Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday Roundup


USADA has ordered LNDD to deny access to Landis's observers to the B sample retesting. The observers have been identified as Paul Scott, the COO of ACE, and until October, the Director of Clients at the UCLA Lab, and Simon Davis, at some point Technical Director of Mass Spec Solutions.

via Reuters carries a leak that says some samples tested positive for exogenous Testosterone.

L'Equipe story, translated by Marc:

Doping: Landis overwhelmed
by Damien Ressiot

To L'Equipe: Supplementary analyses just completed on seven Floyd Landis specimens taken during the 2006 TdF and originally classified as negative, have on several occasions made it possible to reveal clearly traces of synthetic testosterone. The American rider, winner of the Grande Boucle but officially testing positive for a first time at the conclusion of the race (also for synthetc testosterone), must appear before an ADA panel this coming May 14 and risks a two year suspension.

After initally opposing the principle of retroactive analyses, Landis, confronted with these new crushing results from the laboratory at Ch√Ętenay-Malabry (LNDD), is now going to have to readjust his defense strategy as quickly as possible. For these new positive specimens--revealed by means of the IRMS technique--which distinguishes the origin of any testosterone detected as natural or synthetic)--will support the current accusation made by the USADA (and the UCI). Moreover, Floyd Landis, who has for several months been making an effort to discredit the French laboratory, will have a great deal of trouble using that argument this time: the latest analyses, performed during this past week and completed this weekend, were carried out in the presence of two experts named by the rider and two representatives of the USADA.

CNN International also prints the Reuters story on new positives being found in the Landis "B" samples testing done at LNDD. They erroneously report that Landis representatives were present during testing. The Reuters report has been picked up by numerous media outlets.

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent , among other outlets, picks up the AP version of today's breaking Landis news. In this version notice is made of the lack of official confirmation of the results, and the fact that Landis observers were not present at all yesterday, and were excluded from the testing on other occasions last week.

Later there was a phone-call press conference by Landis; we have coverage, as does Rant.

BikeBiz headline is
Former UCLA boss cries foul in Landis case, referring to Paul Scott, not Catlin.

ABC Sports print an AFP piece with the quotes from Maurice Suh, one of Landis' lawyers, that likens the LNDD doing the further testing on Landis' samples to the fox guarding the henhouse.

ESPN's Bonnie DeSimone reports on today's Landis developments leaked from L'Equipe:

The most recent skirmish over potential evidence in the case broke out Monday when the French daily sports newspaper L'Equipe reported -- citing no specific source -- that tests of Landis' "B" or backup samples at the Laboratoire National de Depistage du Dopage (LNDD) outside Paris showed exogenous testosterone, or a form of the hormone not naturally produced by the body.

Numerous athletes' test results have been leaked to L'Equipe over the past several years. This leak of Landis' purported results comes just three weeks after the World Anti-Doping Agency deplored the same newspaper's report that there were hormonal irregularities in year-old samples given by quintuple Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe of Australia. Thorpe's results were not considered an official positive.

She also quotes Howard Jacobs, one of the Landis defense attorneys, who states that USADA has abandoned all pretenses of conducting the Landis investigation fairly:

Jacobs, who has represented many prominent athletes charged with doping violations, said USADA has abandoned any pretense of pursuing Landis' case in a responsible manner because of the cyclist's aggressive public defense. Landis posted many documents related to his case on the Internet and has been barnstorming the country raising money to cover his legal costs, which have exceeded $1 million.

The agency's stance boils down to, "If you fight, we will go after you," Jacobs said. "It's the attitude of a system that has historically used high-profile cases to increase their budget. … They assume the role of prosecutor without assuming the ethical obligations of prosecutors, such as revealing exculpatory evidence."

The Independent's Alastair Fotheringham reports on the disputed tests performed last week and leaked today from the LNDD by French daily L'Equipe. He also states that the Landis camp feels the exclusion of their observers to all of the process to be a mockery of justice.


The Rome Georgia Tribune's Trey Smith was "scooter trash" for the week of the Tour of Georgia, and had bagels with Floyd Landis yesterday morning before ferrying VIPs and photogs around Atlanta for the final stage of the race.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press summarizes the final stage of the Tour of Gerogia, and mentions briefly that Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong, both former winners, were in attendance in Atlanta for the end of the race.


Racejunkie thinks that Floyd Landis has been target practice, and if they're gonna hit him do it fairly:

Well, according to Landis' exasperated team, in addition to giving the lions a second chance to down the prey they humiliatingly--and publicly--missed the first time, the lab utterly denied Landis due process this time around, too, by failing to allow, as required by the rules, one of Landis' own experts to observe the proceedings. Nice work reaching your foregone conclusion, you apes!

Look, as a lawyer, I have decidedly mixed feelings about those rare instances where due process concerns trump actual facts. But what's incredibly clear in this case is that none of these idiots should be allowed to judge a kindergarten schoolyard dispute over the rightful ownership of a spit-covered lollipop, much less a complex scientific determination as to whether someone's hard-earned career oughta be blown to bits. Destroy him fairly and honestly--fine, them's the breaks for Floyd, justice is served. But if you can't, suck up the pain of your unjustified suspicions and acknowledge either that he's really not guilty, or you haven't the competence to prove that he is.

thinks that believing Floyd Landis is now a bit of a stretch.

Heakthbolt laments the results leaked today about the Landis "B:" samples tested at the LNDD, but feels the righteous indignation of Team Landis may be justified.

Wired Science's Michael Calore posts a thoughtful piece on today's developments, with the concerns that this bodes ill for all cyclists, and athletes for that matter, when protocols can be so trampled by the anti-doping agencies:

The decision to retroactively test Landis' "B" samples is trouble for both retired cyclists and those currently racing. Under this new precident, nobody is safe from their own past.

If the powers that be call for it, any riders' "B" sample can be trotted out and tested retroactively. Several racers and team support personnel active in the mid-1990s (such as Willy Voet and Laurent Roux) have broken cycling's unspoken rule of omerta, spilling the beans on who took what during which races and who injected them with it.

Biking Bis summarizes a very long day for Team Landis.

Rant is mystified at the exclusion of the Landis representatives at LNDD for the further testing of Landis samples last week. He is convinced that the positive results listed above from the leak to L'Equipe have been cooked up:

With the barring of Landis’ observers from LNDD, the testing process at LNDD is now clearly revealed for what it truly is: a sham, cooked up to create the kind of evidence that USADA wants so that they can achieve the result they want — which is to find Floyd Landis guilty.

Given that neither the arbitration panel nor Landis is now represented at the testing facility, I can’t imagine how the arbitrators can allow any of the cooked-up “evidence” this testing will produce to be admitted at the time of the hearing. If it wasn’t clear before, USADA’s desire to win at all costs — including by breaking the rules and the rulings of the arbitrators — is on display for all to see.

If this were a true judicial proceeding, wouldn’t USADA’s lawyers be facing sanctions right now? Or a contempt citation? This development highlights just why the current adjudication process needs to be changed. As a quasi-judicial body, USADA should be held to judicial rules. They clearly feel bound by nothing in their quest to crucify Floyd Landis.

He also wrote his Senator before the quiet turned into the storm. Rant went on to cover today's Landis teleconference with more insights into some of the questions asked.

JavaDog Sports thinks that IF you still care about cycling in the wake of today's Landis revelations you might as well kick yourself in the...well you get the picture.

I am Spy wonders if "Blue" Floyd Landis' career will be forever shrouded in the fog of conspiracy?

The Donkey Carnival
thinks that whole Landis doping deal is a bore, the sandwiches he eats every day are more interesting .

Steroid Nation reports what L'Equipe , through translation , wrote as well as the BBC's report of today's events.

SQW Racing posts Michael Henson's press release from this AM and thinks that it's important for people to read it even though it's obviously not on the scale of world peace.

Bikefitter says "game over" for Floyd Landis. It may actually be just beginning.

20Million Minutes is upset about the lockout, as is Unconqerable Gladness.

Dugard says,
Things, however, aren't looking so good for Floyd Landis. Once again, laboratory results of his drug tests were leaked to L'Equipe, the French sports daily whose parent company also owns the Tour de France. And once again, the results are bad for Floyd. Traces of synthetic testosterone are now showing up in his urine. Not good. Not fair, either, that there are no comparison samples to test these against. Floyd is pretty much screwed. He's being railroaded procedurally. It's obvious that the Tour wants him gone, and that USADA and WADA and the French lab are violating protocol left and right in their haste to depose Landis as Tour champ. On the other hand, if there really was synthetic testosterone in Floyd's system, then he must ultimately explain how it got there.

UltraRob says that his doctor says that "on again off again" Lance Armstrong may yet race against Floyd Landis in the Leadville 100 this summer.

Beautiful Mind says recent findings by LNDD don't bode well for Floyd Landis.

Smithers is movin' on now that some of the "B" samples have allegedly tested positive for exogenous testosterone.

Get Outdoors say he's a doper, still. invokes Jerry Lewis.

VeloGal lights into the agencies:

[O]nce again, L'Creep's hired hands in the Cesspool have leaked the "news" that Landis' B Samples show synthetic testosterone. Once again, confidentiality is breached, more like raped, and the results leaked. And Pierre Bordry, president of the French anti-doping agency, pretends that he doesn't know what the results are. Please, does he think we are all idiots?

And does USADA think we are all idiots that we can't figure out real quick-like that if somehow the two USADA agents didn't show up for the testing that Paul Scott wouldn't be allowed in? Yes, that was the agreement, that Scott and two USADA agents would observe the B sample testing. So, Oh Gee, What A Surprise... The two USADA henchmen somehow just didn't show up, and the LNDD very smugly refused to allow the Landis expert to observe and witness the "testing"...

My God, what flagrant misconduct that these Anti-Doping Agencies are shoving down our throats. What a total abuse of power and arrogant flicking off the entire cycling world. This is truly the Dark Day in the cycling world, not last July, but today.

Uphill and Downhill says there would be no truck drivers if WADA ran testing for the transportation industry, in a post titled French Railroad Coming Through.

Spinopsys, longtime critic, says,

So, we’re back where we started and the facts haven’t really changed, the ratio was unusual and the synthetic testosterone still exists. That still has to be adequately explained by the defense. We shall see on the day of the hearing. But ultimately, furphys about process and athlete confidentiality aside, this is looking like a slam dunk

Pabaon Sports says Landis is a cheating hero, who nobody believes anymore.

Emaxhealth, runs the Landis press release uncredited; looks like a spam blog.

Karen's PR Blog thinks he's guilty and that the revelations have impacted his athletic reputation in a very negative way. Thanks for sharing.

Thought for the Day

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.
-henry david thoreau-


Anonymous said...

CNN International also prints the Reuters story on new positives being found in the Landis "B"...

As far as we know the new tests did not produce any positives. The leak said "traces of exogenous testosterone", which suggests to me that they found nothing more convincing than the stage 17 IRMS tests. A "trace" could be nothing more than a single metabolite slightly out of the "normal" range. If they found something more definitive, why didn't they leak that?

~ Cub

Thomas A. Fine said...

Could we get clarification from Marc on some of the points of translation?

First of all, "traces". In french, is this explicitly a word that indicates a small amount? The IRMS test can not find "traces" of synthetic testosterone. Perhaps if "traces" was translated from a word that meant something more akin to "signs" or "indications" it would make more sense, but that's the less common usage for "traces" in english.

Second, when they say "distinguish", I take that to mean "can tell apart", which (as with the first time around and the "foolproof" quote) is an extreme mischaracterization of how this test operates.


Anonymous said...

Editorial cartoons on the news can be found over at