Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Two Years and 1321 Posts Later....

This marks two years of posting here at TBV.

Our first post tried to separate known facts from misstatements and speculation, which we've been trying to do ever since.

Much has happened, yet many questions remain unanswered. Here's a few of the things that have come up.

  1. Did Landis, in fact, dope with testosterone? USADA got a CAS decision to sanction for it, but some remain unconvinced.
  2. Is presumption-of-doping, multiple burden-flip arbitration a reasonable system for finding the truth? Do we want the truth, or are we willing to settle for a "result"?
  3. Does a quasi-judicial system with a closed pool of participants that rotate from advocates of one side to arbitrators of cases from case to case have inherent conflicts of interest? (Rephrased for "snake" in comments: Is it right to have judges prosecute some cases, and prosecutors judge others? Doesn't that offer opportunities for mutual "back-scratching"?)
  4. Why is sports arbitration so "special" that it needs a small, closed pool to adjudicate?
  5. Is strict-liability for athletes and no-liability for agencies a good system for establishing trust?
  6. Why, really, did USADA fight so hard to keep Landis from getting a copy of a CD-ROM with the actual test data? The fear of tampering suggested in briefs was, and remains specious.
  7. Why did people with no institutional reason to support Landis -- Paul Scott, John Amory, Bruce Goldberger -- burn bridges at personal cost to help defend him?
  8. Is it -- was it -- possible to compete at the highest levels of cycling while clean, using tactics and audacity?
  9. Will Landis be able and want to compete professionally again at a high level?

When you look inside yourself, do you see your heart as black or light?
(Painting: Rene Magritte)


Thomas A. Fine said...

I think instead of "specious" you must mean "absurd". "specious" might have as a synonym "plausible", and that's not something that could describe their reason.


whareagle said...

Like most of the absurd comments regarding this case and others on 'another' website...

wschart said...

Specious: plausible but wrong

bill hue said...

“I have a lot of respect for Howard (Jacobs). He’s a fierce advocate,” ... “His job is just entirely different – using smoke and mirrors to get athletes off, whereas ours is a search for the truth to protect clean athletes.”
Travis T. Tygart

Black Heart

Fake Palindrome

More to come when I can bear it.

Thanks for all you have done, these last two years, Dave.

With much respect,

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


All the hard work that you, strbuk, Bill, Marc, Ali and everyone who has ever contributed their thoughts, comments and observations here at TBV has made an impact. Imagine how much we had to learn, and how little we knew, about the inner workings of the anti-doping system two years ago.

For all the unanswered questions and the things we now can see in the light of day, none of this would have happened without two things:

An athlete like Floyd Landis, who was willing to go "all in" in an effort to prove his innocence, and

A clearinghouse of information where anyone interested in the case could go and find the latest information, along with good, thoughtful discussions of the issues.

Thanks for creating such a place. We would all be the lesser without the great resource that is Trust But Verify.

Larry said...

TBV, I’ve probably said something like this before …

There’s an adage that history is written by the winners. I belong to a people who know a deeper truth, that the ultimate winners are the people who write the histories.

What you’ve created here, with the help of strbuk and many others, is the definitive history of the Landis case. To be sure, it’s not written in the style of Livy or Shirer! There’s no last page to turn to, no central theme, and the ultimate conclusion is yet unwritten (although the questions you’ve posted here should be a good starting place for those looking for answers). Nevertheless, this is the definitive history. If a person wants to understand the Landis case, maybe in 20 years after the dust settles and the doping hysteria is placed in its proper perspective, this is where the person will turn.

I’m no optimist, but I’m convinced that in the long run your point of view will win. I grieve that this victory will come too late for Floyd Landis and others like him.

To you, TBV, and to all those who’ve participated in this journey: thanks.

strbuk said...

Two years, so hard to believe. Thanks Dave, thanks so much...


snake said...

"Does a quasi-judicial system with a closed pool of participants that rotate from advocates of one side to arbitrators of cases from case to case have inherent conflicts of interest?"

Errr ... ah ... teach, could you rephrase that question ?

C-Fiddy said...

Performance Enhancing Audacity.
I love it!
I think it's been Floyd's M.O. since his first day on a bike.
Rock on Floyd, what ever you do.
And a HUGE thank you to the people behind TBV!
You mean a lot to me!

Larry said...

Snake, quasi-judicial system refers to arbitration, where court rules of civil procedure are truncated in various ways designed to "streamline" the legal process, but whose decisions are fully enforceable at law.

The closed pool of participants refers to who is permitted to serve on the arbitration panel. It is closed, in comparison say, to the "peers" who might serve on a jury. It may even be closed in comparison to the people who might be elected or appointed as a judge.

The "rotation" refers to the fact that arbitration panelists evidently are not barred from representing one side or another in an arbitration.

wschart said...

I'd bet that de facto if not de jure, the pool members only will represent the prosecution side in such affairs.

pensum said...

It's been a long journey to this point, thanks for all your efforts. And to commemorate Ricco has come clean and in the process pointed out the reverse critique of testing:
The 24-year-old also warned that testing procedures needed to be looked at.
"During the tour they made a lot of tests, they made 10 tests in about 13 legs, two were positive and in fact in theory all the tests should have been positive therefore the method needs to be checked," he said.
(http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/sports/sports-cycling-doping-ricco.html) I often think is the more worrisome issue, leading one to think more people get away with doping than those who get caught.

snake said...

Wow, thanks all.

I fully understood calling the arbitration process a "quasi-judicial system". It's a sham with the appearance of a courtroom, but "streamlined" by eliminating rights of the accused.

So, to this point, "rotation" is a good thing. At least they can change sides, even if it's unlikely.

The real problem is the two-to-one stack.

dailbob said...

I forget how I first found this site, but I've been reading everyday since. It's still the first place I come in the morning. I think what you've provided is incredibly valuble, because it was the only place (to my eye) where you could come to get a clear picture of the real issues surrounding Floyd's case (no matter what side you were on). The mainstream press would have done better had they come here to get their information. Thanks a ton for all you've done here. I hope I can meet some of the people here face to face one day.


("Eightzero") said...

TBV, Marc, Ali, Judge Hue, Strbk, all: I wish to reiterate my sincere thanks for all you've done here. As with dailbob, I don't recall how I first found you, but not only do I check in each morning, but I frequent the site several times during the day.

While I know that "life calls" and two years invested is significant (has anyone noticed the lack of advertizing here on TBV?) I will very much miss my morning round up and insightful comments from commenters (you know who you are....) I wish that I could contribute to the "next thing" at TBV - this resource is is quite valuable, and something important will be lost if your 2 year post will be the last.

It is my belief that you've exposed something far more important that the injustice done to Floyd and athletes worldwide (as if that isn't enough.) Make no mistake about it - the use of science in courtrooms and dispute resolution forums is under attack. "Truth" is giving way to political agenda, personal manipulation, greed and control of the vulnerable. The use of science to light the path to truth is at stake, and the demons of superstition are rumbling around us.

I stand with Floyd, with TBV, with Judge Hue, with Strbk, with Larry, and all those that oppose these dark heart forces.

Again, *thank you*.

Citisin said...

I've been following your site for since you first put it up. A daily visit for me. The amount of real, useful discussion and knowledge presented here has been nothing short of astounding. Thank you all for your efforts. Please stick around, there isn't another website dedicated to the doping issue in cycling quite like yours.

my regards,


wschart said...

I do recall how I came to find this site: I had been trying to follow the situation and had actually come on the Topix forum. TBV was engaged in quite a discussion with one Will. I particularly remember TBV asking Will what evidence he would accept as showing Landis was innocent. Will ducked the answer by merely insisting Landis was guilty, no need to even hypothetically consider his innocence. I sort of got turned off on the Topix forum, but decided from what I had seen there, TBV seemed to be a very reasonable sort of guy. So I came here and what I found confirmed by original opinion of TBV, later joined by STRBK, Marc, and Judge Hue. I have learned a lot here, been exposed to a number of different opinions, all going beyond just the question of Landis' innocence or guilt. It became a daily visit for me, and when the Malibu hearings started, several times daily, I habit I still continue.

I understand that things on the Landis front seem to be winding down, and I guess too that things here will be winding down. I can understand that. But I hope you all don't shut things down totally. But whatever happens from here, thanks for all you have done.

("Eightzero") said...

Darn it all...Lance is registered for Leadville100, Ricco admits doping before le tour (and points out the testing apparently sucks), Piepoli's tests still pending....

...and I've got no other blog website to go to...


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apoch said...

TBV, is this a "End of the Blog" post or a "State of the Blog" post? Regardless, thank you to all the contributors for their time and effort. It wasn't wasted.

I know more now than I ever could have without it. Thank you all.

Ali said...

Yes, Thanks to all you guys. It's an achievement and a half and you also happen to be decent, honest, intelligent and good (how's about that then, guys and gals !)

I'm over it now but still unhappy with the way the CAS hearing went. For some reason, Floyd's CAS case presentation never really hung together the way I read it (or expected it to). It was a dud squib for me. Sorry.

Still, life goes on and I've been busy in the sportive calander over here. My latest adventure being the Southern Upland Sportive. I'm desperately searching for something which can equal your Diablo challenge (this came close in the final 3 mile (steep, steep) climb, following the previous 102 miles - read the report on the website ...)

All the best, Ali

Cheryl from Maryland said...

Thanks so much for your hard work, all of you (and your families). Most of all, this site allows me to feel I have a voice about a beautiful sport.



Farmer said...

Thank you to all the regular posters. While I have never posted here, the attempt at clarity has been a joy to read.

The site has also helped me continue on in a battle that I can not win, because it reminds me that truth has value even in a world where post-modernists pull the levers of power.

Like Judge Hue, Floyd Landis is my hero. Most often, shinning a light on the inner workings of the bureaucratic machine has no reward, but it is an honorable task.

bostonlondontokyo said...

Like many others here, I fear that this could be a 'last post' on TBV... And, equally, like many others, I have nothing but gratitude for the hard work that everyone has done to keep this site so vibrant and active. I have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy the amazing dialogue that was started here - in many ways, we've watched a particular piece of history unfold in a crystalline context, with all the refracted colors from the light of observation, opinion and analysis. Thanks for continuing to shed that light. - John

Bob Thomas said...

Thanks to all the maintainers and contributors to TrustBut.

I have been checking this blog daily since I ran on to it close to two years ago. The media would have done better had they been required to check it.

Thanks to the courage and commitment of Floyd Landis (and Tyler Hamilton before him) we see the duplicity of the various entities supposedly keeping the flame of fair play in sport alive (WADA, UCI, CAS, etc).

I made contributions to Floyd's defense fund and drove 6 hours to listen to him at a book signing.

How many people remember that he won that the 2006 Tour on a hip that barely let him walk? He made an effort that a tired and confused peloton didn't react to and won the tour within the limits of his recorded wattage.

As Floyd said to the people at the book signing that I attended in Lancaster, PA, "I won it fair and square."

There must be a way to bring things around to something sensible.

It won't be easy. Perhaps the cyclists have to form a true "union" to defend their rights and hold the other parties to their promises.

Ali said...

bob thomas,

Cut it with the "I won it fair and square" quotes. I try not to do tears, but that story drives me down a road which has only a pool of tears at its destination. I have no immediate plans to dive into that pool, although I've spent many hours staring into it.

Bottom line is that we tried to reclaim some justice for Floyd, but failed. Who cares ... better to have tried and failed than to have joined the DPF zombies in their eternal search for doom.