Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What I'd want

Complaining about the agenda doesn't do anything to counter the facts of the test results, which must be disproven by other evidentiary facts. Finding those facts must be the primary focus.

I believe that complaining about process failures and external agendas is unlikely to affect the outcome of the case that will go through the USADA and the CAS, unless there is proof of tampering, invalid lab procedure, or an incomplete chain of custody.

There isn't a jury, so playing a dirty cop card won't help. Consider some outcomes to the discipine case.

  1. He's found guilty on facts. Complaints about process will make no difference in the outcome. They will make him come off like a criminal who is complaining about the legality of the search. Public opinion will find him guilty. At this point, he can (a) continue to loudly maintain his innocence; (b) really blow the lid and confess everything he'd denied to that point; (c) take his suspension and say nothing more about it. None of these is appealing. Few will believe the protestations of innocence, blowing would be completely out of character, and going omerto will only feed the worst suspicions. It might allow him to ride in a peloton and not end up in the weeds, though.
  2. He comes up with facts to counter the tests, and is found not guilty. This is good. If it is surrounded by complaints about process and persecution, then the victory will be confused with other issues. By deferring complaints about persecution until after a finding of innocence, the victory is clear and attacks on the process can be made without the implication that is is an attempt to hide a guilty conscience.
  3. A procedural flaw is found in the testing that leads to an inability to assess guilt. Floyd is "free on a technicality", but the public believes he did it anyway. For analogy, see the muddy sentiment aroundHamilton's Olympic medal. This is a hollow victory, and to have confused it with the persecution charges won't help the public image.
I'm saying the only good time to loudly complain about Dick's Pounding is after you've been found completely clear on factual grounds. Otherwise you come off like a whimpering cheat.

Floyd's reassesment yesterday was correct. It was a mistake for to be floating possibilities that came off as "Floyd's excuse of the day". Similarly, visibly complaining about the process failures is the same thing -- it comes off as a smokescreen for guilty action.

What you'd want to do about the process failing is maintain an accurate and open timeline of what happened when, with the documents available, without talking about it. When asked, you say, "I'm not talking about that", and stay on point about the facts.

You document (not talk about) on Weds I received this fax at this time, and so and so made this statement at that time; on Monday I sent this fax to this office at this time, with transmission receipt; at this time, that office said they hadn't gotten it. At this date, I was delivered this documentation of the quantitative test results of the A sample. On this data I received the following fax with non-quantitive results of the B sample. On this date I sent this fax requesting the quantitative results of all other samples. On this date I got these quantitative results of the B sample. On this date I received the following commication claiming the dog ate the quantitative results of all other samples. Expose the paper trail without making it the focal point of public statements. It is "establishing a record for appeal", in this case, for the court of public opinion after a win on factual grounds.

Assuming he is as innocent, there is no benefit to his hiding anything. Floyd should give an explicit authorization for the release of all test results, and show the letter being faxed to the appropriate bodies. There can't be anything in any of these records that is more damning than what is already floating around. Be open and direct about the facts.

What I'd like to hear Floyd say is,
"I didn't knowingly take any banned substance over any period. We are still trying to understand these test results you have before you, and compare them to other results I'll also make available as I get them. When we understand, I'll tell you what I think happened, but I'm going to stop guessing out loud. I'll share with you everything we present during the process, and anything the UCI, USADA and the lab allow us to give to you. If they don't want us to show something, we'll tell you what it is and let them explain why they want it hidden. If we do tests to figure out what might have happened, we'll make the results available even if they don't directly help my case.

I don't want to play tactics or be evasive. Everybody needs to know that I don't mess around and play games, and I didn't cheat. I trained legally and hard, and deserved to win.

There is some doping in cycling. I just said it. I'm against it - I win and train clean. I don't respect guys who are dirty, and I like to beat them.

For some people, punishing guys who might have done something wrong is more important than establishing the truth. It's not fun to be on the pointy end of that stick. I respect the goal of having a clean sport, and I'm going to work within the system as best I can to proove my innocence. When it's all over, everyone will be able to see whether the process was fair or not. That won't be up to me to decide.

No matter what happens, I want to come back and win this race again to show people I'm not a fluke or a steroid pumped cheater. I hope it's next year. When I do come back, I want to be tested up the wazoo and show everybody that I'm not on anything illegal. I 've complained before about out of competition tests at home. I don't care now. Every week, every day. I've got a lot to proove to the skeptics, and if that's what it takes, that's what I'll do.

You know I don't just quit. "

And I'd try to lose the "as I said before" and "at this point in time" verbal tics.

If's he's suspended anyway, he has a year to recover from the hip, and three to train seriously for the comeback. That ought to make him one hungry bad ass mofo.