Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday Roundup

AFP reports in French, (machine translation) that funding the Landis appeal has cost WADA $840,000 Euros, according to a report to the WADA trustees. WADA thinks the UCI should have coughed up:

Before the board of trustees, Sir Craig Reedie recalled that WADA had asked in vain the financial assistance of the International Cycling Union (UCI). "WADA could not fail to get involved in penalty save by Landis default, "he says.

One result is that,
At its Executive Committee, Saturday, WADA had decided to establish a reserve fund of 1, 5 million dollars to finance the proceedings against those convinced of sports doping.

The Canadian Press has an article on the WADA foundation board meeting. WADA is irked at the cost of the Landis case, and has a solution -- charge athletes for their prosecution when "if" they lose:

WADA director general David Howman said that he and Fahey intend to discuss the ultimate responsibility for the legal costs when they meet with CAS representatives in June.

"That's a matter that we wish to take up with CAS so that the issue of costs in very expensive cases is viewed seriously by the panels because there can be very good examples in civil law where the costs fall with the party who has been determined to be at fault," Howman said.

This means WADA (a) writes the rules; (b) stacks the arbitration by design, 2-1 against charged athletes; (c) defines "ethics" like Scientology -- "if it furthers our agenda, it is ethical"; (d) uses a "no-liability" system for labs, and strict liability for athletes; and now, (e) wants to charge athletes for the privilege of being convicted.

Does this remind anyone else of the quaint example of debtor's prison? Well, there are those who want to bring them back, so perhaps Brazil isn't far off:

The interviewer asks the Deputy Prime Minister about the economics of the [...] situation, and the Deputy Prime Minister replies:

"I understand this concern on behalf of the taxpayers. People want value for money. That's why we always insist on the principal of Information Retrieval charges. It's absolutely right and fair that those found guilty should pay for their periods of detention and the Information Retrieval procedures used in their interrogations."

If Mr. Howman is going to bring up examples from civil law, perhaps he like also to bring in the discovery rules and burden of proof from civil law? And an independant judiciary? He also ignores the argument made by Straubel that doping adjudication is quasi-criminal law in nature, not like civil law in the first place.

Unfortunately, the athlete "stakeholders" are outnumbered organizationally about 4-1 in WADA machinations, and will have little or no say in what is procedurally imposed upon them by the others.

Who cares? They are all dirty dopers anyway.

Meanwhile, in the real world, reports

Roundly denouncing a Las Vegas federal prosecutor for withholding 650 pages of evidence potentially helpful to two lawyers charged in a stock fraud case, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld dismissal of all 64 charges and refused to allow a retrial.

"This is prosecutorial misconduct in its highest form; conduct in flagrant disregard of the United States Constitution; and conduct which should be deterred by the strongest sanction available," wrote Judge Kim Wardlaw.

There are no sanctions under the WADA code for prosecutorial misconduct. The pilot light is a vacuum gauge, and you will be billed for your conviction. Good day, sir!

Rant writes the real "idiots guide to anti-doping" in anticipation of St. David Millar's upcoming and highly anticipated version. Based on the Canadian News article above, it looks to be need of some updating already.


Unknown said...

"WADA's legal director Oliver Niggli explained that the sheer complexity of the Landis case was the reason for such exorbitant legal costs. "The Landis case involves 400 pages of testimony, 6000 documents and five days of hearing," he said.

Niggli said that of WADA's $25 million annual budget, $1.7 million had been spent in the past 18 months on cycling-related doping cases. In contrast, the average cost of litigation for each WADA case is around $10,000."

I'm not crying for WADA or the UCI. Perhaps WADA should be more careful with their lab accreditations and aplication of their "rules" in the future in order to avoid the wasting of the best part of an athlete's career and the flushing of large amounts of money down the toilet.