Monday, April 23, 2007

Pressure doesn't build character, it reveals it

FFF press release at 5:51 PT, also at


Retesting Conducted Without Independent Observer Oversight

New York / Paris, April 23, 2007 – Under the order of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) Paul Scott, expert consultant to 2006 Tour de France champion Floyd Landis and observer at the illegal retesting of Landis’ already cleared Tour de France samples, was yesterday denied entry to the Laboratoire National de Dépistage du Dopage (LNDD) at Chatenay-Malabry. As such, the analysis of two samples was conducted without a Landis representative as witness. Such behavior constitutes a clear and direct infringement of Landis’ rights while casting severe doubt on the integrity of an already dubious process.

This latest incident comes on the heels of a week in which Landis’ observers have been repeatedly and improperly restricted from accessing key phases of data processing and analysis while USADA’s expert and lawyer were able to have free lab access and directed the retesting process of LNDD.


Per the pre-arbitration process, there was to be an independent expert appointed by the arbitration panel whose role was to determine if the testing methodologies are flawed and to provide an additional degree of protection for Landis. USADA knowingly directed that the testing begin April 16 despite the fact that no such expert had been named.

According to Scott, LNDD lab director Jacques de Ceaurriz did not allow him to enter the facility Sunday morning. Ceaurriz cited direct orders from USADA to prohibit any further observation of the ongoing retesting.

During the analysis, USADA observers regularly provided specific direction to the LNDD, over-ruling the Landis observers’ objections and conferring with LNDD staff in private during sample processing. Landis and his team find this behavior to be particularly troubling as these deliberate actions confirm their position that the samples have been subject to mishandling, further malfeasance and potential results falsification.

Scott, former director of client services at the UCLA Olympic Laboratory, left UCLA last October and shortly thereafter was added as a consultant to the Landis defense team. Early on, Scott cited the poor handling of Landis’ Stage 17 sample as the primary example of the deep problems in scientific method and fact finding in this case. Scott said, “In my years at the UCLA lab, I’ve never seen anything like what I experienced at the LNDD yesterday. The limitation placed on me and Simon [Davis – an Isotope Ratio Mass Spectometry expert also selected by Landis to observe the retesting] demonstrates the lack of objectivity in this process, USADA’s interest in controlling and limiting our observation of the retesting is an example of one of the most egregious problems in the fundamental science of anti-doping that I have experienced.“

Given the indisputable conflicts and documented incompetence at the LNDD, testing Landis’ “B” samples there without witness or Panel appointed independent expert highlights USADA’s out-of-control prosecution. The outrageous and improper limitations placed on Landis’ observers reinforce the injustice inherent to this entire process. This is particularly evident in the case of this unprecedented retesting, where both USADA and the LNDD have a vested interest in colluding to corroborate the flawed results of Landis’ Stage 17 sample.

Scott added, ““Good science does not fear being an open book. Any science that is not neutral and objective is not science at all. Labs acting under the direction of prosecuting Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) are, by definition, not independent. As service providers hired by ADOs, they have a vested interest in the results desired by their client. In this case, the client is USADA and the lab is the LNDD. From what I have witnessed so far, I have significant concerns that their analysis will render results that are scientifically invalid.”

By exhausting sample material during the retesting without providing the checks and balances necessary to protect the interests of the athlete, USADA has willfully destroyed evidence that can be used to independently verify whatever results come out of the conflicted LNDD facility.

“This is yet another in a series of malicious actions by USADA that tramples my right to have my case heard in fair and just way,” said Landis. “How can I be expected to prove my innocence while USADA endeavors to break their own rules at every turn? I’m infuriated by the behavior of USADA and the LNDD. Together, they have turned this proceeding into a full-scale attack on my civil rights and a mockery of justice.”

end of press release.


Burt Friggin' Hoovis said...

Imagine, Floyd's representatives were barred from observing the testing...and L'Equipe is already reporting that the samples "showed traces of synthetic testosterone."

This whole thing is turning into nothing short of a sick friggin' joke...

Anonymous said...

email to Representative Steny Hoyer

Mr. Hoyer: I am writing because of a grave concern about the USADA and its treatment of Floyd Landis, the cyclist who won the Tour de France. USADA is supported by taxpayer funds yet denys athletes basic due process when there is a question about illegal use of performance enhancing drugs. Mr. Landis is being denied an an observer at testing of his biological samples when the samples are tested at the same analytical laboratory whose methodology has been shown to be deffective in the past.

Please consider denial of taxpayer funds to USADA unless/until basic due process is granted to the athletes of whom we are so proud. thank you, mary clarke from greenbelt

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for Brunet and McLaren to simply ignore the l'Equipe issue and wrap this thing up pretty quick.
Same as it ever was.
A fait accomplis i'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Guys but your "Conspiracy Theory" of the USADA, WADA, LNDD, French people, Tour de France Organizers out to "get" Floyd Landis is getting very old.

I can't wait to hear all of the facts about who was present when the analysis of the other samples was conducted in France and who was not. The testing and analysis was completed by Saturday 4/21 and Mr. Scott was denied access to the Lab on Sunday 4/22. It will be interesting to hear whether or not he was granted access on Thursday 4/19, Friday 4/20 and Saturday 4/21.

If Landis and team want to "try this case in the court of public opinion," thats fine. Sounds like they are either raising the "conspiracy theory" message to the media, or once again nit picking about a not particularly material issue. The bottom line is that the IRMS test results reportedly were repeated on various other Landis TDF samples.

Somehow, artificial testosterone manifested itself in Landis' urine numerous times during the Tour de France last year. Hmmm, how did that happen?

That to me is much more about what the core of this case is all about. Not number cross-outs on a document without initials. Not old operating software on a testing machine in a WADA approved lab. Not about disallowing a Landis representative access to a lab on a Sunday after lab tests have already been completed.

I can't wait to hear all the facts in three more weeks!

Anonymous said...

If the testers wanted to avoid the appearance of a "conspiracy theory", they probably shouldn't have leaked the results to L'Equipe... AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

they released this already too what a joke.


Anonymous said...

To Anon #2,

"Somehow, artificial testosterone manifested itself in Landis' urine numerous times during the Tour de France last year. Hmmm, how did that happen?"

Have you not studied anything except the excrement coming from the yellow rag L'equipe? There is serious doubt about the validity of the tests coming out of france. A little research would go a long way. Someone can help you with the big words.

And turning retests over to the same lab (that has no problem leaking news to said rag over and over and over in direct violation to WADA rules.) does nothing to instill ANY confidence in the process. If the confidentiality rules are not important enough to observe, when do their ethics/morals kick in? It doesn't seem like soon enough. It looks and smells like a hack job through and through.

It should be the lab and USADA looking at lifetime suspensions for egregious rule violations, not Floyd.


Anonymous said...

Anon #2, how do you know what days the testing was completed on? Was that in a story that hasn't yet been linked to? Do you also know which samples were tested on those days?


Anonymous said...

TBV, I wish you didn't sensor my earlier comment about the Landis camp misleading the public about whether or not their representatives were present for retesting. Maybe if I sugar coat everything, you'll let it post?

I understand it is your forum so you can make the rules.

DBrower said...

Anon @ 12:48 -- Huh? I haven't deleted or edited any comments today.


Anonymous said...

I'd bet anon's comment was eaten by the word verification time limit that Blogger hasn't seemed to figure out. It's happened to me before.

Anonymous said...

Some points about today:

1). Landis camp issues a press release stating that the analysis of prior TDF Landis samples was conducted in the lab without the presence of Mr. Scott and Mr. Davis, Landis defense team representatives. The USADA, LNDD Lab director and French anti-doping head deny and state in public that all testing and analysis was with representatives of both the Landis and USADA camps. Mr. Scott and Mr. Davis, it is reported, were not allowed access to the lab on Sunday 4/22 because no representatives were present from USADA. Sounds right to me. The Landis camp press release seemed to me to be very misleading and actually stated that the analysis and testing was conducted without their presence. Now they are backtracking a bit by saying they were there during the testing last week.

2). Landis defense team whines about "private conversations" between USADA representatives and LNDD Lab personnel. Remember, the USADA requested to undertake these tests, so they needed to direct the testing procedure that they feel will hold up during the hearing in three weeks. They requested these tests, presumably, because the Landis defense team continued to state that only one TDF urine sample turned up with artificial testosterone. This test was conducted to confirm or deny that. Well well well? Also, remember that the Landis defense team could have at any time taken the bull by the horns and commissioned a similar test themselves. But THEY DID NOT. Instead, they requested that the test be undertaken at the UCLA lab, which they know was unable to perform the test in time for the May 14th hearing. They put in a request that they knew would be denyed. Sort of like having your representatives showing up to the Lab on a Sunday and asking to go in, knowing that the USADA representatives were not there. Sort of makes them out to be the victims huh.

3). Landis defense team is upset that the results leaked to the public by L'Equipe. From what is coming out now, the L'Equipe news report was accurate. In addition, the Landis defense team knew that the test results were positive for artificial testosterone, sometime last week. They can't claim that they were ambushed by the information this time! I do find it troubling that a newspaper would secure access to this information. I do find it comforting however that the info that they reported was ACCURATE and was known by the Landis camp.

4). The news report by L'Equipe can only help the Landis defense by perpetuating their French conspiracy theory. It also gives them adequate time to guage public response and prepare a defense by May 14th. That was great news for Landis that L'Equipe reported those results rather than them having to issue a news release themselves.

5). The Landis defense team states that they want to try the case in the court of public opinion and they are interested in the truth. Then, why didn't they complain about unequal access to testing last week, when it was happening? Why didn't they come public with the test results from the other TDF B samples (which came back positive) when they were communicated to THEM last week? Why didn't they come up with the idea to retest the Landis B samples (blindly, along with others) to prove their point that the stage 17 TDF results were a one time occurance? Why do they say that they are pushing for a speedy hearing and then make numerous volumenous data requests, and now talk about wanting to pospone the hearing from May 14th?

I think the Landis folks, with their road shows, media consultants, high priced legal team and drug testing experts thought that they could win the battle of public opinion. Especially when going against an agency (USADA) that cannot comment publicly on any pending cases. Too bad, for this one member of the public, they are losing the battle. We'll see who wins the war?!

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon...

In point state that the Landis camp could have commissioned retesting themselves... Have you forgotten that those samples are no longer property of Landis once he pees in the cup??? What makes you think the Arb board would have allowed Landis to test on his own??? They wouldn't even allow splitting of the samples for backup testing at a different lab.

You are eager to chop away the UCLA lab request...and yet it was USADA that made the unprecedented request to retest the samples, and an untimely SPLIT decision by the arbitration board to retest at all...that ruling was made at a time when it was known the UCLA lab would be you can't pin blame on Landis for that....the door swings both directions.

You wrote (direct copy/paste):

"Remember, the USADA requested to undertake these tests, so they needed to direct the testing procedure that they feel will hold up during the hearing in three weeks."

Can you not understand that this is the exact testing procedure that they are fighting??? Can you not see that a "directed" scientific test is NOT scientific? Why would WADA certified techs need directing??? Unless, of course,it's fixed, tampered with to get the information, as you say, "that they feel will hold up during the hearing in three weeks." Where's the fairness to the accused in that??????? How about....testing to allow the truth to come out for a fair hearing in 3 weeks' time, instead of directed to get the outcome they are looking for????

BTW: You have the right to remain anonymous here....that was supposed to be Floyd's right as an athlete for the drug testing, and yet he was denied that basic right. Here you are, making accusations and slants with a basic right that your accused was never allowed. How would you feel if Blogger suddenly printed your name under your posting without your permission??? Or attributed someone else's posting to you with which you vehemently disagreed?

Oh, lastly, point #4....I've not heard the Official Landis camp EVER talk about a French conspiracy. Might want to brush up on your research.....


Anonymous said...

Sorry Kate, but the "anonymous" always stay that way. It is easy to accuse when you are not known. That way you cannot hold them accountable for what they say...
Green MTN.

Unknown said...

Nice Kate. Anon's post is as full of the slanted assumptions and half-truths for which (s)he accuses the Landis camp of deploying.

Anonymous said...

This comment is from anon from 2:24pm on 4/23. Back with a few more thoughts to ponder:

1. anon at 4:31pm/kate
The Landis defense team NEVER petitioned the arbitration board to retest any prior TDF stage B samples. They had every opportunity to do so. They chose to fight to avoid any testing of prior stage B samples (with IRMS) first. Then, chose to ask that the testing be done at a location that they new was unable to conduct the test in a timely fashion.

2. It was indeed a split decision by the arbitration board to allow retesting of the prior stage B samples. The dissenter (Campbell) was chosen by the Landis defense team. He is the same arbitration board member who Jacobs chose for his unsuccessful defense of Tyler Hamilton. He was the only arbitration board member to rule in favor of Tyler Hamilton in his case. In fact, after the Hamilton case move from arbitration to the CAS, the CAS found him to be guilty unanimously. I guess Campbell was a firm believer in the Jacobs/Hamilton "vanishing twin" defense. No other arb members or CAS members voted similarly!! Figure it out for yourself.

3. My point about the testing procedure being "directed" by the USADA. My choice of the word directed was a bad one. What I ment to say was that you and I know that when the hearing takes place (presumably May 14th) both sides will examine in great detail how the TDF stage 17 urine sample IRMS tests were conducted and what the data said. I would think that the USADA would want to make sure that the lab conducted the second round of IRMS tests (on other TDF stage Landis urine samples) in a way that is bulletproof and able to withstand any holes that the Landis defense team might poke in it during the hearing. They have a vested interest to make sure the test was conducted in a clear and indisputable manner. It makes their case easier to prove.

4. As for Landis and his defense team's claims that the Lab or USADA leaked the second testing results to L'Equipe, I say prove it! Unless they have proof, they are condeming two different organizations of doing something without basis. Who's to say the Landis team didn't leak the results? Maybe it was the Lab's telecommunications company? Maybe a courrier? Maybe someone spied through a window with binoculars? I'm not suggesting any of these happend. I am suggesting and stating that the Landis defense team is making acqusations toward LNDD and USADA, WITHOUT PROOF.

5. I find it very intesting to note two recent developments. First, the Landis defense team has now formally requested an extension on the hearing date. Surprise, surprise. Secondly, they have made their IRMS testing expert witnesses (Mr. Scott and Mr. Davis) unavailable to the press to answer questions.

6. In many ways I really feel sorry for Floyd Landis. I think that he has been ill advised all along by his team, especially Jacobs. Why anyone would hire Jacobs to represent themself (from the beginning) is beyond me. Jacobs ran up HUGE legal fees for Tyler Hamilton to get him what? Jacobs left that case fat dumb and happy. Hamilton left that case convicted and perceived by a good portion of the public as someone who chose not to come clean but rather to fight his case using far fetched explanations (Chimera) and nit picking over procedural technicalities. In my opinion, that was dubious legal advice at best. Oh well, no skin off Jacobs' back. Then Landis hires him and the Landis defense miscues begin. They continue as we speak, and so do his legal/P.R. team's billable hours! Landis ought to than his lucky stars for Dr. Arnie Baker, the one member of his team with a pure motive in this case.

7. As for anonimity. Since you were so big and posted your name, Kate, I'll post mine. Matthew. I am just a regular person expressing my opinion and my version of the truth, as I see it.

Anonymous said...

One typo on the post above:

Landis ought to THANK his lucky stars for Dr. Arnie Baker!! A real hero.

Jacobs, Henson, et al , my hat is off to you for soaking Floyd and the FFF for all they are worth.