Monday, September 08, 2008

Irregular Report 19

Here and There
Rant posts the eagerly awaited Part 2 of his interview with Valparaiso Sports Law Clinic professor Mike Straubel. Straubel comments on Richard Young in particular and the CAS/USADA/AAA systems of arbitration, in which there are seemingly some instances of "conflict of interest," in general:

Straubel: And that’s been a criticism long made of the CAS system and the USADA/AAA panel system. It needs rules that keep people from crossing over and performing functions that are seemingly contradictory. I’ve actually written a law review article [Rant’s Note: It’s 70 pages long but well worth the time.] that talks about this a little bit because I’ve noticed that a lot of times, particularly in CAS hearings someone will in one situation will appear as an advocate and then a little bit later appear as an arbitrator. And you have to wonder if that doesn’t affect the way in which they decide cases, and the way in which they argue cases.

Straubel then goes on to discuss the dim prospects of any athlete who may be innocent getting a fair shake within the process:

I guess I have to qualify that in a couple of ways. The first one is the notion of strict liability, which is the foundation of the World Anti-Doping Code. [Strict liability] is going to result in a lot of athletes who accidentally, unintentionally ended up with some banned substances in their systems [being sanctioned]. So, in that sense, athletes who have no intent to cheat are going to be found guilty of a doping violation and punished.

As far as an athlete who tests positive and actually didn’t have anything in their system, I think that the incidence of that happening is gradually being reduced. But I think it’s being reduced largely because there are people that are pushing the system and telling why they really have got to make sure you’re doing it right. The biggest danger, and the Landis case kind of points out, is different standards of quality at the labs. There are some labs out there that are just a lot better than others. And the rule that says the As and Bs have to be tested at the same lab, I think needs to be changed. I think they need to have the A sample done at one lab and the B sample done at another.

Tongues are wagging with a rumor Armstrong is plotting a comeback, to shut up the critics, perhaps. The Boulder Report talks about it, and what a hard time he'll have with it--- and cites his perplexity with our comparison of Garmin/Sliptream's data with the Landis data as an example of why posting test data is unlikely to help prove Armstrong's case. And imagine the fun if one of Armstrong's tests should ever be reported "suspicious."

Seem dubious to us, and we'll believe it when we see him line up. This might be as real as his hour record attempt.


Russ said...

News says Lance is coming out of retirement and is planning on racing the 09 TDF! He is going with Astana and will post his internal drug test results online.