Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sunday Roundup


The Telegraph reveals the authorities are considering new ways to catch drug cheats, and cheaters had better be careful about who they talk to:

But now a new front is being opened up in the fight against doping that could revolutionise the way drug cheats are hunted down. Instead of test-tubes and mass-spectrometry machines, the talk is of 'search and seizure' raids, informants, forensic computer analysis and intelligence exchange between anti-doping agencies, customs officials and the police.

Essentially advocating investigative search and seizure to combat sport doping, noting Landis and Gatlin were netted the old fashioned way.

The Sacramento Bee
has a thought provoking piece on the upcoming Tour of California as well as the rise and fall of cycling popularity in the US. The article points out that perhaps it will now be on the rise despite doping scandals and disappointments to fans:

Some observers say the fan shakeout, if there was one, may be over,"If doping was going to turn people off, it already has," said Dave Towle, a nationally known bike race announcer. "All sports have doping issues right now. Cycling has taken the brunt of the PR hit, maybe because cycling is so hard. You're looking at three-week events, and I really think it's inhumane. I think the Tour de France should be shortened to two weeks.

The Davis Enterprise is representative of many other California local newspapers touting the Amgen Tour of Califonia's start next week, while pretending last year's champion Floyd Landis no longer exists.

CyclingNews First Edition for tomorrow has two stories of interest. First, the Discovery Team's sponsorship situation is reasonably explained as, "The Discovery Channel's decision to drop its sponsorship of the cycling team was not due to cycling's current doping problems, but these problems could make the search for a new sponsor more difficult. " That's the sad reality.

Later, they cover Landis' complaints about the B sample flap fairly and accurately.

Over at Groklaw, perhaps TBV's major inspiration, there's an entry about what's proper behavior in litigation, with this quote from a judge in 2005, in a still ongoing case, about discovery shenanigans:
The foundation of our legal system depends in part upon the cooperation of adversaries who are required by the civil rules to provide information essential in "secur[ing] the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action." Fed. R. Civ. P.1. Unfortunately though, this standard is often abandoned perhaps in part due to the aggressive adversarial nature of litigation and the large amounts of money involved. Although counsel are expected to protect their client's interests and guard against excessive burdens, such efforts should be tempered with candid cooperation between adversaries. In an ideal world, cooperation would lead to a streamlined discovery process whereby the fact finder could quickly resolve the ultimate issues found in disputes. Such a situation promotes efficient disposition of litigation, which is generally a good thing. Doubtless as the parties are well aware, all cases do not exist in the ideal world. However, this does not excuse counsel from striving to meet this standard.

Comments there in response get very snarky.

Charitable Endeavors spent a pleasant (though busy) Sunday, which included a ride with Floyd up the hills of the 2006 Paris-Nice.

Soiled Chamois goes on a rant bemoaning commercial (non)-recognition of cycling.

The Figurehead finally goes riding, and finds himself thinking about Floyd. He's not sure what he believes of The Case, but he sure did enjoy Morzine.

At DPF, the flap over the additional B sample tests rages on. The last word as we write is held by Duckstrap, who returns after long quietude, and notes that not even the complete data from the AAF'd S17 test has been given to Landis, despite explicit request:
It's probably worth pointing out (again) that LNDD actually did not turn over all of their data relevant to the Stage 17 tests. Namely, in the confirmatory TE ratio test, they measured, but did not report data for the 3 diagnostic ions required according to the WADA procedure to positively identify the chromatographic peaks as testosterone and epitestosterone. For the IRMS tests, information describing the origin or even the definition of the high and low limits for the results in the reference population is missing. These things were on the list of information that Landis, et al., requested of USADA, and were denied. Really, whether the document request represents a fishing expedition on the part of Jacobs, or not, there is no good reason for this information to be withheld. People can argue that, as scientists, they are curious about what could be learned from the other B samples. I am curious about what else was learned and withheld from the Stage 17 analysis.

Thought for the Day
"A man doesn't automatically get my respect. He has to get down in the dirt and beg for it." -jh-


Anonymous said...

Judging by the Telegraph piece it sounds like doping authorities will need an Elliot Ness.

Though, I can't say that it's a surprising approach. And, really, no less invasive than having your DNA on file.

Let's just chip all cyclists, wet wire them to a computer and download their whereabouts for periods of time. That way we'll have POV evidence. Unless the Nazi Frogmen hack into the cyclists' brains.