Monday, January 28, 2008

Larry's Curb Your Anticipation, Preface

Commentor Larry has been promising his in-depth legal analysis of many topics for a while, and has gotten into a "rewrite, read, add more" cycle. We've pulled it from his hands, and demanded that he get on with other things.

We also didn't give him a chance to make it short.

It came to us as a 30 page epic. Our quick breakdown into edibly sized pieces produced 16 parts. We're not entirely sure that many parts are more digestible than getting the whole load at once, but we're going to start with the smaller bits. We'll respond to feedback on this choice as things dribble out, probably two or three a day.

With that, here's a bit of the letter that accompanied the manuscript.

[T]his article is going to frustrate the hell out of anyone who reads it in the hope of better understanding the FL case. I’m not really talking about the FL case any more. I want to understand the damn rules. If we understand the damn rules, then maybe we can get somewhere. But it’s going to take a considerable effort for anyone to get through this article, at which point you’re pretty much left hanging for some more practical way to challenge an AAF. So, the 3 or 4 people on your forum who might have the tenacity to actually read this thing are probably going to be left feeling rather frustrated.

There’s not much we can do about this. In fact, IMHO, the only way to understand these rules is to follow a process like the one I’ve followed here. The WADA rules are the damndest set of rules I’ve ever encountered. They are based on the ISL, which in turn is based on ISO 17025, and ISO 17025 was never intended to be applied as the body of law to validate a particular lab finding in a legal context. It is something like saying that since baseball is the “American pastime”, we should apply the Bill of Rights to determine a close call at first base.

Also: in the end, it doesn’t matter what I think, or even what the ISL “really” means. What matters is how the rules are interpreted and applied by the people who count, in arbitrations, at the CAS, and at WADA and the ADAs. Fortunately or unfortunately, there’s not much of a body of “precedent” out there for the interpretation of these rules, so there’s probably room for idiots like me to speak our piece.

- Larry

On to the Introduction or the Table of Contents.


Unknown said...


It is something like saying that since baseball is the “American pastime”, we should apply the Bill of Rights to determine a close call at first base.

This is both hilarious and sad at the same time (and I thought you might say something like this.

I'll be one "of the 3 or 4" that reads the whole thing. Great work - Suh needs to hire you as a consultant!

Bill Mc said...


Even though I am neither a lawyer nor a scientist (though I have had a fair amount science/engineering education), I share your frustrations about the nebulous nature of the rules that the ADAs promulgate, sometimes follow, and often disregard. I have in some past comments characterized the whole scene as being something out of Alice in Wonderland - though I am beginning to think that some of Kafka's writings may be a better fit. I am of the mind that ultimately the solution is to get the dispute(s) into a "real" court where the rules are clearer and vastly fairer.

I intend to read the whole of your opus, though I am not promising that I will understand it. I may have some questions as I make my way though it, so I hope that you suffer fools gladly.

Unknown said...

I'll be reading it all and I'm not only prepared to be frustrated. I fully expect to be frustrated at the conclusion.

Like the rules involved in many other bureaucracies, the rules in WADA World were not written to be fair/just, they were written to support the will of the bureaucrats.

Larry said...

Dailbob, thanks! I could use the money.

bill mc, I'm probably not as literary as you, but my literary analogy of choice is "Catch-22". All questions will be welcomed here. I'm hoping to get questions from people who've been reluctant to ever post here before.

jrd, all I can promise you is to take your current level of frustration to a new level.

wschart said...

Rules can be very clear and still be neither fair or just. But if they are clear, at least one knows what to expect.

blackmingo said...

Frustration is par for the course in this case!

Larry -look forward to reading your largos (following in opus theme).