Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wednesday Roundup

FFF Tour of Innocence touches Chicago on March 10, also flogged by Rant. There are some changes in the format -- it's in the afternoon, at a theatre with about 200 or 250 seats, there may or may not be alcohol, and the slide show isn't in the program.

CBS4Denver posts video with Phil Liggett , the voice of the Tour de France, who believes Floyd Landis is innocent and will win his appeal:

"I ran into Floyd and we had a very quiet one-on-one around the dinner table," said Phil Liggett, a sports journalist who covers the Tour de France for Versus (formerly OLN) and CBS Sports. "He's so angry. During the week he announced his defense policies. There have been mistakes made on the testing and I believe he will win his appeal."

Also covered at TdFBlog.

VeloNews letters support Landis, and get some sympathy from the Editors:

[W]e have to agree that there is a reasonable possibility that the hearing panel may conclude that the handling errors may meet the standards established by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the Landaluze case. As the Court said, that isn't a "technicality," it's about repect for the process. Let's see how it plays out. The hearing is scheduled for May 14.- Editor

PelotonJim references "required reading" in the difference between belief and knowledge by theoretical particle physicist Helen Quinn . Everyone interested in the Landis case, no matter what side of the fence you are on, should take time to read this.

Uncle Glen posts many pictures from Sunday's FFF presentation in San Pedro.

A Billion Bikes is dedicated to exposing cycling lifestyles from all around the world. This is episode # 1 from Copenhagen, Denmark and is introduced by a familiar face.

Team Fubar thinks the public is hypocritical about PEDs. The official position is against 'em, but we want the dingers.

Wish You Were Here writes of vacations, going to the final stage of the ToC, and spotting the "infamous" Floyd Landis with his posse in Long Beach.

At DPF, in the continuing discussion of IRMS measurement error triggered by our post about uncertainty, "jr" writes cogently:

[T]o make one of those arguments that lawyers love to snatch at, testosterone is a threshold substance as it is a naturally occurring substance so its concentration must exceed a threshold (above normally occurring human values) to trigger an investigation. The investigation branches per the prohibited list and the technical documents and the reporting guideline, one of those branches is to an IRMS test. If the IRMS test concludes with a finding that the testosterone is exogenous, then the concentration of the testosterone becomes irrelevant to the finding of the AAF. The IRMS test is not subject to any threshold.

And just in this explanation lies a part of WADA's rulemaking problems, to figure this out, you end up in a minimum of four documents, the SIL, the TD, the reporting guideline and the Prohibited List, all of which address some or all of the same points, but with subtle differences in the language. The reporting guideline is not mandatory but the TD is, and there are contradictions between these documents that I pointed out at length in a post long, long ago. The SIL and the prohibited list have subtle differences. The power of an NADA or CAS to reconcile rules, etc. is limited. They can't declare a rule invalid. They can't pick and choose to excise a portion of one rule to make another rule make sense. They are forced to ignore the problem, or as they did in one case I read, mention its wrong but they are forced to do what they believe is the wrong thing because they don't have a choice. Drafting rules isn't easy, cobbling together too many sources can become a disaster, expecially as different groups choose their language over some other rule drafted by committee, and they leave us with questions about does "x" mean the same as "y". The rules need a good old fashioned house cleaning so they may be reconciled.

Thought for the Day

"I wish I had a kryptonite cross, because then you could keep both Dracula AND Superman away." -jh-

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Uncertainty -- what about that 0.8 delta unit?

In all editions of the slide show, Arnie Baker has made a point to mention the 0.8 delta unit claimed accuracy of the CIR test, and removed it from the -3.57 value to get a value smaller than the 3.0 "positive" level. This has been met with skepticism here at TBV and elsewhere. The main argument against this is that the accuracy had to have been factored into the 3.0 cutoff level.

In a recent slideshow, Baker attempts to justify this, with a reference to The role of measurement uncertainty in doping analysis", which we've come across for the first time now. The abstract seems clearly on point:

The determination of measurement uncertainty is a critical issue in all fields of experimental science; its importance becomes maximal in the specific case of forensic analytical chemistry (including doping analysis), where uncertainty has not only to be calculated with precision, but it also has to be both small and reliable enough to support effective decision making. This contribution gives a general view of the organisation of the activity of the network of the anti-doping laboratories accredited by the World AntiDoping Agency (WADA), focusing in particular on the current situation related to the determination of measurement uncertainty in doping analysis. Representative examples referring to the procedures followed in the case of threshold substances are also presented and discussed.

In particular, on page 378, it says the following, which we'll call The Paragraph.

In practice, to report an adverse analytical finding, it is necessary to identify a prohibited substance, and, in the case of substances with a reporting threshold, to measure a value exceeding the threshold; in the latter case, it is mandatory to express the measurement uncertainty. It is not unusual for a result apparently exceeding the threshold, if taken as a single value or even as a mean value to not be correctly reported as `above the threshold' if the measurement uncertainty is not taken into account. In Figure 2 it is evident that only case `E' shows a value that is above the threshold also taking into account the measurement uncertainty.

On the surface, this supports Baker's approach, so were left with some questions:
  1. It this paper in any way authoritative?
  2. Is the CIR a "threshold" test to which the approach applies?


The paper is not an official WADA publication, so it's difficult to claim it is a controlling document that must be obeyed by the arbitrators. However, it is by Spiroto and Botre, the Quality Manager and Scientific Director of the the Rome laboratory. The Paragraph says, "In practice, to report...", so we are in the realm of interpretation, not hard rule.

At the same time, the conclusion of the paper asserts that the goal of the labs and WADA is to,
ensure that all methods followed by the laboratories are `fit to purpose', the latter being to provide `clear and convincing' evidence of any detectable doping offence based on an adverse analytical finding.

which would argue that failure to consider the uncertainty may fail the 'clear and convincing' part of the goal.

It appears to us the authority of this argument rests on ethical and moral grounds, not on a de-jure reading of the rules. This can be seen as a failing in the rules.

Applicability to the CIR

Should we conclude that the uncertainty bars need to be taken into account for substances with threshold amounts, we then need to determine whether the CIR is a threshold test or not. This is not clear cut either. The description in WADA TD2004EAAS, in the same paragraph with the dreaded "metabolite(s)", does not use the word "threshold":

The results will be reported as consistent with the administration of a steroid when the 13C/12C value measured for the metabolite(s) differs significantly i.e. by 3 delta units or more from that of the urinary reference steroid chosen. In some Samples, the measure of the 13C/12C value of the urinary reference steroid(s) may not be possible due to their low concentration. The results of such analyses will be reported as “inconclusive” unless the ratio measured for the metabolite(s) is below -28‰ based on non-derivatised steroid.

But, we also notice for the first time that the "3 delta units" is not offered as a hard value either -- it is used an an example ("i.e.") of what ought to be the controlling restriction, "differs significantly".

If one takes 3.0 as a fixed value, then it looks like a threshold value, and it's a fair argument to make that the uncertainty should be taken into account.

If one does not take 3.0 as a fixed value, and latches on to the "differs significantly" wording, then there is clearly discretion allowed in the rule, and one can equally argue the uncertainty should be taken into account. In fact, the rule as written encourages this view, because it doesn't say three-point-oh, it says "3 delta units", indicating (to us) an intentional vagueness of the precision.

Because of the vagueness of the rule as written, there is clearly opportunity for variance in lab reporting of the same measured values. This is inconsistent with the WADA goal of harmonization, but it's not clear that needs to be considered by the arbitration.

All in all, it's a nice mess were left with, Ollie.

Attempts to "simplify" the issues all seem to come back to the same Rorshach -- do you think they are all dopers, so you convict shades of gray, or do you think grey means "probably not black?"

Our opinion, after looking at the paper and reading the rule again is changed. We're inclined to accept the argument that the 3.57 metabolite should not be considered a positive.

That leaves us with the previously unresolved problem of whether the single metabolite at 6 delta units is sufficient to declare a positive. And we're not going there now.

update: Further discussion of this topic continues at DPF.

update 2: An emailer sends the following on 6-Mar-2007:
Readers interested in learning more about the importance of measurement uncertainty may want to visit the following National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) webpage:
NIST Technical Note 1297 is available for free via:
If some enterprising readers wish to look at the Uncertainty paper and think about how it applies to the Landis case, we'd be obliged. I have a suspicion the LNDD quoted uncertainties are not in conformance with the NIST recommendations, but I don't understand the implications.


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Tuesday Roundup

Cyclingnews produces part two of the saga of Oscar Pereiro's long wait with little Landis content other than the following quote:

"It is different... I have become very well known. I cannot walk down the street without being recognised," he said. "Every two or three days there is more news about the Tour. For example, today Landis speaks, blah blah blah. There is too much stress."

CityBikesMike passes on a letter written by Chris Fortune of Saris Cycling Group who is a friend of Mikes. This marks an escalation in the public support from Saris, a sponsor who did not disconnect from Landis when The Trouble started. Saris also ran the January training camp for Landis.

Dear fellow industry members:

I am writing this letter today on behalf of Floyd Landis, both in support and in defense of his character. Saris Cycling Group and I have supported and will continue to support Mr. Landis. Floyd has always been a man with integrity, one who has followed through with every commitment he has made to us. The damage done to his previously flawless reputation alone is cause for us to come together, and call attention to the injustices that have been brought against him. Over the course of the past eight months, Floyd has been fighting an uphill battle against WADA, USADA, the UCI and the people who have brought the lawsuits against him. In the United States, the law states that one is innocent until proven guilty. Floyd has been held guilty until proven innocent during this entire ordeal.

Not only do I believe Floyd's word, but also his use of our PowerTap during the Tour gives cold hard data to show that his performance was not out of the ordinary. All of his data from Stage 17 indicates that his performance fell within his normal training zones. Details can be viewed at our website:,guid,c6e3591a-1445-404b-a16d-bd1962ec8c2c.aspx

Many of his friends and supporters have abandoned him since the Tour, leaving him with staggering legal fees. A fund has been set up in his name, The Floyd Fairness Fund,, with all proceeds going to help Floyd pay these fees. I am asking you to help out, not for the Floyd whose reputation has been tarnished, but for the Floyd who is dear to us. I have personally known Floyd to be a man with integrity, pride, and an obvious love and dedication to the sport.

Included are some links from the Los Angeles Times and Fox Please read these. They offer a bit more of an unbiased viewpoint.,0,6092667.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Please forward this on to anyone you know that you think would be interested in helping Floyd.

Thank you all for your time and consideration.


Chris Fortune
Saris Cycling Group, Inc.
ph) 608 274-6550, ext. 124
fax) 608 274-1702

Crash Fistfight finally catches up on his vacation blogging. Part of which involves a stage of the ToC with a "Landis sighting" near the finish line.

gnat23 talks about the final stage of the ToC , going to the FFF presentation in San Pedro, the Landis army of men in suits, and "job offers" with fringe benefits from the Landis team. She is charmingly delusional.

Speaking of delusions, limegreeny was positively "swoony" over FL during a stage of the ToC. And the comments support it.

Peterson-Weaver-Wilson-Curtin-Remington (et al) Family Blog went to Long Beach FFF and has some pix.

Barkdust only almost saw Landis at the ToC, but he's a TBV reader so we'll link anyway.

Phantom Reflections is bummed about Ullrich, but glad Landis is fighting. We think age and bank balances have a lot to do with both decisions.

Go Faster Jim says much the same, only he's also worried about the fairness of the hearing process.

PJ at Endless Cycle amplifies Rant's comments about the possible effects of rushing the B sample test. In a comment, Ed adds an afterthought,
"am I the only one who wants to see more of Floyd’s smoking hot wife?"

Amber, consider this a make up for limegreeny above.

TBV (that's us!) talks about uncertainty in the CIR, and the discussion is picked up at DPF.

Chris Writes
about following the ToC, and intends to follow up on Landis and Mr. Pound. He'a a believer.

Rant talks about being an early adopter, and LNDD's IsoPrime. We're still not sure if there's smoke or only fire there with old software versions.

At Topix, Pommi provides proof the AFLD and USADA LDPs differ, by way of a picture of the slide we'd seen at the SF FFF event.

In this, we see that the USADA version has incorrect sample numbers, and the AFLD version has the numbers "corrected" with writing that is not struckthrough, dated and signed, yet each document was presented to the agency as the one true original. (click the image for full size).

Thought for the Day

"If you're in a boxing match, try not to let the other guy's glove touch your lips, because you don't know where that glove has been." -jh-

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Monday, February 26, 2007

More Spectrometer info

Following up our earlier poke around, sources tell us the following:

  • LNDD is using a GV Isoprime
  • To their credit, it is one of the very first.
  • So early, in fact, it came with Isochrom firmware and documentation.
  • That has never been updated to Isoprime software.
  • There are alleged to be problems with the Isochrom firmware used in an Isoprime, but the details and impact are as yet unknown.

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Monday Roundup

The Times Online publishes an extensive piece in which Landis sounds optimistic in his fight to regain his reputation. He also comments on the formation of the FFF and why it's bigger than just one person's struggle:

What is the purpose of the Floyd Fairness Fund campaign and how would you answer those who say it is wrong for you to seek funding from the public?

“All I ask is for fairness. And, as indicated in the name of our campaign, we want to see the system change so that people in the future can get a fair hearing.

“People think that because I was a pro and won the Tour that I have a bottomless bank account. That’s not the case. I’ve done well, but I am going through my personal savings to fund my fight and it’s just not enough. I have a family to support and the rest of my life to consider.

“I don’t ask for help comfortably because it’s not in my nature. I’d rather be able to do this on my own. But I don’t think it’s wrong to seek public funding because this is bigger than me.

“For better or worse, my case is high-profile enough that the outcome will have an impact on how these hearings are conducted in the future. Athletes have rights. The system has taken those rights from us. The campaign is a platform for us to make sure that things get better for me and for everyone else subject to the system.”

It reads like an email interview, and Landis hits most of his points. He even gets to deny the blood doping rumor.

PezCyclingNews Eurotrash Monday also discusses last week's developments in the Landis case, but does so with a sympathetic tone:

Floyd's case seems to get stronger and stronger as time wears on. This will be a very interesting decision from USADA whenever the actual proceedings take place.

The Californian/North County Times gives a cursory report on last night's FFF fund raiser in San Pedro where about 50 people who were largely supporters attended. It seemed to have followed the usual FFF script with an occasional one-liner such as the one below from Landis:

When he was asked about the institutions lined up against him, he said, "These people should definitely be in an institution."
It drew a loud laugh from the audience. Landis, though, would likely be the first to say, this is no laughing matter

Bloomberg Germany breaks the news that 1997 Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich is retiring amidst his doping allegations. Minimal Landis content, still this juxtaposed against the Landis fight makes for an interesting contrast.

CyclingNews has part 1 of an interview with Oscar Peirero, where he straddles the fence, and can't be egged into condemning Landis. It starts out by observing that even with 2nd, he had a great tour.

The Press Telegram
notes that as the ToC was wrapping up yesterday, things were busy at the Family Lifestyle Festival near the finish in Long Beach. The longest lines at any of the booths for autographs could be found at Smith and Nephew where Floyd Landis was signing autographs and chatting with fans.

KPBS has an audio report from the ToC about Landis' "Tour" of innocence, with a transcript:

Landis makes it clear he has no intention of giving up that title -- or losing his case.

What's your plan if you end up suspended for two years?
Landis: I'm not going to.

His public hearing is scheduled to begin on May 14th.

USA Today Sports Scope
opines we'll be talking about Floyd Landis until the end of time. Please, God, no!

Rant applies a typical work situation to the Landis case that produces a less than typical result on many levels -- a "worst case scenario," actually.

P3 wonders what in the world it is about urine samples that get some so excited?

The New Common Sense may be foolish, but they believe Landis, of all the cyclists accused of doping, is the most likely to be innocent, a rather dubious compliment at that.

Finger Food, on Saturday, suggests taking the de France out of the tour, and says Landis is on his Vindication Tour ‘07. We also get a plug.

Leslie Wong writes of Ullrich's retirement and adds this, which we hadn't considered, but makes sense, speaking to the jeopardy Landis has spoken of:

I’m sure the sloppy sample collection and the inconsistent scientific testing procedures done in the name of “fairness” by the World Anti-Doping Agency and their regional organizations in professional cycling have had an affect on Ullrich’s decision.

Triple Crankset in his SoCal wrap up gives out the "Granny" awards this year in honor of last night's Oscars. And Floyd Landis is one of the lucky winners:

About Time - "Martin Scorsese Award"
Well I was going to give this one to any of the various sprinters who won in the TOC, Bettini, Haedo, Brown, or Ivan Dominguez. But this one goes out to last year's winner, Floyd Landis because it seems that the cycling community/fan base may finally get some resolution before the next Tour de France (wishful thinking; don't hold your breath!) His Wiki Defense on the Floyd Fairness Fund website has certainly caused a stir (more like raised the ire of) with USADA, WADA, and the other powers that be as the court of public opinion seems to be painting a picture of incompetence of the testers.

A Cycling Life believes Floyd Landis when he says he didn't use PEDs, but is still afraid that getting off on a technicality is something Floyd should be concerned about.

MarniJ's report on the ToC includes SWAT team/gang related narrow escapes, and being stuck in a slow elevator with Floyd Landis. She doesn't say which was worse, (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) but he did tell her she did a fine job for the ToC.

Shut this guy up doesn't get where the "unfairness" is. He looks at the AAF statistics that bother us, and conclude that the vast majority are cleared, and that's fair. He thinks it's about 25 of 500 that get prosecuted, only 5%, what's unfair about that. We think he doesn't have his statistics straight, because USADA doesn't publish straight statistics. He also doesn't realize how much legal time is involved with multiple cases, and so doesn't get the size of the legal bill.

Discussion continues today at the DPF Floyd Landis Case forum topic "Discrepancy between Screen and Confirmation T/E, Can we find a reason for the discrepancy?"

At Topix, hard to believe, I know, there is actually some useful discussion going on about the single metabolite standard. After a long series we get this:

If endogenous carbon isotope ratios represent diet and a doping agent such as stigmasterol has a known delta C13 range -25 0/00 to -320/00 and doping agent is metabolized over time, and then measured from urine the great disparity in metabolite scores are impossible unless two things are present.(1) Landis has pathology, such as a missing enzyme, or (2) The CIR is bogus, probably from mal-adjusted jets, outdated software, etc. These are the only possibilities! Since Landis has no known pathologies, the bad CIR is due to faulty equipment and idiots who work at LNDD, or possible sabotage. One positive metabolite is impossible!

At, the following anecdote appears:
I worked at one time for Altex Scientific and I worked on the designs of the first production variable wavelength LC detector, a very high resolution fixed wavelength detector, at least one LC pump (maybe more, I forget) and the first system controller. We also manufactured the best LC columns on the market.

To do this we had a very high quality lab in which testing of the columns and design of tests were done. A customer would approach us and ask us how to do a particular detection process and we would design the test using OUR equipment and columns and then write very careful procedures which would outline the test and precisely how it should be carried out.

We had no problems at all with anyone anywhere in the world except France. Try as we might, we just could not get French scientists to follow the procedures. In one case it was a world famous laboratory run by a Frenchman who had a Nobel Prize. And STILL we couldn't get him to follow the procedures for the tests they requested.

Another post offers:
Well, I asked the house specialist in mass spectroscopy. Her feeling was that the stuff Baker came up with shouldn't matter. If there were "major leaks near the inlet capillaries" introducing contaminants, the most likely contaminants would be oxygen and nitrogen, ie air. And it would be extremely unusual to see testosterone or epitestosterone introduced as contaminants in this way. IOW, you might see stuff that was not in the original sample show up, but you wouldn't see stuff in the original sample show up as something else. If Landis' sample was contaminated with T or E, it seems reasonable to ask where the fuck it could have come from.

She did say that it would be very unusual to not have the documentation with the instrument. And this doesn't speak to having the same
technicians analyze the A and B samples.

Krusty adds:
I've worked in the drug testing industry, utilizing immunoassay devices such as TDX, then on to GC, HPLC, GCMS, and LCMS, and I can tell you that the errors committed by this lab were enough to invalidate any result. Never mind the fact that the chain of custody on the samples seems to be so corrupted, that no definitive conclusion can be made as to the accuracy of these samples.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

TBV Golden Oldies - Ties that Unwind

With the current UCI/ASO sanctioning fiasco going on before the running of Paris-Nice, a number of recent commentators have been bringing up various auto racing comparisons.

TBV talked about this before most of the current audience arrived, so we draw your attention back to last fall, and the Ties that Unwind.


[From October 22, 2006]

In yesterday's roundup, Landis said he wanted to take down the UCI. The obvious question that follows is what to replace it with. To TBV, the nearest comparisons are to racing with motors. The parallels between auto racing, and the perils and rewards are illuminating. Here are some things to start thinking about.

  • The USAC/CART split for Indy car racing in 1979. The teams, fed up with the incompetence of the sanctioning body, formed their own series. USAC lost the series, but kept the Indy 500, the major event. An uneasy truce let CART teams run and win in the 500, but frustration stewed for years.
  • The subsequent CART/IRL split as the premier event set up its own sanctioning body and series. Attempts by CART to compete head on failed, and CART eventually went bust, kept alive by buyouts.
  • The de-jure world championship of the FIA, Formula-1, has been nurtured to the exclusion of other forms of FIA competition, notably Sports Cars (LeMans) and Rallying. When push comes to shove, all decisions by the FIA have been to strenghten F1 at any cost to other series. The series stuggles to keep full fields and their are constant complaints about the cost structure. Organizers get rich, a few teams do well. Others teamscome and go on the whim of sponsorship money that is difficult to come by without results that require huge budgets.
  • In the meantime, a closely run parochial series gains massive popular acceptance with competitive racing, full fields and cost-effective technology. Teams, drivers and the series on a gravy train: NASCAR.
  • And if you want to get wonky, the World of Outlaws split off from USAC dirt track racing as well, because USAC wouldn't allow wings (among other things).
It's easy enough to paint the UCI as the FIA or USAC in the analogy, and the grand tours as events like the Indy 500 or LeMans. Consider mountain biking to be sports cars or rallying -- loved by some, but co-opted by the sanctioning body and marginalized to commercial oblivion.
And you might look at USCF and USACycling as the old USAC.

Looking at the USAC/CART split of '79, there are two important points. One, USAC was toothless, and could do nothing to prevent CART from starting and continuing to run. Two, the breakaway wasn't joined by the big event, and this caused problems later.

This is different than the UCI, which through national federations can discipline riders for participating in things they don't like. The threats made to riders for racing in unsanctioned races against Tyler Hamilton when he was on suspension are a recent example. This is similar to the de-jure power the FIA holds in auto racing. In Europe in particular, the FIA has been very heavy handed and has referred to things as "illegal races" when not under their sanctioning authority. The FIA has been trying to crush LeMans for decades - which sounds a lot like the struggle between the UCI and the Tour. The French parties are similar sounding, but not the same -- the ASO is not related to the ACO that runs LeMans.

Pressure doesn't matter when the drivers and the teams of the independant series don't care to participate in races under the old sanctioning umbrella. It does matter when the breakaway series isn't big enough to keep the teams and drivers fully occupied and they want to do something else, but can't because of pressure from the other body.

What of NASCAR? Drivers and teams that land there stay. It is popular, lucrative, offers good competition, and is "fair enough". There is cheating, but it is managed in a way that is perceived to be effective. To some degree, there is a culture of tolerance of rogues, up to a point, and then a hammer comes down.

If the FIA tried to impose some rule, NASCAR would ignore it. Attempts by the FIA to lean on tracks that run NASCAR events would be met with laughter by the ownership. NASCAR makes everybody money. Running FIA events makes somebody money, but it isn't the promoters or the teams.

The history of Sprint Cars offers some cautionary reading. From time to time the World of Outlaws looked poised for success, but fall back because of politics with the remaining USAC series, and the vaguaries of media ownership changes and interest.

Some Key Lessons of History
  1. A breakaway needs a viable schedule so it doesn't need to be concerned with sanctions and pressure from the entrenched or de-jure organizations.
  2. A breakaway needs good relations with the key events to survive in the long term.
  3. A breakaway needs to happen at a moment when there is weak leadership of the incumbent organization.
  4. A breakaway needs strong leadership to speak with one voice. This involves teams giving up some of their autonomy.
  5. The breakaway gives up some claims of legitimacy, and needs to work as a commercial entity on its own merits. In cycling, that means bailing on the Olympics.
  6. You can't count on media support without the key events, and even then, it's fickle.
What Else?

The main alternative to doing a breakaway organization is to have a coup that replaces the leadership of the original body. I can't think of a good example of where that has happened.

This post scratches the surface of what might happen with a restructuring of cycling as a sport with regard to the UCI. I'm sure readers will have different opinions and additional thought.

Let's hear what you've got to say!



An article with perspective, includes the Dan Gurney whitepaper that led to the formation of CART.

Wikipedia on Champ Car, particularly the history section.

Timeline of CART/USAC/IRL. Note the plane crash in '78 that left USAC leadership-challenged in a key period, with link to raw version of Gurney whitepaper.

Another piece
, from AutoMedia.

Motorsport magazine opinion piece on CART/IRL.

Atlas F1 Rear View Mirror has a broader perspective.

Bending rules ain't exactly cheating in NASCAR, exactly, but it's not like the old days either.

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Mass Spectrometer Info

This is incomplete research, but it's better than nothing. Perhaps others can use this for hints.

In the Sunday and Wednesday FFF road shows, there were references to the spectrometer apparently being run out of specification, and with old software/firmware that may present accuracy problems.

The two slides that give hints to this are this about the software:

And this about pressures:

I don't see anything clearly matching the Ion XP software, but MassLynx seems to come from; Waters Corp divested Micromass in 2003 to GV instruments, who appears to be the current vendor of the IsoChrom and IsoPrime devices. The IsoPrime instrument is described here.

There is news at the site about the instruments being used in doping control:

Latest News...

Stable Isotopes in Sports Doping (Feb 06)
Following on from GV's success in supplying IsoPrimes to Athens for the 2004 Olympics, we have received a series of orders from around the world (France, Spain, India and Korea) for instruments to be used in the identification of banned substances in sports. We think this is a reflection of the acceptance of this technique by the IOC for Olympic events. It is very likely the technique will be accepted by other sporting bodies and it will be a common feature in international and national sports events around the world.

Manuals and support information appear to require a login.

There is also an Optima family of spectrometers, apparently from Perkin-Elmer, which has a software version page that doesn't go back to 1.67-X

If I read the history right, the Optima was designed by some of the people who went on to GV through a tortured path. It is possible that LNDD has an old Optima device that has not had it's firmware updated, and some newer IsoPrime units.

Corrections and additions are welcome

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Sunday Roundup

Today's VS coverage of the Tour of California interviewed Landis before the start, and he was wearing what looked to be a third suit. He may never break this record for days in a row wearing a tie.

VS also ran a feature about the Slipstream/ACE antidoping program. The Slipstream piece was introduced by Ligget with an opinion that Cycling's doping problem is overstated, which would make him one of the sheep in denial by Kimmage's measure.

KNTV NBC11 has posted an extended 4.5 minutes interview with Landis from sometime during this past week's "tour of innocence". Though the reporter is not seen nor identified, the questions posed are good ones and the answers given do give some additional illumination to topics covered in other interviews that occurred during this past week.

Sportingo summarizes the slow disintegration of WADA's case against Floyd Landis.

The Signal News from Santa Clarita Valley prints commentary from Cary Osborne who thinks that perhaps the bad press received by Landis was good press for the ToC.

The San Luis Obispo Tribune thinks that cycling is continuing to grow in popularity, despite Floyd Landis.

The Long Beach Press Telegram's Doug Krikorian prints perhaps the snarkiest opinion piece ever written on cycling. There is little Landis content, but what's there is snarkworthy as well.

The Lompoc Record
prints a photo of Landis with a fan and a small blurb from Saturday's stage of the ToC. I wonder if Roger Ramjet was anywhere nearby?

CyclingNews quotes Tygart criticising the "wiki defense" because the rules forbid the ADA side from saying anything in response, which he hopes will change with changes to the WADA code.

At tdwsport, there are some pictures of Landis, Andy Rihs, Davis Phinney, and Alexadre Moos at a fundraiser for the Phinney Foundation on Tuesday night. Go to Image Desk-> Free Access-> 20071861 21/02/2007 Cycling Floyd Landis foundraising.

PelotonJim tells us why the current state of affairs in the Landis case are so important, referring to an earlier piece by him about the importance of protocols.

Rant follows up about pressure and GC/MS instruments, and addresses some of the pooh-poohing comments at DPF.

LAist notes that as this year's final stage of the ToC is being run, last year's Golden Boy is missing.

Cycliste Moderne wonders if the Landis revelations from this week actually have legs.

Rubber Side Down
thinks that even though things may be looking up for Landis , he is not out of the woods yet.

FireDogLake thinks Landis won't get his reputation back, but might be able to make a living again.

Thought for the Day

If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten
lava, let'em go, because, man, they're gone.


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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saturday Roundup

The San Luis Obispo Tribune presents a story largely about baby boomers staying active through medical care and procedures such a hip replacements and resurfacings. Floyd Landis visited Arroyo Grande Hospital yesterday (as part of his work for Smith and Nephew) to chat with patients who have recently undergone hip surgery.

The San Diego Union Tribune's Nick Canepa MUST be a "Young Frankenstein" fan. And what he observes explains everything:

Floyd Landis' Tour de France tests were botched when the nutty U.S. Anti-Doping Agency sent Igor to the lab and he came back with urine samples from “Abbe Normal.”

Marin Independant Journal has an excellent article on the prospects of the Tour of California, with a teeny little mention of Landis to justify our inclusion here.

Spinnin' Wheel warns the Landis camp not to let the press get too carried away with the "getting off on a technicality"issue. She still thinks there is room to feel encouraged by the news of the past few days. And maybe there is a future in soaps for Floyd, "As the Floyd Turns" indeed!

FingerFood thinks Landis will NOT lose his Tour de France victory. He wonders if we should apologize to the French.

Tex's Luavull Cycling thinks that the real enemies of cycling are the UCI and the ASO and that whether he cheated or not Floyd Landis isn't the one putting a stain on the sport. He also gets in an Indycar vs CART reference!

The 700 level thinks that most people don't care about cycling, and that there may be a conspiracy against Landis, but that IF Landis retains the Tour de France title he will be the Barry Bonds of cycling. Put this one down for possible "snark of the day".

The Buck Stop thinks Landis may be vindicated after all, and gives him the benefit of the doubt.

Pommi files two posts, the first thinking the "two technicians" might lead to dismissal, the second one wondering if it is a problem at all. The world wonders.

8 Man RAAM Team
admires Landis' fight, and wants to turn the tables on some "they all dope" friends.

CyclingLogue covers this developments with an understated blurb:
An article in the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the positive tests done on Floyd Landis in that French lab “show a protocol violation.” Y’know, because his case couldn’t get any more complicated.
Mike Jacoubowsky of Chain Reaction bikes has some pictures from the San Jose event.

DPF has a bunch of relevant threads going.
  • The B sample flap and retesting discussion continues with some good research by Ferren, which is still inconclusive about use of B's for retesting when A's are unavailable.
  • The "two technician" issue continues to be debated, and it appears there is inadequate information about what the technicians involvement was with either sample. Skeptics think the media reports are overblown, and represent wishful thinking by the defense. It's confusing to Pommi too, see above.

Focused Trainers Forum super moderator Gabe Rinaldi identifies himself as The Muscle, but doesn't like his picture. Fortunately, he doesn't know where we live.

Rec.Bicycles.* has a few threads going, this one with an insightful comment:
> Imagine anyone taking testosterone and then going for a win the next day!
> It requires the IQ of Asher or someone to believe anything that stupid.

I don't think the "stupidity defense" is a smart move. It's well known that criminals get caught because they're... stupid. Smart people don't (usually) get caught. Thus, if you already think someone's a criminal (doper), you also already believe they're stupid (since they got caught). You're not going to change the minds of anyone who matters with the "stupidity defense." Most likely the opposite.

Thought for the Day

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

FFF San Jose, the appendix

We wrote earlier of the case details that emerged in the San Jose "Tour of Innocence" appearance, with a promise to revisit the Q&A and other points of interest we skipped in the original post.


Updated: Clarified some wording, and point out Mike Jacoubowsky of Chain Reaction bikes has some pictures. Articles covering the event by Bonnie DeSimone of ESPN here and here; the latter notes our scribbling for our reports.

Introductions and Presentation

Working on his soundbites for the media, Michael Henson tossed off a number of one liners worth passing on.

  • Last year Landis had "The best stage racing season of the last decade, maybe two."
  • The current system is "Dead to ethics, and deaf to justice."
  • They want the legacy to affect athlete's rights, and make a positive change to the system.
  • USADA and WADA have no effective oversight.
  • "I feel like I'm back home in Shea Stadium", after being interrupted by an jet outbound from nearby SJO airport.
During the presentation, Henson said that some of the details they're showing now only came up from the discovery, implying had they known earlier...

Questions and Answers

A wireless mic was handed around the crowd, and questions answered by Landis, sometimes supplemented by Henson, Brian Rafferty, and Will Geoghegan. Everything below is a paraphrase reflecting my interpretation, not direct quotation. Unless otherwise noted, the answer is from Landis.

Q: It's going to be an open hearing. Why show anything now?

A: It shouldn't be like a competition. There shouldn't be hidden tricks.

Q: What about the other negative tests? Why don't you talk about them?

A: It seems logical to me, but I can't expect them to use logic.

Q: It seems like all the inconsistencies and error you talk about are in the S17 B sample tests. Is that true?

A: I'm not sure, I think they're all mixed up in the presentation.

Geoghegan: The contamination is only from the B. On the A, they did not run the tests that detects contamination, so no one knows.

Q: What is your status now?

A: I'm not suspended, but it wouldn't be appropriate for me to race now. I don't have a team, and I need to devote all my time to the case.

Henson: It's important to note that the case is not an "appeal", it's at the first hearing. A lot of the press calls it an appeal, but it isn't really. That it is presented as an appeal is part of the procedural problems with the system.

Q: What about the other tests.

A: They're all negative.

Q: What about Dick Pound?

A: [Joke I missed about calling him "Richard".]

Henson: He makes things up. In the NY Time Magazine piece, he admitted making up numbers for how many NHL players doped, then said, "Call me a liar." Mr. Pound, you're a liar.

Q: What were your feelings on S17, the greatest one day feat...

A: Gosh, thanks...

[a tactical explanation similar to Sunday,]

Had the guys sprint train on the climb because I wanted the others all strung out so they wouldn't be able to talk to each other at the time they have to make their decision to follow or let me go.

Q: The TE test has been bogus forever, at least since Mary Decker Slaney. There's an assumption of normalcy that really isn't valid, especially on highly stressed athletes. Your thoughts?

A: The CIR is a ratio of "normal" too.

Henson: These tests are based on black box studies that are rarely peer reviewed, with small sample sets, in a closed process.

Q: This situation is political as well as scientific. What can we (the audience) do?

Henson: Go to the FFF site. Read the "get involved" page. Write your representatives, we have some handouts here. We want reform and improvement, we're not out to remove the system. We all agree that doping is cheating, and is a bad thing.

Q: Why isn't cycling (riders) organized to affect anything?

A: It's impossible to be an active rider and organize. It's far too much work. I wouldn't wish it on anybody, it's a huge burden. If you want to win, you just work on that.
Geoghegan: There's also a UCI rule prohibiting formation of a union. It considers itself to be the union.

Q: Could you have been sabotaged? I believe tests.

A: The system should have a way of dealing with that scenario, but that's another day. I don't believe that's what happened here. If that was possible, you couldn't trust anyone.

Henson: There was no sabotage here, it was a negative test. There's nothing to explain.

Q: I have hip trouble too. All the testosterone in the planet couldn't overcome that hip. French conspiracy?

A: I wasn't really in that much pain during the tour. The cortisone was really effective. If I'd known, I probably would have used it a lot earlier.

Henson: There's a lab that happens to be in France, there's no reason to impugn generally. It's not about nationalism.

Q: [much reinterpreted by TBV] In the long view, things change over time. Dope tests used to be pretty simple, and are now complicated and done more often. Most athletes going into sports believe that their sport is mostly clean, and may worry more now about false positives than a competitor cheating. The ADAs seem deaf to this change in outlook. It seems to me they may be about to grab defeat from the jaws of victory.

A: If I understand you, I think I agree.


A: I think the agenda is economically driven. The more they catch, the more funding they get. After BALCO, the USADA budget got doubled.

Henson: By far the majority of the funding goes for testing and prosecution of cases. They don't spend anywhere near as much on research and education.

A: It shouldn't be a competition. If they're proud of ther 158-0 record, sometime thats going to come to an end. Now.

The shouldn't see it as a loss if the truth comes out and it turns out to be a bunch of mistakes.

Q: Why is there so much pencil on forms? Why not bar codes.

A: All their equipment can read bar codes, but they don't do it. I don't understand.

Q: Are you getting any support from Phonak teammates or the management and ownership?

A: It's difficult for them. They have to watch what they say. We're all friends, but there is not much they can do.

Q: It seems like there's plenty of doubt about the case against you. If you win the ADA case, what about the ASO? Will they let you race in the Tour again?

A: Haven't thought about that much yet. I hope it doesn't come to that.

Q: I work as a volunteer at races in various critical positions. At the tour, were any of the people volunteers?

A: I hope they were professional, but there may have been volunteers working at the lab.

Q: Teams like Slipstream, CSC and T-Mobile are doing their own active testing. What do you think about that?

A: I can only give a cautious endorsement. Theres's a danger it could be seen as part of a team doping program. It's important to keep the team separate from who is doing the testing.

Q: What about your endorsements?

Geoghegan: There's a mixed response. A lot of big players are giving private help, but don't feel they can go public. Others like Saris and Smith and Nephew are public. Smith and Nephew makes medical devices that go through approvals. They've had people look at the case, and they've decided it's OK. We need more like that.

Q: Are you fearful for other cyclists?

A: Yeah. Most don't realize the jeopardy they're in when they give a urine sample.

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Friday Roundup

Quote of the Day

Jacobo82 (2/23/2007 at 12:11 PM) Report

who cares? it's cycling.


The Baltimore Sun is one of the first AM papers to rewrite (and greatly summarize) yesterday's Michael Hiltzik LAT story on the numerous procedural errors made by the LNDD, one of which was the same error that resulted in the dismissal of the Inigo Landaluze case last year. The Post Chronicle also posts a truncated version of the story as does ImediNews, and
As we thought yesterday, this is being widely rerun; we won't report others unless they are notably different. covers the new information with additional reporting from Bonnie DeSimone, who was at both the SF and SJ FFF events. Comments to the article fear a dismissal on the "same technician" issue would be bad for Landis.

DeSimone filed her own major pieces later in the day. The main article covers much the same ground as LAT, but then talks to Maurice Suh, one of Landis' attorneys. Suh says,
We identified 59 errors in our most recent pleadings that we believe are violations of international standards for labs."

And DeSimone reports
Within the past two weeks, arbitrators granted a defense request for additional discovery -- access to medical and technical documents related to Landis' case -- that previously had been denied by USADA.

In one sidebar piece, Landis' PR campaign of appearances, slide shows and document releases is covered for the novelty it presents. The piece is long enough that TBV gets four paragraphs of fame.

A second article discusses Landis' sponsorship, and financial issues. Perhaps $8 million in other opportunities vanished with the AAF. Old personal sponsors Oakley and Specialized shoes bailed in 2006, but Saris/CycleOps has hung tough. There is a new sponsorship from Smith and Nephew, makers of his hip implant, started after the troubles started, with eyes open on both sides. At the Tour of California, Landis was in invited to a BMC Cycling event by Andy Rihs:
Swiss entrepreneur and former Phonak team owner Andy Rihs ended his business relationship with Landis last summer, but this week said he supports Landis personally and would offer him another job "immediately" if Landis is cleared of the doping charges. [...]
"I made it clear to Floyd that I cannot protect him [professionally]. But I hope he has the best lawyers. He's a great racer, a great person."

USAToday SportScope covers LAT, and gives us another plug.

MSNBC has an opinion piece by Garret Lai that wants more tests, and is ambivalent about Landis, especially if he "gets off on a technicality"

Meanwhile Bloomberg Europe reports that the UCI has ordered its teams, through letters sent today, not to compete in Paris-Nice this year after the ASO withdrew the event from the Pro Tour structure. This along with the Landis case, is illustrative of the power struggle that is ongoing between the UCI and the ASO:
"Potentially, this problem could go on until the Tour de France and later,'' UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani said in a phone interview. The absence of leading teams would further harm the 103- year-old Tour's prestige after Floyd Landis last year became the first winner to fail a doping test. Landis denies taking banned drugs.

Bloomberg just posted this update with further details about when the letters were sent, and some reaction from UCI teams.

The Daily Peloton publishes a piece about the creation of ACE, the Agency for Cycling Ethics and the ACE Clean Cycling Initiative. Founded by Dr. Paul Strauss and Paul Scott, the agency is partnering with the Slipstream/Chipotle Cycling Team:
The ACE program is set up to function not only for individual cyclists but for any number of teams that seek an independent group to provide an anti-doping program within their teams as a line of first defense not only to eliminate doping but to also set a standard of ethics and personal integrity through testing, education and counseling for teams and riders. As this is one step to a solution of drug free sports we felt it was important to interview one of the founders of ACE about their program. But first a bit about the Paul Scott and Dr. Paul Strauss.

Their only comment on the ever evolving Landis case comes from a question asked by DP interviewer Ferren Christou:
Christou One non-ACE related question for Paul Scott. If he's not familiar with the issue there's no need for him to answer the question. Floyd Landis claims that his IRMS sample wouldn't have been positive if the results were interpreted by the UCLA lab. Could you speak to the differences in positivity criteria among the WADA certified labs? Is this an issue in your opinion that needs to be addressed?
Dr. Paul Strauss: We can not comment on any specific and pending cases. However the judicial system has been set up because the science is not infallible in this human process.

In a related articel The Monterey Herald publishes an Elliot Almond piece on the cooperation that is needed to clean up the sport of cycling with all of the usual cast of characters chiming in.

The Knoxville (TN) Times decided to pick up the Gwenn Knapp piece on FFF/SF on the 20th. They may have liked the early reference to Lynchburg TN's finest. Maybe Landis can resurrect his JD endorsement opportunities.

Associated Content thinks that Landis got a "get out of jail free" card from mishandled urine samples.

Rocky Thompson thinks Floyd may just be innocent after all, and publishes a Robert Maxwell portrait (from Outside) that only PETA would hate.

The Green River Riders believe in Floyd!

JMBzine never really did believe that Floyd Landis was a doper! (accessed through the Drudge Report) thinks that the case against Landis is doomed.

Dugard still sees a vast cycling conspiracy, an even wider one than he imagined.

Rant thinks that USADA, through Travis Tygart, is the real cheater here:
What’s come to light that shows the brazenness with which Tygart, himself, is willing to cheat to win is the flap over Landis’ other B samples.
He goes on later, thinking the mainstream media may finally be catching up to the story.

Run to Win thinks that it's about time for the LNDD to stop repeating its mistakes!

Sitting In writes mostly about David Millar, but starts to re think his opinion on the Floyd Landis case and how the evidence against Landis seems to be falling apart.

Christopher Brauchli in "Racing and Doping" snarkily compares NASCAR's Michael Waltrip to Floyd Landis:
Mr. Landis and Mr. Waltrip reacted similarly to news of the presence of banned substances in their respective machines. Mr. Landis insisted his testosterone was his own and not an additive. Mr. Waltrip acknowledged it was an additive but has no idea how it got into the manifold.

The Pickoff
thinks the doping cops are dopes.

Just One Minute
, Time's person of the year, crows about the LAT news, and is proud he was officially in denial.

Phantom Reflections is feeling good too.

jobsanger reviews the whole thing and says "innocent."

Go Faster Jim considers the VS. coverage of the ToC and concludes not enough racing, not enough Landis, too much recap, and too many ads.

NBX Sports Action Blog jumps on the bandwagon.

Fat Cyclist thinks of a way Landis might back out of Leadville.

Cycle Better is sorry, and reinstating Floyd's discount privileges.

Adventure Blog
reminds us he's still the champ.

Podium Cafe mentions the developments, but their comments are more interesting.

The Once and Future Lawyer
equivocally says Landis is vindicated, maybe.

Shooting the Messenger
runs with the subhead, "Frogs frigged the procedure"

thinks Floyd is looking better, and plugs us.

At DPF, there is discussion of the LA Times article. Wisconsin Judge Bill Hue is critical of the B sample tactics:
I [...] do not see how USADA can obtain B sample testing of negative A samples, in complete violation of it own self created rules unless Landis agrees and why he would is beyond me. If the Arbitrators can order B sample testing of negative A samples, then they can pretty much order up anything tested or retested anywhere, relevant to the case at hand.

He's also highly critical of the handling of the two technicians who may have improperly worked on both the A and B sample tests:

Both sides, if interested in the truth would want to get to France, put them under oath and ask them exactly what they did. If you are reading what Tygart says (see Sundaymorning's stuff posted here at DP), he says he'll produce these guys at hearing. Either he knows they didn't do anything materially wrong and is willing to have Landis' team get an arbitrators ruling to fly over to France and waste their time getting to know what Tygart already knows [...] or he doesn't know what they did either. That is something he should know.

If it results in having results thrown out-then it is just a huge waste of everybody's time and money to find this out at hearing and have the arbitrators throw out the non-negative A sample finding. In fact, that would be quite irresponsible for Tygart to purposefully not know something exculpatory so that he does not have to share it. Such a policy of disclosure and obligation to know facts avoids needless litigation.

The third option is that Tygart knows they took part in both samples' anaysis, doesn't want to ahve to reveal it to set some kind of precident but doesn't mind the Landis team to be the ones to find it out and ask for dismissal, thus saving some face, here. It all seems alot of work to do all this when some pointed questions could be asked by an honorable prosecutor that would save everyone time and effort.

Thought for the Day

"Changing conditions effect everyone the same" -robbie ventura-

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

What are the ways out?

The new information of the week is suggesting the ADA case is getting weaker and weaker over time. We have been wondering from time to time how the case might be terminated short of a hearing that will be expensive and painful for all parties.


In San Jose, Landis said something on point that may offer a clue to the way the agencies can retreat from the limb of the tree they currently occupy.

It shouldn't be about winning, it should be about finding the truth. If your 158-0 record is important, sometime it's going to end.

They shouldn't see it as a loss if it turns out to be a mistake.

Let's run through some actors and scenarios.

USADA might take something apparent now that they have the AFLD LDP as a justification for saying that the evidence is flawed, and unsupportable because of the discrepancies and/or errors revealed with the new data. This would punt the case to WADA and the UCI for possible appeal to CAS, which would avoid that annoying public hearing and take the prosecution out of the USADA budget.

The UCI might be happy stringing things out as part of their war with ASO and Le Tour. All scenarios work for the UCI at this point. If Landis wins, then the ASO used a bad lab and can't be trusted to police its events. If Landis drags on, then there is no champion befor this years race is run, with commercial implications. If Landis loses, eventually, it still hurts ASO. Therefore, whether the UCI would appeal an attempt to drop the case by USADA is unclear.

WADA has a problem with what to do about the lab that they accredit. Anything short of a solid conviction brings their credibility into question. The worst scenario is a public hearing where they lose and get exposed. Next worse is one that gets to closed arbitration, but still loses. From a damage perspective, is it better to let it drop quietly, hoping to bury the bodies, or to lose in arbitration?

AFLD and M. Bordry have the most difficult dilemma. It appears they can either back the LNDD up, and suffer the possible consequences, or become shocked, shocked at what they have discovered and do a massive cleanup now that it has finally come to their attention.

The LNDD appears to have significant problems that will be very difficult to get under wraps. What has been revealed so far calls their ISO accreditation into question.

The ISO accreditors who have stamped the LNDD's ticket may find themselves under scrutiny in the near future. How could they not have caught the sort of violations that seem to be getting revealed like the layers of an onion?

Let's say some party decides it wants to crawl back from the branch, without it being perceived as their own fault. How could this be done? It seems like the victim is going to have to be the LNDD. Would the hand be AFLDs, or ISOs, or WADAs?

From the Agency point of view, it might be convenient for it to be ISO. AFLD can be shocked, and WADA can say it wasn't their accreditation that was broken. USADA can say they believed what they were told, and now presented new information, agrees to dismiss. This seems to cover most of the posteriors, but might take a while.

Alternately, we might imagine WADA finally doing an audit of LNDD, and withdrawing accreditation. We see no willingness by WADA to do this, so it seems like only a technical possibility.

Another prospect would be for AFLD to act on its own, which would take some courage, or a newly minted justification. How could AFLD act? Maybe it could do its own internal review of the evidence and declare the results invalid, and order LNDD to send one of those letters withdrawing the finding. That would remove the ability for WADA and the UCI to appeal, which could lead to the swiftest resolution.

If there were a deal, what kind of compromise would the Landis side be willing to accept to help an agency save face? We're almost scared to mention one of the most common side effects in a settlement of litigation, which an agreement to shred all the evidence that has been discovered one way or the other, and a gag order on the parties.

Many of Landis' Wiki-defense supporters would be very disappointed and left feeling betrayed if Landis won in a way that silenced his criticism of the process and buried what he has found out.

But it's his life and career at stake.

In the plate of ham and eggs before us, Landis is the pig, absolutely committed to the result. His supporters and critics are merely involved, clucking.

As much as we'd like to see everything else, what has already transpired has thrown a spotlight onto the flawed doping enforcement process. Maybe just taking the win will be good enough, and let Landis get back on his bike, where he belongs.


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Thursday Roundup

LA Times' Michael Hiltzik continues his series about Landis, finding the same technicians working on the A and B samples, which is not supposed to happen. This is the sort of thing that resulted in Landaluze's case being dismissed. He also points out a number of other things familiar to TBV readers:

The lab might have altered a document in the case after Landis raised questions about its accuracy. It apparently certified the altered version as "original."

The document, which was altered anonymously after Landis identified errors, was in the files of French anti-doping authorities. They have brought a separate case against the cyclist. It is unclear whether lab employees or anti-doping officials made the changes.

-- The lab might have operated a crucial piece of testing equipment under conditions that violated its manufacturers' specifications, possibly because it did not own a copy of the operating manual. Furthermore, the software installed in the machine was 10 years old, based on an operating system no longer in use and was designed for a different piece of equipment. Landis contends improper operation could produce erroneous readings.

On the B sample flap, he says,
Filings in the arbitration case also shed light on USADA's rationale for seeking to have the French lab also retest nine of Landis' urine samples taken during and after the 2006 Tour de France. The samples at issue are B samples corresponding to A samples that previously have been tested and found to be clean of prohibited substances.

USADA contends that the previous screening tests did not "definitively establish" that the samples were clean, and the agency wants to subject them to the more sophisticated carbon isotope test.

USADA acknowledged in papers filed with the arbitrators that it would expect to use any positive results from the retests as evidence against Landis. The cyclist's lawyers maintain that this would violate USADA and World Anti-Doping Agency regulations, which state that an analytical sample can be deemed positive only if the A and B results match. Because the A samples already have been ruled negative, and in most cases no longer exist, the required match between A and B could not be present, Landis argues.

The arbitration panel held a closed-door session Thursday to consider Landis' request for documents and for testimony from lab employees. At the session, the panel also considered USADA's unusual request to retest the nine samples. An immediate ruling is not expected.

These filings will make interesting reading.

Shorter version of the story in the Hamilton Spectator. Expect this story to be re-run lots of places tomorrow.

VeloNews contributor Andrew Hood writes an interesting piece about the "civil war" within cycling right now. Citing the Landis case, OP, and the UCI vs The Grand Tour organizers turf battle it appears that cycling has a long way to go before it finds itself under one harmonious roof
The Landis debacle shows how far the fight against doping still needs to go, in terms of protecting riders' rights as well as the integrity of the events. With the veracity of doping controls under attack and a winner of the 2006 Tour likely to be unknown until well past the start of the 2007 Tour, it's no wonder that fans and media are tuning out.

Maybe from Mr Hood's viewpoint the media and fans are tuning out, but from the point of view of the ToC it would seem that fans are still tuning in (not to mention the media).

CounterPunch compares the alleged doping corruption in Pro Cycling to cheating in NASCAR.

The Monterey County Herald and the San Jose Mercury News note that the Landis "tour of innocence" continues along side the ToC, with a report on the Tied House event from last night. It doesn't go into the kind of technical detail that other reports have, but does discuss the feeling of general support for Landis that prevailed there. A heavily edited version of the same piece with the word "Tainted" in the title appears in the Contra Costa Times.

NBC11 talks about the ToC, and went to the Town Hall in SJ, quoting Landis as saying:
"I don't think it's a reasonable system. I mean, I won Tour de France and I can't afford to fight. I can only imagine what other Olympic athletes have to go through as they try to defend themselves,"

CBS5's Mike Sugarman got an interview with Landis yesterday, but includes some skepticism from a Mercury News reporter, and Steven Farrand of Cycle Sport.

Peloton Jim is thankful that Landis can actually use some of his racing experience to provide insight into the ToC (on the Amgen web cast as well as on VS). But he does wish that the ToC was a little less like a mini version of the TdF.
Spinnin' Wheel was gratified to see Floyd Landis look so happy to be discussing the actual racing at the ToC on VS.

VeloGal went to the town hall, and departed even more outraged. She also saw him the day before in Sacramento, and digs the new look.

Rant looks at our report from last night, and re-interprets the pressure discrepancies. He doesn't think it's good for the test credibility.

Steroid Nation repackages a number of our recent pieces with additional comment.

Mark McClusky
picks up Dugard's conspiracy theory of yesterday, and is scared to think it's possible

Pommi noticed the following sign in front of Piedmont Hills High School near Milpitas, CA on his way to San Jose yesterday:

(photo courtesy Pommi) notes that doping scandals may not be Floyd Landis's only legacy to cycling, there is also the "praying Landis" TT position that many in the peloton seem to be adopting.

Dr. John C Maxwell uses Landis as an example in what appears to be a sermon that "Character Counts." It's a predictable bit of, well, sermonizing. Someone might want to drop him a nice comment suggesting his facts are in need of an update.

Bleacher Report snarks on Landis, getting many facts wrong.

Meta: there are a lot of french language posts mentioning Landis turning up in my RSS feeds, but when I go to look, they are 404-ed. I'm not sure what this means.

You3 continues his technical investigation of the T/E test at DPF, with a summary that offers an intriguing and simple explanation of what may account for the 2-to-1 difference between the screening test and the IRMS confirmation result: the IRMS may not have measured half of what it needed to, but the screening test did. And this is complicated by the posibility of mixed up samples from another rider. talks about the FFF/SJ appearance, and coverage on KTVU TV.

Thought for the Day

"The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well, and doing well whatever you do without thought of fame. If it comes at all it will come because it is deserved, not because it is sought after." -hwl-

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