Breitbart reports Olympic gymnast Morgan Hamm has tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide at the US Championships in May, had results nullified, and from USADA received a ... warning? He is apparently still going to Beijing. There are parts of the story that are clearly missing.
SFGate/AP says Hamm is a TUE paperwork infraction. AFP says his Olympic spot is in jeopardy, as does Guardian/Reuters.
NYT/Macur says he worked it out with USADA:
To avoid a doping violation charge, an athlete must prove he did not intend to enhance performance. The penalty for using those substances could be anywhere from a public warning to a two-year suspension. To make his case, Hamm sent his medical records to the United States Anti-Doping Agency and included letters from his doctor and physical therapist.
“There was proof that it was for legitimate medical reasons and he had a doctor’s prescription,” Travis T. Tygart, the chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, said in a telephone interview. “We were more than comfortable with giving just a public warning.”
So Travis can be accommodating, when he chooses to be.
LA Times/Elliot says he should be thrown off the Olympic squad, and responds to suggestions she's being too harsh.
The CyclingNews says that Michael Rasmussen will predictably appeal his two year suspension to the CAS. Good luck with that.
In later CyclingNews Team CSC has published the the results of its internal anti-doping program.
Letters to CyclingNews this week find many in response to the Landis decision published Monday, a few of them found fault with the CAS. Bill Kinkead wrote:
The only thing that can be said about the "Court" of Arbitration for Sport is that any judicial body that has Dick Pound as a member and seriously considered him as a candidate for president is as fair and impartial as the Volksgerichts of the Third Reich.
ESPN/AP says that British sprinter Dwain Chambers is appealing the BOA's lifetime ban.
NYT/Gina Kolata (reg req'd) talks about keeping cool while competing in heat, and has one scientist pouring cold water over the idea of pouring cold water on yourself -- like Landis did on Stage 17. He may not be thinking of doing it constantly.
WADAwatch posts the first of a series of entries analyzing the CAS decision in the Landis case, which is a must read for those who are interested in the legal implications. Ww wonders about the following:
Quoting the Decision's paragraph:
259. There is a clear distinction between administrative deficiencies, bad laboratory practice, procedural error, or other honest inadequacy on the one hand and dishonesty or bad faith on the other. Some of the Appellant's expert witnesses appeared insufficiently aware of this distinction.
Does that strike any other reader similarly? First off, all but the first (“administrative deficiencies”) are outlawed by the WADA CODE. Bad laboratory practice? Check the CODE, and the ISL: not allowed.
Procedural error? Presumably, if meant about labs, these are not acceptable by the CODE or ISL (which refers constantly to the ISO 17025:2005).
And later notes bad precedential implications:
Offering the sporting world a sense that 'anything goes, in our labs: anything is permissible, EXCEPT proven dishonesty or bad faith', is not an impressive tag to graft onto the term “WADA–accredited”. Yet CAS has achieved precisely this.Emphasis added, and we'd have written it, " except PROVEN dishonesty of bad faith." But the point remains they have left the athlete to prove (to an undefined standard) that the lab has been dishonest rather than simply violated clear rules in The Code -- because there are no clear rules The Code, only guidelines, mateys. Yo Ho!
We'll leave with this:
[P]aragraph 259 insulates WADA–accredited labs from multiple types of errors, and in fact nearly created a new worldwide term: 'Standard Operating Mistakes' (“SOM”?)
And as a public service, WADAwatch translates a current interview with Marshall Saugy, who last year said that 80% of the peloton was on something.
TXT: The juridical aspects of the blood passport equally pose certain questions. Without proof of administration of substances, don't we risk observing more and more such interminable procedures such as that of Floyd Landis?
MS: Effectively, that is one of the key points that will have to be resolved as rapidly as possible. We must find a different route to prove manipulation.
TXT: So, what would this other route consist of?
MS: Certain jurists estimate that instead of penal sanctions, it may be better to apply medical sanctions. As such, on could instead retire racers from a competition if their blood characteristics are suspect. We have to find a just solution, so as to avoid to enter into judicial procedures of incredible length and which put down the credibility of the antidoping fight, as it was in the Landis affair.
We favor "no-starts" for passport irregularities, with no finding of an AAF.
Rant today must be feeling the freedom of book completion with a three-fer, looking at "Lab B's" director Schantzers cry of "foul" on the Danish EPO test study report; A look at Kashechkin's case, with more sympathy than we've yet to muster, though it sadly looks like the same old run-around; And then, there's some race in France starting this weekend.
Racejunkie looks at this year's the Tour de France classifications, and it's not just another banal preview either:
Yes, another year of two-wheeled thrills, disgusting scandals and sighs-o-relief-by-the-unbusted-guilty has gone by, to the certain relief of a good half the peloton, and another 3 weeks of guts, glory, and homologous blood doping is about to begin--it's time for the Grand Boucle!
The CaliRado Cyclist writes about the expectations of a "clean" Tour de France this year.
The New Common Sense says the Landis team showed beyond the shadow of a doubt the numerous shortcomings of the anti-doping establishment, but it still wasn't enough:
In any other endeavor, showing the worthlessness of the evidence against an individual would tend to exonerate that person. But in the world of the doping police, it is not enough. Landis and his legal team showed beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the wrong software was being used in the LNDD testing machines, that those machines were not properly set-up, that the laboratory technicians had an imperfect working knowledge of procedures, and that documents had been altered destroying any provable chain of evidence. The CAS acknowledged this in issuing their ruling, noting that "less than ideal laboratory practices" were in use. In reality what they were saying is, that while Landis may not have been proved guilty, he certainly wasn't able to prove his innocence. And perhaps the strangest thing that the CAS has done, they have ruled that Landis must pay $100,000 to the USADA for legal expenses. I doubt that is a judgment that is enforceable by law, at least not in the United States, but it can be used as a method to permanently ban Floyd Landis from cycling if he refuses to pay up.
Sprinter Della Casa does an excellent mulling of due process as it ought to be, in a post titles, "Doping - Standards Apply To Everyone". He probably didn't get the