Saturday, July 05, 2008

Fallout VI

Why they call it dope, Dept. says Michael Rasmussen jumped in and rode in part of the Danish women's championship today, "in protest" over how he's been treated -- until pulled off by officials. Let's hope this doesn't give Landis any ideas for what his next steps might be.


One reader of says people shouldn't be so quick to condemn Floyd Landis.

The Journal Gazette posts its "weekly scorecard" and incredibly has Floyd Landis in the same category as Robert Mugabe. Wonder how they missed Jack the Ripper? Oh right, this was just this week's scorecard.

Indo-Asian News
says that there will be about 180 tests by AFLD over the tour. If it's a count of riders it's about 8 per stage, which is an improvement over 3; if is is counting blood and urine of one rider as two tests, it may not be.

CyclingNews reports Rabobank as being happy with the judicial decision requiring them to pay Michael Rasmussen 665,000 Euros for inappropriate termination. Also the MPCC confirms that none of its riders have used corticoids in the past 15 days:

According to a MPCC press release, the health booklets of those from AG2R, Agritubel, Bouygues Telecom, Cofidis, Columbia, Crédit Agricole, Française des Jeux, Garmin Chipotle, Gerolsteiner and Rabobank have been verified by an independent doctor as clear in this regard. Another verification of the booklets will be made at the end of the race.

The doctors of the MPCC teams have formally requested WADA and the UCI to continue to require TUEs for corticoid use. They also request that any infiltration of corticoids (injection or oral) should be followed by a 15-day break from competition


Belgian Knee Warmers, in a post we missed on Wednsday, reviews the Danish EPO test study and Schanzer's attempted retort, which he doesn't buy. He has some exclusive quotes from Paul Strauss, head of ACE:
BKW spoke to Paul Strauss of the Agency for Cycling Ethics to get some perspective on the issue. He began by saying, “WADA needs to look at this very seriously.”

The first observation he made was to note that the markers used to distinguish EPO depend on its production. He says the test WADA uses is optimized to find Amgen-produced EPO, while EPO produced in Mexico or China, and recombinant EPO can all escape detection if lab technicians only look for Amgen EPO.

He concludes:
It may be a foregone conclusion that catching athletes using performance enhancing drugs will remain an imperfect science. The question that remains: What we are willing to accept as the margin of error—the innocent or the guilty? What is the greater injustice: To allow some cheaters to escape detection and gain wins that shouldn’t rightfully be theirs, or to wrongly convict the occasional athlete who didn’t break the rules?

If we look to legal systems for parallel, this is where the United States and some European countries differ significantly. The American view of justice is that no innocent person should be convicted (in theory, if not in actual practice), while many countries, such as France with its Napoleonic Code, would rather scoop up a few innocents along with all the guilty. This characterization paints with a broad brush, but it seems a helpful way to frame what ought to be a conversation for how drug testing should be considered.

Even if Landis had succeeded in his defense, the result would hardly have been as damning as this study which was funded in part by the Danish anti-doping agency. The message is simple: Use recombinant EPO and finish your boost phase before the Tour starts; we won’t catch you.

Bottle of Pills cites the Weltwoche article as suggesting Landis may not have completely lost the battle for public opinion.

A comment to Bruce Hildebrand's post on the award puts the blame on ... Landis' lawyers, for an unusual reason:
I am a physician and I have prescribed testosterone to a variety of men for a variety of health problems. None of these men ever reported any improvement the next day. It takes weeks of weekly injections to improve stamina. It is ridiculous to think that one shot would be the reason for his win the stage after bonking the previous day. I find it incredible that this could not be proven in court. What was wrong with Floyd's lawyers? I have very little doubt that this is a complete frame up by the Tour de France officials

Uh, okay. Except that wasn't really a key issue in the case.


Unknown said...

It's ironic that Vaughters, Garmin Chipotle, would endorse a 15 day break, in light of his famous bee sting incident.

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

That bee sting incident is this perfect illustration of the lack of common sense where anti-doping measures are concern. There should have been a way for him to be treated and issued a TUE for the treatment.

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

I meant "is the perfect illustration"... oops! my bad ;-)

bobble said...

Having been on a small pharmacies' worth of medicines throughout my life including an occasional corticosteroid, can someone explain a medicine like Prednisone is performance enahncing?

Jeff said...

When did VS. become the "We Shill for Greg LeMond" network?

Unknown said...

I'm disgusted by Versus new advertisment. I cringe every time I see it.

DBrower said...


I'm guessing about the time they re-upped with the ASO for $5 million for continued rights, and effectively signed onto the ASO agenda.

"Follow the money"


Larry said...

Versus? You guys talk like there's a cycling event going on. I checked the UCI calendar, you all are mistaken.

Eightzero said...

I would have missed it, except Floyd told us to go watch it. While cycling itself is scary enough to watch, *thin* incarnation is like watching the slo-motion train wreck....

BTW, while picking through some things in the archive, I did find that USADA claimed Floyd not only "used" on S-17, but claims "...appellant was using exogenous testosterone at numerous times during the tour." (Response brief p. 89) That's a bold accusation.

Larry said...

I'm roughly one day into my personal boycott of the Tour de France. I have to say, I'm having a great impact! Based on informal surveys and nationally available statistics, there are relatively few people watching the Tour on Versus (compared to, say, American Idol or American Gladiators).

ASO has reason to fear my wrath. Pretty soon, you'll have to dig deep into the "Olympic Sports" menu at ESPN just to FIND a mention of cycling.

I figure that another day or two of my boycott, and I'll have brought the ADA system to its knees.

wschart said...


Well, when they tested the other B samples, they did "find" there were 4 stages that were positive. I personally don't place much faith on those results, given that the 7 Landis samples were packaged in a different manner than the 3 dummy samples, and also given the various games LNDD played with Landis' observer.

K said...

Beebele--just anectodally for myself, yes prednisone is performance enhancing. Steroids in general help repair the body quicker than normal and also reduce inflamation in the body. I've taken it on and off for years and I always cycle and run faster, longer and better when ON prednisone.