Thursday, February 08, 2007

It just keeps going

There was tremendous sturm und drang in the run up to today's AFLD announcement, and M. Bordry played it for all the attention it could produce. All the press reports anticipated a full hearing, and there was speculation about an immanent ban.

What we got was acquiescence to a postponement, based on a letter that had been written on January 30th, and no doubt the result of some intensive back-stage negotiations between AFLD and the Landis lawyers. Mrs. TBV wonders if getting the date for the USADA hearing was a significant part of the negotiation, and given the "late June" rescheduling, that makes sense.

At the same time, comments to the Round Up, and a story in CyclingNews point out other real news in the L'Equipe story about the case. Apparently, USADA wanted to do IRMS CIR of the other B samples at the tour, and Landis said, "no." Recall that USADA has not given Landis the A sample results of the other stages yet, and had they been positive, that would have been required. If USADA had wanted data, they could have tested remainders of the A samples without involving Landis. (update: it's not clear if any of the A samples remain). If they believe the S17 test results, what data from the other stages would be of interest?

What was USADA up to? The only possible conclusion is that they were attempting to bleed Landis by making him send experts to another round of B sample testing that could have no value to the case. They cannot use those other B samples in the case, as the A samples were declared negative.

Update: Hiltzik's LA Time article adds:

Landis had rejected a request by USADA to retest eight of his urine samples, including six from the 2006 Tour, that had previously been ruled negative for doping.

This says USADA was trying to open totally unrelated cans of worms in two samples that were not from the tour at all. All without giving Landis access to the A sample reports associated with any of them -- reports that are on file with USADA, and deliverable at the cost of a photocopy and an envelope.

It's a good thing Landis was able to refuse to be drawn into this tar pit.

For the US residents in the audience, this is an example of your tax dollars at work, and demonstrates USADA's dedication to truth and equity in pursuit of its mission.

An interesting discussion of this matter is going on at DPF, with the best post I've seen being from SwimYouIdiot at #48.


blackmingo said...

But now it looks as though (if the Landis did indeed say "no" to testing B samples) that he's trying to hide from the possible results. Wouldn't the USADA pay for the cost of testing -or are you saying that Landis would have to pay experts to monitor the testing? I would think the more data the better, iff testing the samples at this point in time is reliable.

Anonymous said...

After thinking on travis' previous interview. It Sounds to me like Travis Tygart wants to do a "Fishing Expedition" of his own.


Wine to the press about the defendant trying to slow the process by fishing and the mean time request from the defendant to do some fishing of your own. I Don't thank so big fella!

Anonymous said...

I think it has nothing to do with hiding. Landis is clearly playing by the rules set forth by the USADA. If they say "No Documents for You!" Landis should say "No Pee for You"

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

Landis would have to pay the cost for his experts to monitor the testing. It sounds like USADA is going on a fishing expedition after Tygart, himself, decried such fishing expeditions in his interview with Ferren Christou of the Daily Peloton.

Hmmm. Apparently Mr. Tygart likes to fish, too.

Thomas A. Fine said...

If you were Floyd's lawyer and you think he's innocent, then you have to think that test is unreliable anyway. So running more tests would just be asking for trouble.

In general, lawyers never ever ever want to open anything that has even a million-to-one chance of being a can of worms. First do no harm.


Thinnmann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

His lawyers may think the tests are unreliable, but the reality is that he is foregoing a chance to show that unreliability and/or his innocence.

USADA would not conduct the test in Malabry but probably UCLA. The difference in testing between these labs is part of Landis' defense and if he has nothing to hide (in other words, if he can be sure there is no exogenous testo in his urine) then he should absolutely let them test it.

I think it's funny how all pro-Landis poster now come up with good reasons for him NOT to submit to tests that - if he is clean - would clearly show that.

What would Landis say if USADA would ask to re-test the positive B-sample?

Anonymous said...

1. Explain why Landis should play nice, if Tygart and USADA won't give the other "A" test results up?
that came up CLEAN by the way.

2. Prove that it would be tested in the LA lab? where do/did you get that information that leads you to such a conclusion?

DBrower said...

Landis would have to pay for his own experts to monitor such a test.

USADA would not conduct the test in Malabry but probably UCLA.

To my knowledge, that has not been suggested. It would involve LNDD surrendering custody of the samples, and it is not clear they would agree to that, nor would they have reason to do so. It would be risky for them (LNDD) as well.

What would Landis say if USADA would ask to re-test the positive B-sample?

It's a hypothetical -- the B sample was consumed in testing, and there's nothing left.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't De Boer live in Europe anyway? Seems like paying him to watch the testing would be a drop in the bucket of Floyd's defense costs. I don't think USADA is trying to bleed him on this one.

In the Hamilton case, USADA asked for further testing as a result of the defense's strategy. One could speculate that something came up in the preliminary hearings to trigger the further testing request. You could also speculate that this particular info was leaked as a result of L'Equipe's sources at the LNDD, that once again we are getting a small portion of the picture.

As for the AFLD, they got one of the ASO's objective's taken care of, although I couldn't imagine how Floyd could have pulled of riding the tour this year anyway.


Anonymous said...

Still sounds like fishing to me Faren, Just by Travis not the defendant.

Anonymous said...

A-sample tests have come up clean but not for exogenous testosterone, because they were never tested for that. Additional data can only hurt Landis if he has something to hide.

Thomas A. Fine said...

I think it's funny how all pro-Landis poster now come up with good reasons for him NOT to submit to tests that - if he is clean - would clearly show that.

The tests from other stages can't show he's clean. They're already negative for doping. If after testing, they're still negative, then nothing at all has changed (except time and money have been wasted). If one of them winds up turning positive, then that's very bad for Landis.

This is true for an innocent Floyd who doesn't think the test is trustworthy just as much as it is true for a guilty Floyd.


Anonymous said...

My guess would be that the T/E screening tests of the other A-samples are within 30% of the screening tests documented in the AAF (i.e., 3.43-4.0). This would diminish the significance of the unusual T/E ratio documented in the AAF. Landis could simply argue that he had a naturally high T/E ratio as documented by the de facto longitudinal study. The release of the other A-sample information will weaken the USADA case. Eventually, the other A-sample information will become available. The arbitration board will enforce discovery of exculpatory information. USADA, WADA or LNDD are simply trying to create new facts before releasing the existing facts.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the first meeting of the arbitration board on May 14 will be just long enough to order the USADA to turn over the documents Floyd has requested, followed by a several month delay before they re-convene to actually hear the case?

I keep thinking there has to be more to this story about the USADA asking to be able to test the B samples. Could they really have the audacity to do that given that they are still witholding info that Floyd would seem to have every right to? If they did, they either look extremely arrogant or silly (or both).

If I was Floyd I might have answered their request by faxing them the finger photograph.

~ Cub

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me if this is possible? I have not been able to find anything in the scientific literature that conclusively says it is not; I don’t know if it has ever even been looked at. I admit that I have not done an exhaustive literature search, because I have more than a full-time job and I have to have some time to devote to my cycling habit.

Is it possible that some of the carbon atoms from the exogenous synthetic cortisol that Floyd is known to have been given in the form of hip injections could have ended up on some of his own endogenously synthesized testosterone molecules? It does not seem impossible to me, since both cortisol and testosterone are made from cholesterol (they are related molecules and thus it seems like they might share some metabolic pathways). If it is possible (and steroid biochemistry is not one of my areas of expertise, though lab testing in general is), could the cortisol injections be the cause of Floyd’s equivocally positive CIR findings? Has anyone ever done the CIR test on urine from guys that have had cortisol injections in their hips to see if their results vary from those obtained on samples from guys who have not had such injections?

Of course, if a cortisol injection did affect Floyd’s CIR results for 7/17, it would be expected to have had some effects on his CIR results for days before and after 7/17, depending on when the injection was given. As far as I know, CIR tests have NOT been done on any of Floyd’s samples except the notorious 7/17 one, because that was the only day he had an “adverse” T/E ratio to trigger the CIR test. Is it possible that the admitted alcohol consumption (or something else) caused the one “adverse” T/E ratio, triggering the discovery of an “adverse” CIR result, which had been present but undetected (not tested for) for days before, and that it was due to exogenous cortisol rather than exogenous testosterone? It does not seem to me to be a good policy to hand out TUE’s for cortisol injections without knowing if having them could have an adverse effect on the ability to reliably identify exogenous testosterone in cyclists that have been so treated. For Floyd’s sake and for my own curiosity, I would really like to know if my hypotheses have any scientific merit. Any experts out there that can tell me?

Interested Laboratorian and Cyclist

Anonymous said...

to the commentator who is wondering about the cortisone injections and that exogenous Carbon ending up in Floyd's endogenous testosterone please check this source:

This is a letter from Dr. Paul Marker who studies prostate cancer and knows all about the synthesis of testosterone. It is also referenced somewhere in TBV but I can't recall where. Randy

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

There is another angle regarding the other A-sample tests and releasing them to Landis.

If they are to be used as part of a longitudinal study, the expected and demonstrated accuracy of the T/E screen test will be a subject of discovery.

I am wondering whether the large differences between the T/E screen test results and the confirmation test results for Landis on stage 17 are unusual and an indication of contamination. This would feed into the arguments regarding contamination.

Didn’t TBV wonder whether there was more to the differences between the results of screen and confirmation tests?