reporting Terry Bradshaw has admitted he and other Steelers used steroids for "healing" in the 70s. The at-the-time Raiders fan in TBV goes, "ah ha!", but expects similar things were being done near the Oakland/Alameda County Coliseum as well.

The Pittsburgh Tribune notes many deaths of Steelers from that period:

Seven died of heart failure: Jim Clack, 58; Ray Oldham, 54; Dave Brown, 52; Mike Webster, 50; Steve Furness, 49; Joe Gilliam, 49; and Tyrone McGriff, 41. (In 1996, four years before the steady succession of Steelers deaths, longtime center Ray Mansfield died of a heart attack at 55.)

There is speculation that steroid abuse could have played a role in some of the deaths, but no hard evidence. It's just as plausible that weight issues were a factor. Counting Mansfield, five of the eight heart-attack victims played on the offensive or defensive line.

Remember to repeat the conventional wisdom, that cycling is a particularly dirty sport.

Have you had your pills has been vegging out, but somehow got a clue the Landis decision will be in by the end of the month. We'll see.


wschart said...

Jurisdiction in any of these cases can be tricky. It is somewhat clear that US courts have jurisdiciton over USIOC or a US sport federation, so Gatlin can sue to be allowed to compete in US events, including Olympic trials. However, I don't see that US courts have any jurisdiction over international organizations, so if Gatlin does win a place on the US Olympic team, he can still be denied to compete in Beijing, and US courts could not do anything about it. And perhaps this is what the various alphabets are about when they contest that US courts have jurisdiction. Unless the various international agencies involved agree Gatlin should be allowed to compete in the Olympics, whatever the US courts decide is pretty much meaningless.

As much as we would like i

Eightzero said...

I'm not sure, but isn't US (or any nation's) participation in the whole IOC thing done by treaty? If so, I wonder what *that* says about compliance with each nation's laws?

Eightzero said...

Well, I stand corrected. From www.olympics.org (the official IOC website):

"The Games are the exclusive property of the IOC, which has the last word on any question related to them. The IOC plays a supervisory and support role; in other words, it controls the organisation of the Games, ensures they run successfully, and checks that the principles and rules of the Olympic Charter are observed."

IOW, they can do any damn thing they want.

Have some fun; go browse around that web site just for some entertainment. I especially like the part about "protection of the athletes" and how we have the CAS to "handle legal problems encountered by athletes. Its procedure is universally applicable, and is simple, quick, flexible and inexpensive." Good one!

Then we have:

"Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles."-Olympic Charter, Fundamental principles, paragraph 2

Reconcile that part of the Charter with the "property" thing in your mind. Go ahead - give it a try.

Unknown said...

Somewhat off topic and for what little it’s worth, it’s the judge’s sex, not the judge’s gender. PC terminology, creeping into common use, becomes a problem when it makes the use of such language less precise. The judge’s sex is either male or female.

In brief, sex is biologically founded. Gender is a social construct.

I don’t mean to be a pita. Floyd’s case has reinforced the notion that the definition of words and their precise use can often be important. My example is, admittedly, a pet peeve.

DBrower said...

Yes, you are being a PITA!

USAGE NOTE Traditionally, gender has been used primarily to refer to the grammatical categories of “masculine,” “feminine,” and “neuter,” but in recent years the word has become well established in its use to refer to sex-based categories, as in phrases such as gender gap and the politics of gender. This usage is supported by the practice of many anthropologists, who reserve sex for reference to biological categories, while using gender to refer to social or cultural categories. According to this rule, one would say The effectiveness of the medication appears to depend on the sex (not gender) of the patient, but In peasant societies, gender (not sex) roles are likely to be more clearly defined. This distinction is useful in principle, but it is by no means widely observed, and considerable variation in usage occurs at all levels.

I think you're being pedantic, and will riddle you this: Is the distinction between "his" and "her" as a pronoun as used and should have been used in the AP snip a gender or a sex difference?

TBV, another member of both "Pedants R Us" and "I'll argue about anything"

bobble said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bobble said...

Oops Gatlin will be watching afterall:


Sorry about the crappy link but I forgot my html.

Unknown said...


First, I’d rather be a pita wrt to those that consider the science as being sound or good enough, in Floyd’s case. I added the sex vs. gender content because I didn’t have anything of substance to add on the issues listed on the site today. Sorry for that.

WRT “his” and “her”, I’ll vote it should have been a sex issue. But, what do I know? I’m a home dad and my life is currently an example of muddling the whole sex/gender issue.

Thomas A. Fine said...

Ok, taking what's been said at face value, then the PC word ought to be gender.

When we look at someone, like the judge, we see primarily their role in our culture (gender). Generally, this is the same as their sex but not always.

Suppose Lacey is biologicaly male, but living as a woman. Her gender would be female, not her sex.

Gender is the apparent thing, based on clothes and hair and makeup. Sex can't be discerned without a blood test.


whareagle said...

Meanwhile, a victim sits and rots as his verdict and future remain in limbo.

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

Whatever the decision is on sex vs. gender, it turns out that, despite a first name that might indicate otherwise, Judge Collier really is a "he/him." At least, judging (pun intended) by a picture that you can find here.


Laura Challoner, DVM said...

The Federal Court case law is pretty clear that the judge has no jurisdiction over IOC competition matters. However, the US track federation and USADA are not permitted under US federal law to discriminate against Americans With Disabilitities or any individual on the basis of race, sex or origin.

An interesting question in that regard is to slightly change the facts for a better understanding of what this judge is saying; Can the US track federation or USADA discriminate, say against a black person, because the "immune" international body (the US Courts have no jurisdiction over them) only allows white people to compete?

Back to the facts of this case; The Federal Judge believes Gaitlin was discriminated against because of his disability. The IOC will not allow a person with disability to be medicated in order to allow that person to have an equal opportunity to compete, deeming the alteration to give an unfair competative advantage. Temporary Restraining Orders only are granted when irrepairable rights are at issue and not when money or other relief can remedy the "wrong". The Judge initially felt the inability to compete was the irrepairable injury but if the Order isn't binding on the people who run the competition, then the judge has no ability to "remedy" it in a practical sense.

So, if the goal was to get a US judge to "order" a party not subject to the Courts jurisdiction to do something, it was doomed to failure.

Whether monetary damages will now cover the violation is an interesting byproduct.

Bill Hue

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

Though I don't have the link to it right now, it's also interesting to note that in yesterday's decision, the judge structured his opinion in anticipation of a review by another court. This evening, if I can find the original link, I'll post it. (Unless someone else does so first.)

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

If you're interested in looking at Judge Collier's decision, you can find a copy of it here.