Friday, December 26, 2008

The Winnowing: Howard Jacobs

Howard Jacobs,, actively represented Landis through the AAA hearing, and is well known for his defending many doping cases. Not wanting to dwell on specifics, he wanted to highlight some of the unique things about the atmosphere of the case:

[Back to the Introduction]

I think the Pepperdine hearing was a unique experience for those who were interested enough to follow a doping case from start to finish, even if the doping case at issue was atypical of most such cases. The fact that everything was made available - from the laboratory documents themselves, to the briefs and evidence, to the actual examination and cross-examination of witnesses, allowed those who were interested to draw their own informed opinions about the accuracy of the test results, the quality of the laboratory work, the fairness of the rules, and the fairness of the arbitration process itself.


Not surprisingly, different people viewing the same evidence came to markedly different conclusions on each of these subjects. While I have my own opinions, they are based on the same evidence and the same testimony that has resulted in such exhaustive and detailed debate on your blog site and others. What I do hope is that this process revealed that drug testing and the anti-doping process is not as black and white as most people previously believed.

It is doubtful that such a public hearing will ever occur again, as it is doubtful that such unique circumstances will repeat themselves in the future.

The public leak of the "A" results, the online posting of the "B" results the moment they were reported, and the intense media scrutiny around a positive drug test of the Tour de France champion created a situation where a public hearing made sense. Those same factors also created a situation where the media actually cared enough to attend and cover the Pepperdine hearing.

Those factors are not likely to combine again.

In fact, if the rules regarding disclosure of positive test results are followed, no athlete will ever request a public hearing, as the test results and the existence of the hearing would remain confidential until after the arbitration decision is rendered.

Best regards,

Howard Jacobs