Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday Roundup

The VeloNews says hold everything and not so fast, the Mayo "B" sample is not negative, it has not yet been completed according to Anne Gripper of the UCI:

The second sample is not negative," UCI anti-doping coordinator Anne Gripper told AFP at Tuesday's doping summit in Paris. "The analysis of it has not yet finished."

There were some reports that labs botched the test, but Gripper insisted that testing methods between labs in France, where the "A" sample was tested, and follow-up tests in Belgium are not the same. Officials now want a second sample to be re-tested at the Chatenay-Malabry lab in France.

She said it would be another "five or six weeks" before the second round of tests is completed. Even if the follow-up tests are negative, the UCI said it might consider an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

They want them tested at the LNDD? Mayo seems to remain in the crosshairs, and comments below try to decode the authority for multiple tests. The B was sent to Ghent for primary analysis, and confirmation by Australia. Gripper and McQuaid are saying the results were inconclusive, but don't mention Australia, only Ghent. The re-testing at LNDD by the UCI has the aroma of a bunch of apparatchik's sending the test to a "politically reliable" lab, which ought to raise eyebrows. The benevolent reading is that the Ghent/Australian test were officially reported as inconclusive, but even then it is hard to see why the original lab is involved in an EPO test, which has special status as we understand it under the WADA code requiring a second lab confirmation.

The Courier Journal writes about the culture of suspicion that now surrounds sport where doping is concerned, specifically in the case of Paul Byrd from baseball.

MSNBC reports on today's final meeting at the anti-doping summit in Paris where Dick Pound of WADA declares a new day has dawned:

"There has been a lot of harsh language back and forth about how cycling got to where it is today,'' Pound said. "This is a new day. We are trying to work with cycling to help in insofar as we can - to get cycling back to where it should be.''

Pound said he hoped that some day, historians would look back on the 2006-07 seasons as the years that cycling officials "looked over the edge of a very deep chasm, pulled back, and said, 'No, enough.'''

The UCI's Pat McQuaid is a bit more cautious calling the much ballyhooed "blood passport" program just one more element in the fight against doping.

But, if you read the Mirror.co.uk you'll find Pat McQuaid and the UCI being portrayed as more enthusiastic about the new era in doping controls, the blood passport

The CyclingNews writes up today's conclusion to the doping summit in Paris at which Dick Pound, Pat McQuaid, and Christian Prudhomme once again became friends thus assuring McQuaid and the UCI a welcome at the 2008 Tour de France launch later this week. All represented organizations agreed that the "blood passport" was to be instituted for the 2008 competition year:

The program, based on half a dozen blood analyses to determine each rider's blood profile, is considered by all parties (UCI, WADA and ASO) as a real weapon against blood doping. "We hope if it's successful in cycling that once we know it is successful, we'll use it in other sports after 2008," Pound said. The biological passport will not be compulsory at the start of all races but "the main ones". It will concern road riders only when it's put in place on January 1 and McQuaid added: "I'd like to think we'll do it in other disciplines than road possibly before the Olympics in Beijing."

posts the AP report on the conclusion of the doping summit in Paris which ended today.

Rant is disturbed by the lack of harmony between the UCI and WADA when it comes to dealing with doping cases such as that which now finds Iban Mayo cleared of doping charges due to a negative "B" sample result. Rant also thinks that ALL positive "As" should be tested at labs other than those which found the "A" samples positive, as was Mayo's.

I Pull 400 Watts gives Floyd Landis the "quote of the week" about training:

"If you overtrained, it means that you didn't train hard enough to handle that level of training. So you weren't overtrained; you were actually undertrained to begin with. So there's the rule again: The guy who trains the hardest, the most, wins."
—Floyd Landis

High Voltage Report feels the Landis legal team must just LOVE the Iban Mayo story since it illustrates that testing suspected "B" samples at a lab other than the LNDD can produce results different than found from the "A" sample. HV is of the opinion that this can do nothing but help Floyd Landis in his appeal to the CAS.

Sara Best saw a spoof ad on the CBC. that referred to "that guy who won the Tour de France last year".

KanyonKris says get ready for the circus now that the Mayo "B" sample has come back negative after being tested at labs other that the LNDD, which had found the "A" sample positive. KK trusts the anti-doping agencies less and less and finds it all turning into a witch hunt, and quotes from the Hippocratic Oath:

So when the anti-doping agencies make accusations but don't have their act together, they're making a bad situation worse. Of course the anti-dopers say the fallout from this current "purging" phase is the price to be paid to have the sport clean in the future. But if the therapy cripples or kills the patient, more has been lost than gained and the course of action was wrong. "I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone."

Tarheel22 rants about cycling's credibility with reference to "Floyd (doped-to-the-gills) Landis".

Kable Access does an "A-Z" exercise reminiscent of something elementary kids would do for Mother's Day. "L" is for Landis, and he wants Floyd to just give it up.

Bike World News
feels the UCI should be all set to move its headquarters to Salem, Mass. as the "witch hunt" is definitely on.

By the way, how come there is enough of the "B" Mayo sample left to send to the LNDD? No problems, though, the LNDD used up all the Landis B samples so their final results couldn't be second guessed by anyone else. Think there will be enough after LNDD gets done with this test for another facility to confirm?


Nancy Toby said...

Any information on WHY the heck Mayo's B sample took 62 days to process while they shopped around the world for a positive test result?

Unknown said...

UCI taking another bite at the apple wrt Mayo;


Sending a Mayo sample back to LNDD for re-analysis is pretty trasparent as being result shopping. It's already made the rounds.

The UCI determining where a sample is tested seems odd. Thought that was WADA's job?

Laura Challoner, DVM said...

WADA Code 6.1 says the choice of WADA Lab for sample analysis "shall be exclusively by the the anti-doping organization responsible for results management."

Thae anti-dipoing organization responsible for results management is the Spanish ADA.

UCI is a Federation, not an ADA. The UCI is not responsible for, nor does it have protocol for a "Results Management" structure as set forth in the WADA Code. For example, UCI has no structure for a results management review of an adverse analytical finding as envisioned by Article 7.1 of the WADA Code.

If the analysis is being done for experimental purposes, the athlete must grant written permission under Article 6.3.

If the UCI effort is a follow-up as envisioned by Article 7.3 or 7.4, the authority so to do seems to vest again with the Anti-Doping Organization (Spanish ADA)and/or the ADA's Results Management body. UCI is neither one of these.

The long and short of this is that I can find no authority under the anti-doping disciplinary code (WADA Code) for a Federation to select and require testing of a "B" sample. That authority ,if the term "exclusively" has any meaning at all, vests in the Spanish ADA and/or its results management body.

I will look at the UCI charter next to see if I can determine how this is occuring, perhaps for something other than WADA anti-doping disciplinary reasons.

It would have been helpful for whatever journalist talking to McQuaid to have asked uder what authority and for what purpose "re-testing" was occuring but we have seen that we can't rely on basic journalism to help us when it comes to these matters.

Laura Challoner, DVM said...

OK. I've found UCI Anti-Doping Regulations and they DO have a results management section in Chapter 12 here:


My review continues......

Laura Challoner, DVM said...

Under Article 167, UCI owns Mayo's "B" sample:

"The Samples collected under these Anti-Doping Rules shall become the property of the UCI upon collection."

So, I guess UCI can ask LNDD to "re-test" since they own the sample but i have difficulty understanding for what purpose the "re-testing" is being done as the UCI requirements that i have extracted and set forth below mirror the WADA Code requirements as it relates to associated discipline.

Here is the entirety of the relevant UCI requirements:

"176. Samples shall be sent for analysis only to WADA-accredited laboratories or as otherwise approved by WADA. The choice of the WADA-accredited laboratory (or other method approved by WADA) used for the Sample analysis shall be determined exclusively by the Anti-Doping Commission.

177. When specific circumstances so justify, the Anti-Doping Commission may request that part of a Sample is analyzed in a second laboratory.

178. Doping control Samples shall be analyzed to detect Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods
identified on the Prohibited List and other substances as may be directed by WADA pursuant to the
Monitoring Program described in Article 4.5 of the Code.

179. Laboratories shall analyze doping control Samples and report results in conformity with the WADA
International Standard for Laboratory Analysis.

180. Subject to articles 168 and 169, no Sample may be used for any purpose other than the detection
of substances (or classes of substances) or methods on the Prohibited List, or as otherwise identified by WADA pursuant to its Monitoring Program, without the Rider’s written consent.

181. The laboratory shall report any Adverse Analytical Findings to the Anti-Doping Commission and WADA or,if the Adverse Analytical Finding concerns World Championships, to the UCI official doctor and WADA.

My conclusion is that whatever purpose UCI is puruing must be independent from the anti-doping disciplinary process.

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Larry said...

Bill, why do you conclude that it's the Spanish ADA that has responsibility for "results management" in the Mayo case? Wouldn't it be the French ADA? Or are you saying that "results management" is controlled by the nationality of the rider? In that case, how is it that all TdF testing is done at one central location that (I'd thought) was selected by ASO?

I have not tried to research this myself ...

wschart said...

Do the WADA and/or UCI regs state anything about what to do if a B sample is "inconclusive"? Common sense to me would dictate that if the B sample is other than positive, the case should be dismissed. But then what is common sense about WADA/UCI?

Is there remaining sample for additional testing? Or will this be just a ra-analysis of existing data, perhaps LNDD putting their own spin on the results from other labs. And wasn't an Australian lab supposed to be doing some of the B testing? McQ only mentions Ghent in the article.

Unknown said...

Wow... maybe the UCI is on the trail of something really big!!... ASO (or the grand tours?) and LNDD have been working together to make the UCI look like an inept organization (not hard). Sort of sleeping with the enemy just to wipe the foe that competes for the money kinda thing... There maybe a movie in all this confusion yet.

Pesty said...

It's the ADA that the rider is licensed through. IE: Jan Ulrich's case is handled by the Swiss ADA even though he is German because he had a Swiss license at the time.

While the race was in France, AFLD would not have authority unless the rider was also licensed in France.

Laura Challoner, DVM said...


Athlete's are subject to (of) the ADA of the nation that grants them license to ride. For example, Landis is licensed by USA Cycling and the ADA in his case is USADA and thus they prosecuted him, after their results management process moved the case forward.

Mayo is licensed by a Spanish cycling body and its ADA is responcible to prosecute him under the Code. The UCI and WADA are parties to all prosecutions, as well. So, UCI has some independent authority. However, the Code speaks of "exclusivity" in the ADA's for lab selection (Article 6.1).

As to who or what decides the location of sample testing under the WADA Code, there must be some sort of agreement in place among the owner of the race (ASO, subject to French law), UCI (under its Regulations), WADA, (pursuent to its Code) and the national ADA's calling for LNDD to be the initial testing laboratory for the Tour de France.

After an "A" sample is received in EPO cases, another lab examines the "B" samples. In all other cases, the same lab examines the "B" samples. How the "B" sample of an EPO case gets back to the original lab under a disciplinary process is unclear to me.

Unless a "B" sample (and I say "a" on purpose, not "the" "B" sample) confirms the "A" sample, there is no positive.

However, since a confirming "B" sample can apparantly be another "A" sample's "B", the issue may be whether any "A" sample's confirming "B" test (assuming multiple tested "B"s) is sufficient to establish a positive.

In Mayo's case, I think the sample analysed is blood (I'm not sure, though), not urine, so there may be much more of it available to test multiple times.If is urine, there is some limit to the amount of aliquats that can be prepared until it is used up before it can't be used any more. I'm not good at the technical laboratory stuff.

The only thing that can be relied upon is that those assigned to administer the Code and those who "review" prosecutions have been shown to be willing to interpret the Code in any way necessary to convict "dopers, even if the rules of the contest need to be changed in the middle of the process.

Thus guys like me get upset at the lack of consistancy and uniformity in the process. And, the changes always benefit the prosecutors, never the athlete, who is a big fat cheater under the code, in any event or so it seems.

Larry said...

Bill and ddt240, got it. So, part of the overall TdF testing process is that the various ADAs agree with ASO or someone else that all testing for the event take place at a single lab such as LNDD. I have more questions about how this should work, but I need more clarifying information.

Bill, why do you conclude that the "B" testing for EPO must be at a different lab? I can't find any documentation of this requirement. There also seems to be an assumption out there that the "B" test for EPO must be conducted at two different labs, though I don't hear you saying that.

And agreed 100% Bill, these have to be the most screwed up rules promulgated in the history of man.

Laura Challoner, DVM said...


The UCI, in contrast to WADA, relies only on the urine EPO test developed at LNDD, rHuEPO, to discipline riders. WADA relies on any blood/urine EPO test or combination that has been adopted by a WADA accredited lab in conformity with ISL standards.

It would be great to know if Mayo's "B" sample (sic if blood) EPO test was blood or urine based. I am nearly certain the "A" sample is urine based because the UCI only recognizes rHuEPO urine tests to discipline cyclists.

It would also be nice to know if actual "A" and "B" urine samples were split into separate aliquats, and how many aliquats were made from that sample.

It is possible that BOTH blood and urine was taken, then tested for EPO and the results compared as was required at the Sydney Olympics. It makes sense for that synthesis to take place at different labs and I think the notion of two tests, one urine and one blood at different labs for EPO has evolved from the Olympic practice.

With the UCI developing a policy of only accepting urine based rHuEPO testing for cyclist discipline, perhaps the blood portion has been inconclusive, and the UCI is seeking the more traditional "A" and "B" sample analysis from 2 aliquats of the same urine sample at LNDD, the developers of the only test UCI recognizes.

Laura Challoner, DVM said...

UCI waould be acting independently of the Spanish ADA as it has the right to do.

After all this, other than the selection of the WADA lab doing the tests, which may be resolved if the facts are that LNDD is the only WADA lab doing the test UCI recognizes, it seems UCI has authority here and that we may just be getting around to a second urine "B" sample.

That is the opposite conclusion I made looking at the WADA Code alone but which also was contemplated, because i had not yet reviewed the UCI Articles and the history of EPO disciplinary cases.

Again, I wish the journalist had asked these questions as I'm sure McQuaid had the answers!

Jim T said...

VeloNews reports that the UCI is thinking about appealing to CAS even if Mayo's B test is negative On what basis? CAS has been strict in sticking to the WADA code in judging antidoping cases (witness the Zach Lund case) so what does the UCI expect - that CAS will let the antidoping folks make up the rules as they go along?

Unknown said...

Talk about re-testing until you get the result you want....

Kind of like starting a test over because 'you realized' you made a mistake - MULTIPLE TIMES. Sound familiar?

How come the other labs are jumping up and down screaming we DIDN"T SCREW UP you morons??