Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Austin Town Hall Drops Hints about Retest

Frequent commenter A-town sends the following report...

Floyd Fairness Fundraiser in Austin Monday

If Floyd comes to your city I strongly urge you if you haven’t had a chance to hear the information first hand, in person, go and listen. In Austin, It was an intimate setting, the crowd probably about 50-60 people split between cyclists and Surgeons. There was some good banter between Michael and Will in the beginning as they went over the recent request and how un-American they have been treated by an organization funded by Congress. There wasn’t much new on the slides that I haven’t seen before on the online version. Dr. Baker does a great job presenting. However, he may need to be careful not to go to fast through the info because he is so familiar with it. Sorry no photos of the fundraiser and presentation, my wife needed the camera and all I had was the cell phone cam and the few photos I have are very low rez.

After the presentation the Q & A started and there were a lot of people who were hearing about the errors for the first time, it appeared to be a lot of the Surgeons that were invited by Smith & Nephews. They were surprised they hadn’t been hearing about these errors in the main stream media. Michael Henson was quick to point out that there were a few such as Mr. Hiltzik with the LA times that is providing great coverage. Mr. Henson also felt that they were starting to gain some steam in the main press. Also mentioning a bump in donations over $250 after it was released that USADA has requested the name of these donors, it seems to be the “A” list to be on. I’m sure the team would have liked USADA to have set the bar at $500, but I digress.

Some of the questions were some we’ve heard before related to the case and some were how’s the family holding up, etc. All of which were fielded well. Floyd was also asked to recount the discussion with the riders the morning before stage 17 and the strategy the whole “grab a coke because we are going on the first hill.” Evidently Floyd believes it was some of the Spanish team mates that spilled the beans on the strategy for the stage by telling their friends on other teams. It was truly great to hear that story live and have a better understanding of the pack mentality after 16 days on the bike in the grand tour.

When the mic got around to me I asked a couple of questions, related to the testing of the other “B” samples. However the answer to the second stood out so far from the first, I can’t remember what the first question was. My second question was simply this, was there going to be any blinding of the B samples they are now testing, where they going to test 14 samples instead of 7 so they wouldn’t know which was Floyds? Judging by Floyd’s and Dr. Bakers looks, I think I caught them a little off guard, Floyds eyes got big and Baker immediately got a smirk on his face. Then Dr. Baker reply’s with, “Yes, there were three random samples that were sent over from the UCLA lab to be tested with Floyds samples. However the 3 samples that were sent over had the lids taped on, apposed to Floyds samples that were not sealed the same way. So it was obvious which samples were not Floyds.” [EMPHISIS ADDED] There was this collective jaw drop and audible group sigh.

HMMM, So lets think about this, they were given 3 samples to supposedly help blind the study of Floyds samples but yet it was obvious these three samples were different than the others. Reminds me of the old Sesame Street tune and game, “which one of these is not like the other,” to which the answer was obvious to anyone that was over the age of 2. This isn’t rocket science guys, its simply trying to make Floyds samples undistinguishable from the other samples to help reduce chance of tampering and yet they’ve botched it.

After the Q & A, I spent some time talking mingling with the fans and members of the team while Floyd was signing autographs. While no one on Floyds team would elaborate beyond the non-blind/blind sample snafu the word coming back from across the pond is that after the first day LNDD has already horribly botched their do over.

Who knows the reasons for the mistakes but they know who’s samples they are testing and everyone is watching their every move, every type on the key pad every T they don’t cross and every I they forget to dot. Well let me tell you because of the mistakes and junk science at LNDD, Floyd is ready to cross Travis’ T’s and dot some eyes.

While the team is getting polished and ready to fight. I’m concerned that because Floyd is fighting an unjust war that is rigged so the house will always win, he will become a martyr similar to that of the Texas forefathers Crockett, W.B. Travis, and Bowie and the others at the Alamo. A battle you know you can’t win but you fight the good fight because that’s all you know and all you can do.

A-Town, Tx.


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

Wow. All I can say is,"Holy sh*t!"

strbuk said...

Double ditto rant's comment. Thanks SO MUCH for the great report!!


Anonymous said...

I don't know, TBV. I guess it is fair enough to pass on the comments of someone who was there, but A-town's report ought to at least be given a "For What Its Worth" qualifier. I'm not sure comments from Floyd's people after the first day of testing tell us too much about the testing. Probably the comments tell us more about what they want us to believe about the testing.

Anonymous said...

Question for A-town: I am a little unclear what you meant in your comment about "the word coming back from across the pond is that after the first day LNDD has already horribly botched their do over. Who knows the reasons for the mistakes but they know who’s samples they are testing and everyone is watching their every move..." Can you clarify for my muddled brain who the "everyone" is...are the mistakes being watched by "everyone" in Floyd's favor, to prove Dr. Baker's points of gross negligence, or is this more of the same blatant disregard of the rules that no one is going to call them on? Thanks for your help.

Anonymous said...


Make of it what you what, "For What its worth", what ever you want to classify it as, but you may want to also classify the release of the Request Info from Holme, Roberts & Owen as Floyd's team telling us what they want us to hear as "for what its worth as well". ask yourself this, Why was it selected for release and nothing else? Just my opinion, but I think they chose to ignore the gag order and release it because it was such an illogical and egregious request meant to intimidate. (disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer just pure speculation from an observer) I'm not convinced that releasing that info does not break the gag order. But if it does, I understand and agree with why they released it and I would have done the same. By no means am I arguing that my information is correct, but it IS what I heard at the fund raiser. Baker didn't have to tell us (us = everyone at the Austin FFF presentation) the details about the so called "blind" samples being un-masked if you will, he could have just answered, Yes and left it alone. If you want you can always Trust, but verify with Floyds team or just wait for the hearing. I just thought it was note worthy, The only reason nothing else was quoted because most was 1 on 1 conversation and I didn't disclose that I was considering sending TBV a summery of the nights events.


I apologize for not being clearer, By "everyone" I was specifically referring to the witnesses at LNDD, Floyd's and USADA's. Just imagine having 4 witnesses for a high profile case watching your every move and you hear them scribbling on paper writing everything you do down.
I asked about the procedure of what the witnesses could and could not do. The Witnesses are not allowed to interject but just watch and take notes. If they interject they could be immediately removed from the lab. I don't know about you but that sound intimidating and high stress to me. on both sides but especially if you are use to doing you job in anonymity.

Hope this helps,

A-town, Tx.

kirsch said...

to paraphrase your catlin press conference correspondent from this past weekend... "they collapsed like a bunch of broccoli..."

Anonymous said...


Coverage of the Richardson event from the dallas morning news

Anonymous said...

A-town, don't worry, I barely believe a word of what comes from the USADA side! I hope you didn't think I was questioning your veracity. My comment was more about TBV's use of your comments, not your comments themselves. I guess I just sort of try to nudge TBV to present things with a little more balance. I should probably just let him do it as he sees fit. This site is fabulous after all!

It will be interesting to hear if more little stuff leaks out about the tests in the next nine days.


DBrower said...

As we do with many things that don't come as PDFs, we ran A-town's report credited, pretty much unedited original form. It's a first hand account from a primary source.

I will take responsibility for highlighting what seemed to be the most newsworthy item in the report, an indication that there might be observed problems. It didn't seem particularly necessary to identify the spin since it was clearly coming from the report of a supported attending a partisan event. People here seem to have had no difficulty forming their own judgement about the truth content -- which is that we won't know much more until the serious leaks begin.


Anonymous said...

"...which is that we won't know much more until the serious leaks begin." Perfect response, TBV. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe Floyd's sample were NOT tamper-proofed!!! For God's sake, don't they follow the most BASIC procedures that ALL labs follow! In the US (if of course we weren't talking about the USADA and WADA); there would be law suits flying!!! And for good reason.
Thanks for the report. I need to get on the stick and contact some people in Washington!

Anonymous said...


No problem, I wasn't upset by your post. Just sharing my view. its always hard for me to judge tone and tenor online especially my own.

A-town, Tx.