Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wednesday Roundup

The NY Times reports this morning that HGH test kits have been manufactured and will be ready to test athletes at this summer's Olympic games in China. The kits will be used and sent to WADA accredited labs around the world where technicians will be trained in their use:

Officials at WADA-certified testing laboratories in Beijing and around the world will be trained in how to use the kits, which can each test 10 to 15 samples, Howman said. WADA would not disclose the name of the company that had produced the test, saying only that it is based in Europe.

"This is something we have been anxiously awaiting for some time,” Travis T. Tygart, the chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, said of the kits in a telephone interview. “We are thrilled to hear the time is now and will immediately take the steps to put the testing into place.”

The kits work against blood samples that may have been frozen, so no Hamilton/Olympic storage problem. There have been delays to "make sure the test is reliable", but no statistics on false positives or negative are offered. Everyone is vague on how long the detection window may be, but probably not more than a few days.

The CyclingNews features a lengthly piece in which Pat McQuaid accuses the ASO of creating and promoting a rival cycling federation with its own races, rules, and agenda. McQuaid goes on to state the ASO "blackmailed" several teams, when a vote was taken by AIGCP over Paris-Nice, forcing them to participate in that unsanctioned race IF they wanted to be invited to the Tour de France. Decisions about any disciplinary actions against teams, riders, and national cycling federations are ongoing, but McQuaid says he has spoken with several teams about the situation which has thus far overshadowed the racing season.

The VeloNews prints a rather bombastic essay by former Olympian Alexi Grewal on doping in cycling, his and others. Here is just an excerpt from the piece where once again Floyd Landis is painted as a villain for proclaiming his innocence, and David Millar a saint for admitting his mistake:

When will it end? When Floyd Landis or Tyler Hamilton or any one of the many other "all prisoners are innocent," fallen stars finally and ultimately does hard time. Don't think they won't, they will. Who are we kidding? Prisons and jails are filled with men whose transgressions are much less. Face it people, come on now! Trading $70,000 for a briefcase of refrigerated hot-rod blood, your own or someone else's! Drive it across international borders, for some bike rider to drink and be celebrated as some kind of cult worship rock star for winning a bike race? Have we lost our bloody minds?

Can we not return to some sense of justice and reality? Have not some like David Millar and Bradley Wiggins and others proven that honor is still honorable? Cycling will always be the sport that requires the most suffering, but just the same the "prisoners of the road" can manifest a courage the world needs to see. We can, and now we must lead the world in the face of this disgrace, of which almost all of us have had our part. We can and should affect the attitude of men and of nations, and if there is such a thing as providence we certainly had better!

Alexi also says in the print edition that everyone he knew "stepped over the line" except for Steve Bauer. That statement implicates Greg Lemond, Andy Hampsten, Bob Roll and the rest of the 7-11 crew,the US National teams every year of the 1980's, and many others. The statement indicts that entire era of US based team and individual cycling.

The Australian Broadcasting Company seems to habe let an intern put a bunch of stories into a blender, and runs an incoherent mess that manages to intermix the T/E genetic study, Landis, Gatlin, and MLB in alternate paragraphs. Each by itself might make sense. Landis is selected for the illustration, for no apparent reason.


Laura Challoner, DVM said...

Alexi also says in a VeloNews article that everyone he knew "stepped over the line" except for Steve Bauer. That statement implicates Greg Lemond, Andy Hampsten, Bob Roll and the rest of the 7-11 crew,the US National teams every year of the 1980's, and many others. The statement indicts that entire era of US based team and individual cycling.

For those who choose to believe that era was pristine, you might consider whether Grenwald is the Jose Cansceco of the 1980's cycling era or whether he simply longs for another 15 minutes. I have no idea but his views are very interesting.

Some follow up by the editorial staff or writers would have been a welcome surprise. Consistant with journalism as we have come to expect today, they moved on to another topic after scoring a cheap pop. Or, perhaps some iconic figures of that era (Lemond) have obtained a "hands off" approach by the media due to their strong views on doping today, similar to certain other media "darlings" such as David Millar and Brad Wiggens.

Eightzero said...

Anyone thinking the HGH "test kits" are a paper tiger? Has anyone actually seen one?

I wonder what kind of response we'd get to a FOIA request to the USOC or USADA?

Unknown said...

An update on old news:
Dick Pound seeking CAS Presidency.

“His candidacy could however be hampered by an unwritten rule that anyone bidding for CAS's presidency cannot be involved in legal action.”

Seems what goes around, comes around……………….

BustinBilly said...

Grewal does NOT say everyone he knew doped. He does not. He says team Panasonic-Raleigh passed out syringes not 7-11. Greg Lemond did not even ride for 7-11.

Get your facts straight.

Laura Challoner, DVM said...

I have the VeloNews magazine right in front of me (the one in which "Alexi also says "in a VeloNews article" that "everyone I know stepped over the line"). It is in the part where he talks about Steve Bauer deserving to get the Olympic gold medal Alexi lost some years ago.

Can you find it now? You are not "bustin" this billy. That is what it says in the article. There is even a picture on the next page with Alexi "riding for" Lemond.

You should get your facts straight before you accuse others of not having their's straight.

whareagle said...

Uh, somewhere in a much older issue of VeloNews, there's a photo of Alexi , and, well, he doesn't look too stable in the gyro dept.

Implications of a trend? NOW who's the greater fool, those who speak out, or those who don't?

Laura Challoner, DVM said...

I also suggest you also stop to consider punctuation before you insult me Billy. I did not say Lemond rode for 7-11. I said ",Bob Roll and the rest of the 7-11 crew". I wasn't roll calling 7-11 members in that list.

Ali said...

I personally believe there's a growing trend for outing dopers, based not so much on first hand knowledge of their doping but on gossip, speculation, etc.

There's easy money to be made and nobody can prove you wrong. That's a win-win situation for unscrupulous people (most of the outers are self confessed unscrupulous people, being involved in doping themselves).

I'm afraid to me their views carry about as much weight as certain self-proclaimed rational "scientific" moderators on the Daily Peloton Forums (sort of a modern day crusading knight, but without any of the skill, courage, intelligence or integrity that their predecessors had).

Expect more of the same from the professional cycling world as it continues to implode.

whareagle said...

It's very much a "Crucible" world.

And I love Starbuck's use of the word 'Vague'. How completely appropriate.

Ali said...

Yep, "vague" is one powerful structure in the anti-doping establishment. Nobody can reliably defend themselves against "vague". You just can't pin it down.

Did somebody say this was related to science ? ... I must have misheard.

strbuk said...

I would love to take credit for the use of the word "vague" but alas TBV piggybacked that comment onto my original post. So he gets the award for the "word of the day!!" :-)


Unknown said...

Has McQuaid been t the Homepage for the UCI? In case he is reading this, the URL is:

The Mission Statement is as follows:

The International Cycling Union (UCI), a non-profit-making organization founded on 14 April 1900, is the association of the National Cycling Federations. Its headquarters are in Aigle, Switzerland.

The aims of the UCI are as follows:

- regulating cycling at international level;

- promoting cycling in every country throughout the world and at all levels;

- organizing the World Championships for all disciplines;

- encouraging friendly relations between members of the cycling family;

- promoting sporting ethics and fair play;

- representing the sport of cycling and defending its interests on national and international bodies;

- collaborating with the International Olympic Committee with respect to Olmpic cycling events.

Our mission states that the UCI means to develop and promote all aspects of cycling. This is because cycling is more than just a competitive sport. It is also a leisure activity and an environmentally friendly means of transport.

Exactly where does the Pro Tour figure into the Mission Statement? And where exactly did the Money the Pro Tour teams had to come up with for the license go?

It seems to me that there job is to regulate races, not who can race. The Mission Statement says: - promoting sporting ethics and fair play; Why doesn't the UCI do that? They should not be concerned with whether or not a race organizer wants to make money or invite certain teams to their event. The UCI's job is to make sure the race is run fairly amongst the participants.

I could go on, but wanted to see other opinions.


Ali said...

I take it that Alexi Grewal doen't really believe that cyclists "drink" blood. Accusing them of being doping cheats is one thing ... but vampires ?

Forget WADA - let's call in Buffy ...

Thomas said...

I'm sure you all will be quite interested in this photo. Mr. Lemond and Mr. Grewal together.

Keep up the good work!