Monday, June 30, 2008

CAS Transcript

We have put the CAS hearing transcript into the archive. Eventually we'll split it into pages there, and update this posting with an index of what people find that is interesting.


We are now going to dinner.

Thanks to all for thoughtful comments today from all sides of the matter.

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Baker Reaction

We received the following, indirectly from Arnie Baker:

The Court of Arbitration of Sport upheld the findings of the American Arbitration Association in affirming a doping violation against Floyd Landis.

Having closely read the laboratory’s reports and the statements of its witnesses, I strongly disagree with the findings of these tribunals.

The evidence documents conclusively that not only did the laboratory (1) never identify testosterone in the testosterone/epitestosterone ratio test according to WADA criteria, it (2) had no written procedure to identify substances in the more sophisticated IRMS test.

Moreover, there is evidence of scientific misconduct/malfeasance. Records have disappeared and documents appear to have been fabricated. USADA, its experts, and the lab appear to have repeatedly made false statements. I document the reasons for my opinions in the Wiki Defense 2.0. Source documents are provided.

By all means download the material from my website—it is free—and come to your own conclusions.

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Quick Read of the Award

Reading the award, we make the following quick observations.

First, it is annoying that CAS publishes them in a PDF format that precludes text search. A kind reader has produced a searchable version that may be of use to many people. We'll mirror it when possible.

  • The award makes a point of the political aspects of the case by quoting Mr. Young castigating Landis' "frontal attack on the entire anti-doping system." (para 21)
  • The award does not appear to address the "changing story" offered by USADA at all.
  • Unlike many "battles of experts", whenever there was a dispute, the award completely accepted the USADA position. While USADA witnesses are believed despite contradictions, some of Landis' witnesses are called out in detail.
  • Not a single ISL violation is found, and had there been, none would have affected the AAF.
  • Generally, key points are dismissed briefly with little discussion, while browbeating goes on at length.
  • Because visual matching isn't prohibited by the ISL, it is accepted; and COFRAC didn't complain, so it is OK. (paragraphs 107/108)
  • A test can have matrix interference and be valid; the method should avoid it, an individual test need not. (para 131)
  • USADA arguments about reprocessed data accepted completely (para 162)
  • ISL only requires compliance with "concepts" of chain of custody, not literal compliance. (para 178) Same conclusion on whiteout (para 215.)
  • Testimony is OK to correct documentation problems; the column issue is dismissed by testimony. (para 189)
  • The lack of validation of the single metabolite standard is briefly held (a) not to be an ISL violation; and (b) could not have caused the AAF!? (para 195)
  • Manual integration with no records is OK, "as long as it is clear what parameters were set". (para 209)
  • Amory's metabolism arguments dismissed briefly (para 232).
  • Landis is thrown a single bone: DeBoer's presence at the B sample isn't a waiver. (para 239).
  • But it is taken back: DeBoer should not have been polite. (paras 238 and 240).
  • Alternate samples not considered, as unnecessary for decision. It seems they might have been have it been necessary, but made moot (para 241)
  • There is "no evidence" to support any of Landis' malfeasence arguments. (para 257).
Perhaps the key paragraph:
259. There is a clear distinction between administrative deficiencies, bad laboratory practice, procedural error, or other honest inadequacy on the one hand and dishonesty or bad faith on the other. Some of the Appellant's expert witnesses appeared insufficiently aware of this distinction.

  • Davis excoriated at length, and USADA's complaints held valid. (paras 260-264)
  • Landis first clear voluntary suspension was the AFLD letter of Jan 30 2007, so that starts the suspension. Leadville doesn't count as a problem. (paras 282, 283).
  • If there was any litigation misconduct, it was by Landis. (para 289)

The above is a collection of key facts about the appeal, not our opinion and analysis, which will follow. It appears to us to be a very political document. As we said long ago in, It's the Olympics, Stupid:

Landis has a hard task trying to climb this Olympus. The gods up top are trying to smite him for suggesting they are imperfect, because that is bad for business.

Landis has been smote. No imperfections were found. Business (Beijing) proceeds as usual.

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The announcement this morning that Floyd Landis has lost his appeal to the CAS will stir comment and analysis, some of which follows...


CyclingNews does the most detailed review of the award so far, and calls it "The Final Blow."

Eddie Pells/AP story is up.
Landis' legal options include going to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, but that rarely used strategy has never resulted in a substantial change in a CAS decision.

New case, same result.

"CAS's decision ... does little to require that laboratories and anti-doping agencies are held to the same high standards as are athletes," Suh said in a statement released after the decision.

Though Suh didn't convince either arbitration panel of that, those present at the first hearing last year in California would concede many of his arguments were compelling.

(emphasis added.) Which is about as far as a straight news reporter can go.

ESPN picks up the original AP story on the dismissal of Floyd Landis' appeal to the CAS, quoting USADA's Travis Tygart:

"We are pleased that justice was served and that Mr. Landis was not able to escape the consequences of his doping or his effort to attack those who protect the rights of clean athletes," USADA chief executive officer Travis Tygart said"

Landis is quoted as well:
"I am saddened by today's decision," Landis said in a statement. "I am looking into my legal options and deciding on the best way to proceed.

Many local newspapers, along with SI.Com, have picked up the AP version of the story.

The AFP keeps it short and sweet. Bloomberg has a little more.

The Guardian (UK)//Reuters has advice from Tygart:

"Maybe with finally being held accountable...he might finally realize that the best thing for him to do is acknowledge his mistake to dope and try to come clean," Tygart said

"But that's a decision he will have to decide."

They must still want Lance.

The NY Times writes about the decision noting that "apparently" Landis' comeback two years ago was indeed "too good to be true", and that the CAS criticized Team Landis for being too aggressive in its defense. Mr Tygart states the obvious:
“The panel sent a pretty strong signal that while athletes are afforded the right to a vigorous defense, it must be a credible defense. In this case, they threw everything up against the wall in an attempt to take down the antidoping establishment.”

Alan Abrahamson, a 19-year Olympic Beat reporter, opines the verdict is clear and overwhelming, and challenges Landis to call and give a complete confession.

The litigation process is designed to get at the truth.

The truth is, Floyd Landis doped up in a bid to win. That much is incontestable.

But we still don’t have the full, complete truth of what happened. And history cares about the truth.

Everybody will agree we don't have the complete truth. The first two claims might spark some debate.

AOL Fanhouse wonders if the CAS has the authority to enforce the $100.000 fine levied against Floyd Landis in the decision announced this morning, or if Floyd even has the money to pay it.

CyclingWeekly also notes the Landis CAS decision:
CAS confirmed that Landis is suspended until September 30 2009 and also ordered him to pay $100,000 towards the estimated $1.3 costs incurred by the US Anti-Doping Agency to fight the case.

Which is just wrong -- see paragraph 283 of the award. It ends January 29, 2009.

Landis Hometown newspaper Lancaster Online also notes the decision that came down this morning dismissing the appeal Floyd Landis had filed with the CAS. Longtime Landis friend and Green Mountain Cyclery owner Mike Farrington is quoted:

"Everybody keeps asking," Farrington said of Landis. "There isn't a day that goes by that people don't ask about him." Farrington said the only thing Landis had really been hoping for was restoration of his good name.

"No matter what the verdict, everybody has already lost by the way this whole thing has been handled," Farrington said before the ruling was announced.

Landis' reputation will be forever tarnished by the charges, Farrington said. And, cycling — which was on the verge of becoming a mainstream sport during the years Lance Armstrong was winning the Tour de France — was probably set back 20 years by the doping charges, Farrington believes.

The CyclingNews flashes the Landis CAS loss and gives a brief history of the case.

The Boulder Report
looks at it, and thinks it's a smackdown. We're cited.


Rant notes the CAS ruling which went against Floyd Landis this morning.

In an update
Rant writes extensively about the Landis ruling saying that once he had read the update to the "wiki defense" by Arnie Baker he thought Floyd had a chance to win. Rant notes the ADAs seem never to be held to the same set of liability they hold athletes to. They indeed hold all the cards, and as we know the house always wins

Finger Food feels Floyd Landis never had a chance.

Miles with Meaning
finds Floyd's story the saddest in a long line of unhappy events connected with the Tour de France. Few here would argue that point.

Gene Bisbee reviews the CAS decision that went against Floyd Landis this morning and wonders if this is really the last we'll hear of it.

Joeschmo sums up the CAS decision in the Landis case this way:
In addition, the three person panel chided the Landis experts for being too adversarial in their own analyses of the French lab's practices and results. Sad. Shorter version of the 58 page verdict: "the lab kinda messed up, but not too much, and you were a dick for pointing it out. Guilty!" That's enough of that. Floyd, see you next February

BikeWorldNews thinks it's the worst possible decision.

Sawickipedia is exasperated at the CAS decision, and after reading up on thing feels it's the ADAs who are sloppy and arrogant. Thanks for the blurb.

Potholes and Roadapples reviews native son Floyd Landis' loss at the CAS today with new quotes from Mike Farrington that give hope to those who wish to see Floyd race again:

He fought as far as he could and he lost. That doesn’t change my opinion of him one bit. If anything, it strengthens it. He’s a great guy,” said Farrington.

Farrington said he believes Landis will come back to racing after the suspension is lifted. He believes his friend will be propelled by anger and a desire to prove his ability

TdfBlog waffles about the result, but doesn't castigate Landis for defending himself, quoting Bill's piece from earlier today.

Sara Best says it was a bad day for Floyd and gives those who care the space to talk about their feelings.

Muscle Sport Mag says Floyd Landis is being made an example of, but at least the WADA labs will be forced to cross their Ts and dot their Is from now on. One can only hope NO ONE has to go through this again.

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Landis Loses

In a press release just published, CAS rejected Landis appeal, and assessed costs of $100,000.

Lausanne, 30 June 2008 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by the American cyclist Floyd Landis and has confirmed the initial decision issued by a Panel of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) on 20 September 2007. Consequently, Floyd Landis is disqualified from the Tour de France 2006 and is suspended for a period of two years starting from 30 January 2007. Floyd Landis has been ordered to pay the sum of USD 100'000 to the United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA) as a contribution towards its costs in the CAS arbitration.

The CAS website is melting down; we've got the award, and it is mirrored here if you have trouble.

Analysis to follow, when possible.

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Requiem for a Champion

Floyd Landis

“He’s in every aspect the toughest man, ever,” Amber says seriously. “Physically tough, mentally tough, he’s just one tough bitch.”
Amber Landis

Bill Hue*

I stopped having heroes sometime after I turned twelve and I figured out my parents weren’t gods. I grew up pretty quickly after that and soon set aside all childhood things. As an adult, I was trained in and entered the practice of the most cynical profession there is, the law, ultimately becoming a judge. Floyd Landis doesn’t want to be nor has he ever intended to be anyone’s hero. But he is my hero.

Floyd is not my hero because he is an American or because he won the Tour de France. Greg LeMond and/or Lance Armstrong are not my heroes and they won many more tours than Floyd has. Floyd is not my hero because of his epic ride on Stage 17 of the 2006 race. Without demeaning that ride, others in cycling have had similar epic single day rides throughout the years.

Floyd is my hero because in the face of the biggest travesties of “justice” I have ever seen, he stood proud, determined, true to himself and his family and did not bow to those who define “the game” by making its rules, prosecuting those deemed to violate those rules and then stack the deck with those responsible to judge those “violations”. He made them work for it and we are all the beneficiaries of his efforts even though he ultimately derived no benefit, whatsoever.

Today, the Court of Arbitration of Sport finally declared the winner of the 2006 Tour de France after 2273 miles and 708 days. Floyd Landis won the race on the road but lost it, inevitably, to WADA and its useful idiots at the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory, the international media and those who slavishly kneel at the alter of the anti-doping gods.

Landis beat the likes of Oscar Pierrero, Carlos Sastre and Levi Leipheimer on the road, fair and square but he could not overcome WADA’s minions, Travis Tygart and Richard Young in particular, Dick Pound, of course, the rubber stampers on both Panels who call themselves "neutrals" with smug straight faces and a host of others who act out of self preservation rather than justice because that playing field was in no way fair or even.

I’ll have more to say in the hours and days to come as I deconstruct the fable that was Landis’ anti-doping prosecution.

For now, I simply and humbly thank Floyd, Amber, Arnie, Maurice, Howard and Floyd’s family, many friends and supporters who fought a fight they could not win because it was the right thing to do.

I also wish to offer my sincere gratitude to Dave and Mrs. TBV and Paula and Mr. STRBUK for their dedication to truth, fairness and justice and to their daily sacrifices to keep this matter in the forefront of our attention.

This is a sad day for justice.


*Bill Hue is a Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge. His opinions here are strictly his own.

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Monday Roundup

Today at approximately 8AM PDT (11AM EDT) the CAS is slated to announce its decision in the Floyd Landis appeal. We'll provide whatever news we can as soon as we can, stay tuned and keep checking. In the meantime read about the newest additions to Dr. Arnie Baker's "wiki-defense".

St Louis Today was alerted to the new additions to Dr. Arnie Baker's "wiki -defense" in the Floyd Landis case, and recommends it as important reading on this most important day.

The VeloNews' Charles Pelkey reviews the various scenarios that may await Floyd Landis as he anticipates the CAS announcement this morning. Pelkey paints no rosy pictures as he examines how the fallout from the recent UCI vs ASO and WADA vs UCI dust-ups will effect Landis and any actions he may take in the wake of his verdict.

Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer says don't waste your time hanging around waiting for the verdict in the Landis case today, the decision is a foregone conclusion. We certainly hope his cynicism is off base.

13ABC's collection of blurbs of the day's news, including the forthcoming Landis award, is headlined, "Man shoots self" in Google. We hope not.

Chris @ Podium Cafe has an open thread dedicated to the Landis/CAS decision.

Rant discusses a recent book tour visit to Milwaukee by Johan Bruyneel as he anxiously awaits the decision in the Landis case this morning. Bruyneel comments on the Landis case:

Bruyneel: You know, I don’t know. … I’m pretty sure that if it would be a clear-cut case there would already be a decision. And the fact that it’s not clear … there must be something there. I don’t have enough information to know what happened. But all I know is that I don’t know if Floyd is guilty or not. But one thing I know is if, when he was in the situation to win the Tour and he knew he won that stage and he definitely knew before the stage that he was going to do something to take that jersey back, he also knew he was going to be tested. And, to me, it just doesn’t make sense to do something stupid like that if you know you’re going to be trying to win the race, and in a way like that. That’s all I can say about it. So I don’t know afterwards what happened with the testing or with the procedure, I don’t know. But it’s certainly something that doesn’t make sense.

WADAwatch also anticipates the Landis decision, and ponders the many complications bound to occur in this year's "renegade" Tour de France.

Gwadzilla also blurb's Baker's Wiki 2.0 retitles Baker's book, "Landis vs. the Liars", and has some video of Landis moments at the 206 tour.

Jonah thought he saw a jealous Landis watch him riding Sunday from the inside of a blue car. We can all dream, especially this morning.

Finger Good thinks Floyd has a 50-50 chance at winning his CAS decision, we call those odds pretty fair.

Celebritique seems to think the odds stated above are pretty optimistic.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Baker's Wiki Defense, 2.0

Arnie Baker has released an updated version of his e-Book, "The Wiki Defense 2.0", which is available for free download, also here if slow. This contains details of all the arguments that may have been used by Landis, including some not presented at hearing -- possibly for time, relevance and seriousness.

We'll be mirroring it on as we have time. TBV is suffering a flaky DSL internet connection thanks to AT&T. It was working fine at 6 mb/s for five years, and then went bad a few weeks ago, and AT&T says the line is no good and there is nothing they can do.

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CAS Appeal Final Briefs

We've established the archive for documents related to the CAS appeal. The first two that Landis has made available are:

These will provide background for the issues that ought to be discussed in tomorrow's final award.

We'll broadly summarize the briefs as follows.

Landis: I didn't do it. There are lots of things wrong with the test process as documented to us, and we've been unable to get to the bottom of what happened because of obstruction and lies by USADA. You can't have comfortable satisfaction with this state of affairs.

USADA: He's a doper. We have found explanations for everything he has complained about that ought to be good enough under our rules to find him liable. Trust us, he did it.

We expect to have transcripts and exhibits next week, along with discussion of the award.

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Sunday Roundup

Floyd Landis will find out tomorrow if the CAS has ruled in his favor, or not. We'll be here to provide the latest news we can find as soon as we get access to it. To second what TBV posted last night, it's been a grind for us at times and after almost two years it would be nice to put other things first after the ruling and subsequent fallout are covered. Saying this, it's hard to imagine what the Landis family is feeling this weekend and our thoughts are with them. So folks stay tuned, it's almost over.

The CyclingNews notes the upcoming Landis decision with the usual tinge of unpleasantness it has managed to offer throughout its coverage of the case.

Bicycling's Joe Lindsey pens a short feature on tomorrow's CAS Landis decision, without comment.

The Ottawa Citizen opines that sports like cycling and track and field look dirtier because they test more and consequently catch more "cheaters" than other sports do. The author also says that no matter what the Landis/CAS ruling people will still think cycling is dirty, and even those who did not cheat will be tainted by those who did.

Rant writes about tomorrow's highly anticipated CAS announcement on the Landis case and reviews what Floyd's options may be whether he wins or loses. But, Rant makes a bigger perhaps more important point:

There is one thing to note about how this whole process works that hasn’t been publicized much. And that’s who gets to review the decision before it gets the final seal of approval. Who gets to pass judgment on the judgment?

No Endeavor blurbs the forthcoming award, and includes a link to excellent video of stage 17, including the rarely-seen-in-the-US breakaway move.

Go Faster Jim has definite opinions on just how long the whole Landis case has dragged out.

Potholes and Roadapples
writes briefly about tomorrow's highly anticipated Landis/CAS decision.

MABRA-USCF still drops Landis' name to promote the Mill Mountain Time Trial.

CyclingEurope offers tips on viewing a mountain stage, and has a snap of Landis dragging the bunch up the Croix Fry in 2004.

Velociti got a lot of comments on his post concluding Landis doped. Our familiar contributer Larry tries to be educational.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday Roundup

In an article we didn't post yesterday, the AP/Eddie Pells reports Gatlin's appeal to the 11th circuit was rejected, and he's chosen not to try the Supreme Court. It's over for him for this year's Olympics. The AFP has a story where other runners are glad he's not there at the trials.

Eugene Weekly, home of this week's US Olympic track trials, notes doping is the elephant in the room. Jones, Landis, and Gatlin are targeted by dubious statements that probably reflect popular sentiment. Then it rips into one of Gatlin's erstwhile competitors who is happy Gatlin isn't there -- because it is his turn.

The Register-Guard takes a sympathetic look at the therapist, "one of track's great healers", alleged to have spiked Gatlin.

The AP runs a pre-Tour puff piece that touts ASOs efforts to ensure a clean race.

VeloNews catches up on the Monday release of the Landis award.

Velocity, to which we linked recently, discovered us in return. He "doesn't want to argue technicalities" about the Landis tests, because he made his mind up with the improbability of the Stage 17 ride. He cites Stewey O'Grady as his source of unquestionable judgment on the matter.

BikesnobNYC watched the HBO "Real Sports" on Millar and Slipstream, and came away less than impressed by the journalism -- perhaps warranting a "seal of disapproval."

Racejunkie says

Floyd Landis at least gets to enjoy The Crappiest Weekend Ever, as CAS kindly announces that they're gonna wait to formally announce their near-inevitable decision to jack him til Monday, giving a good two days for an alcohol-induced blackout to take effect before he has to hear the verdict.

We believe there are a lot of cheap bars near the border in Mexico should he disappear for a while. Anyway, RJ goes on with a confession:
I'm not a paid troll for disgusting dopers like Jan Ullrich and Roberto Heras, as those who believe I'm part of the cabal of amoral pro-doping sport-destroying scuzzbags might suggest--I do it for free-

And so do we, though we mostly limit our sympathy to those who have experienced procedural and fairness related problems once in the sausage making machine that is a doping accusation.

Since we do it for free, and have been doing it daily for nearly two years, our nerves are growing thin. We haven't decided exactly what were going to do post-verdict, but we've warned before that we're likely to become progressively more sporadic.

We do expect to provide analysis of the award, and will follow any subsequent legal action that may happen. We also hope to get access to the exhibits etc. from the CAS appeal once the award has been made, as there should be no reason to maintain tight-lipped discretion.

Obsessive-compulsives that we are, we'll probably at some point update references, indexes etc. that we expect to have long-term utility to those who may look at the case for various reasons. It ought to remain of interest to policy makers, law students and scholars, and web surfers with too much idle time.

Beyond that, we'd like to get out of the unpaid grind, except for special occasions when we're so moved.

Things do have a natural lifespan, and this is about over.

Remember the TBV Triathalon in October!

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Roundup


FLASH- Thanks to eagle eye emailers, we are informed CAS intends to issue the Landis decision on Monday, 5:00 pm Swiss time. That is 8:00 am Pacific ( I think). We will keep you posted. Watch for Eddie Pell's articles (A.P.) earlier, though, as he usually gets to jump on Landis case matters. We will, too!!!!
Bill Hue

"Cycling - Landis v/USADA
Lausanne, 27 June 2008 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will publish its decision in the procedure CAS 2007/A/1394 Landis v/USADA on Monday, 30 June 2008 at 5.00pm Swiss time.
The decision and a press release will be published on the CAS website ( "

The AP carries the announcement, briefly, as does Podium Cafe and

The CyclingNews chronicles Iban Mayo's understandable frustration with the apparent delay in his CAS decision which is allegedly overdue:

Mayo said. "I expected it in May, but it was merely a review, a procedure for submitting claims. I thought that everything was going to be faster. There is no choice but to wait and be patient," the Basque rider said to

Floyd Landis surely feels his pain, and more, as he awaits his own fate at the hands of the CAS.

In other news, the same CN post notes the EPO urine test inaccuracies study stating that this is precisely why the UCI has gone for the "blood passport" program.

Lab Technologist thinks the different testosterone test annouced last week will make cheats easier to detect, which is more mis-information. See our previous coverage.

Rant writes about Canadian parathlete Jeff Adams' extraordinary efforts to qualify for the Paralympics this summer, despite he very recent exoneration by the CAS. Rant also reviews the coverage of the EPO test scandal news noting that reporters often miss "the rest of the story".

Velociti seems to be just getting around to the Inside Sport article that carried Dugard's article about Landis, and can't wait until Monday to declare him guilty of doping.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday Roundup

The AP reports Ian Thorpe is has filed an intention to take action on a defamation suit against L'Equipe to avoid running into statute of limitations deadlines. It doesn't mean he will actually file suit.

The CyclingNews reports that the AFLD/ASO will try to initiate a separate "blood passport" program for this year's Tour de France due to the ongoing dispute between the ASO and UCI. The lab in Lausanne, which the UCI uses to analyze its passports, will also be used by the AFLD. In other news, CONI has dropped its threat to interrogate non-Italian riders implicated in the OP investigation ostensibly because of a lack of cooperation from Spanish authorities.

Let's note this curiosity: The AFLD is not sending the work to the AFLD lab, but to the WADA lab in Lausanne, Switzerland. This is ostensibly because Lausanne is doing all the bio-passport work. Just like the French Open Tennis tournament last year found the Montreal lab was more "cost effective" than the AFLD/LNDD lab at Chateney-Malabry, one may suspect there is more to the choice. And equally unlikely to get straight answers from anyone about it.

ESPN says warnings for Salbutamol use were issued to a heptathlete by USADA after she did not get the proper exemption for the anti-asthma medication. No sanctions were issued other than the loss of a third place finish in the pentathlon in a recent track meet. Alessandro Petacchi was recently sanctioned for "overuse" of the same medication by the Italian CONI.

Yesterday's story about the broken EPO test is now making the rounds.

The NY Times reruns the same story we got yesterday via the IHT (they are corporate relations, and the IHT website is about to be "converged" into the NYT).

Velonews has short original coverage, citing the Times. Bloomberg has another summary.

A press release announcing the journal article reads like the primary source material for all the other coverage.

Providentially, The NYT today has a blog where Gary Wadler answers questions submitted by readers. He starts an answer with an assertion that now stretches credulity in a number of dimensions:

Dr. Gary Wadler: WADA is extremely mindful of its responsibility to assure fair play while protecting athlete’s rights. The detection methods are accurate and reliable. They undergo rigorous validation prior to being introduced.

It now seems appropriate to identify him in the future as, "Dr. Gary Wadler, WADA apologist," with a citation to that posting.

WADAwatch read with interest the report which states the new test for EPO usage produced "inconsistencies" when some labs using it it failed to detect the substance.

St Louis Post Dispatch Blog talks about the EPO test, and wraps up:

This is jaw-droppingly shocking. Not only are negative tests in question, but positive ones are too, as shown by the example above of the positive in which the EPO should have cleared the man’s system.

I’m obviously not a scientist and I don’t pretend to play one on TV or on this blog, but the uncertainty and the inaccuracy of the various doping tests, as well as the disparity between labs, deeply trouble me. Given what I’ve read about the Floyd Landis case (which involved testosterone as opposed to EPO), plus what I’ve read about the problems with the EPO test, I don’t know whether it’s fair to sanction athletes (and ruin their reputations) on the basis of tests that even the experts question.

And then there’s the whole guilty-until-proven-innocent aspect of positive doping controls, which runs counter to our U.S. jurisprudence (unless you’re Nancy Grace), but that’s a whole different issue.

SBS got "reinterested" in the Tour de France after watching Floyd Landis' exploits in the 2006 race. SBS doesn't make the usual qualifications for possible PED use by Landis, he still thinks the feat was amazing no matter what:

That he did it with drugs or not is not really an issue for me (I'm assuming a good chunk of the riders on this year's Tour are also on the juice). Bent or not, Landis got me hooked again on the sport of cycling: the colour, the athleticism, the drama, the excitement, the intellectualism, the politics, the skulduggery, the nail-biting tension.

Thanks for the nice plug.

Racejunkie notes with righteous indignation the incredible revelation that the tests for EPO are apparently faulty, read more about the "oops" here:

Old Friends: okay, doping bad, yap yap, anyone who does it has all the moral street cred of a serial killer and deserves to be banned for life, yap, anyone (and I name no names here) who won't shut the hell up about it afterwards should be smothered in barbecue sauce and thrown into a pit of starving rabid wolverines. But in light of the news that one's odds of sneaking a blood-booster past the narcs are somewhere north of "ginormous", am I the only one feeling a twinge of sympathy for our late lamented exile and monstrous cheating pig Jan Ullrich, for whom watching a slew of compatriots he knows damn well are still at this very moment no less stoked than he ever was triumph at the Tour must leave him wallowing in a particularly grim sludgepit of his own personal Hell? Sure, the sport's a cesspool, but please don't give up your love of the bike Jan--even poor Landis, who at least was spared your own quick-n-painless flameout in *his* endless miserable melodrama, still hits the road (and mountain) when he can!

Scatterboy works for "America's largest on-line book seller" and one of the coolest perks is that he gets to go to special authors' book signings. He has won a lot of raffles lately too, one was for Floyd Landis' book "Positively False". Yesterday he won "When You are Engulfed in Flames" by David Sedaris and got him to sign his book in perhaps the most original way yet. What does this have to do with the Landis case you ask? Nothing, but any chance to mention David Sedaris has to be taken advantage of.

In another completely unrelated note, Happy 50th Birthday to Mr. Strbuk who amazingly is still interested in the Landis case and who willingly puts up with all of the blogging related to it on vacations, holidays, etc...

We know he's going to get a very nice cake, and then need to go for some riding to work it off!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Oops, Department: The EPO test is broken

Today the IHT reported on a study that showed blind samples from EPO users didn't turn up positives at a number of WADA laboratories.

The cited study was to determine what PED effects EPO had, and turned up unsurprisingly significant gains for endurance events. While doing those studies, they also sent some samples from the subjects to WADA labs.

[W]ithout telling the anti-doping labs what they were doing, the investigators sent the men's urine samples for EPO testing.

One of the two labs, which the researchers refer to as Lab B in their paper, never declared any sample positive, even when the men were taking high doses of EPO every other day. Lab A was inconsistent. It found EPO during the high dose phase. But in the maintenance phase, it found EPO in only 6 of the 16 samples.

The omnipresent Don Catlin raises an eyebrow:

"The paper certainly is an eye-opener," said Don Catlin, the chief executive of Anti-Doping Research, a nonprofit group in Los Angeles. "It's quite remarkable."

The article notes only 9 of 2600 samples sent to a US WADA lab turned up positives. It might or might not be the UCLA laboratory of which Catlin was formerly the director -- when the EPO test developed by the LNDD was rolled out.

WADA predictably circled the wagons.

But Olivier Rabin, scientific director of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said his group had tested its labs, sending samples of urine from people who were taking EPO and from people who were not. In general, he said, the labs agreed. But Rabin added that when the agency sends samples to its labs, they are not sent anonymously — the lab knows the samples are from WADA.

The agency does not share data from the tests on its labs, so it was not possible to determine how the organization's research compared with the latest study.

Caustic remarks come from other experts:

The findings in the latest study should be no surprise, said Charles Yesalis, a professor of sports science at Pennsylvania State University. For decades, he said, anti-doping authorities have claimed they have tests that work and for decades athletes have been taking drugs without getting caught.

The anti-doping authorities, he said, "remind me of little boys whistling in the graveyard."

We note then, that when the ADA's do get what they think is a positive test, they rub their hands in glee and say, "We got one!"

Any marine creature that is caught by this net is going to get gutted, because the fisherman are desperate while they talking up what a good job they are doing with their targeted, out of competition testing.

On reading this report, many potential competitors in Beijing will be saying, "Game on!"

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Gatlin TRO documents, updated

Expanding on our earlier collection of Gatlin documents, we now have the ruling of Jun 25th, rescinding the TRO in the archive we created earlier. All told, there are:

Rant has dissected the final ruling, and we have nothing to add to his analysis, so read snips and analysis there.

(And go buy his book, which will be shipping any day now.)

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Wednesday Roundup

ESPN picks up an AP piece that states 30 "targeted" riders headed for the Tour de France have already been tested for doping:

France's anti-doping agency has already conducted tests on 30 Tour de France cyclists, and plans more targeted checks before the race starts next month.

The tests were not carried out at random, as cyclists "were targeted based on information from federations, teams or newspapers," Pierre Bordry, head of the French Anti-Doping Agency, said Wednesday.

And so it begins...

CyclingNews reviews the HBO Real Sports piece on PED use in cycling, and Dutch mountain biker Arielle van Meurs denies any doping saying the elevated hematocrit levels found are normal to her:

"The blood is too thick and the International Cycling Union (UCI) said it was too dangerous to ride. That has nothing to do with doping," she said. "I have naturally a very high hematocrit and it is often above the standard. Plus, the night was very warm and that doesn't help."

Spinnin' Wheel watched the HBO Real Sports epi last night featuring David Millar talking about attempts to rid cycling of doping. She liked it, she likes St. David as well and doesn't understand those who don't.

Steroid Nation reviews yesterday's Florida court reversal in the Gatlin case. Info and discussion can be found here.

Racejunkie sort of previews the Tour de France, but also wonders if "Baby Contador" will be winning his seventh Tour when we finally hear the Landis CAS verdict. RJ is showing real optimism here.

Eric writes about his battles with Mt Palomar and mentions the climb is/was on Floyd Landis' regular training ride. Eric also posts his power output charts comparing last year's rides with this year's.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday Roundup

The VeloNews introduces something that will probably be declared illegal performance enhancement everywhere eventually, but which we could use right now actually.

A reader also points to a Velonews article on the continued canonization of St. David Millar, in an episode of Real Sports on HBO tonight. If anyone has HBO and watches it, post a report, please.

In Other VeloNews Andrew Hood reviews Johan Bruyneel's new book, "We Might as well Win", and interviews the former DS as well. Written for a wide "non-cycling" audience this book stays away from controversy:

VN: One name that is not mentioned in the book is Michele Ferrari, why did you avoid this topic in the book?

JB: I wanted it to be a positive book. There are a lot of things that have been said that are negative. I wanted the book to be focused on the philosophy of winning. That wasn’t necessary to mention, and it is controversial anyway. That’s a battle I gave up on a long time ago. I don’t want to have to keep explaining and keep defending ourselves. I’ve passed that stage a long time ago.

VN: One thing you don’t bring up a lot in the book are the doubters, how do you react to the people that just don’t believe in the victories?

JB: That’s too bad for them. We’ve tried to explain too many times. How much harder can we try to explain? Right now with Astana, we basically have the top team with the strongest riders, we’re dominating the races, at least the ones we’re allowed to race, and we have the strictest anti-doping program that exists. (Anti-doping director Rasmus) Damsgaard and what he’s doing – it can’t get better. There are a lot of cynics out there and critics who say they prepare for a race this way or that way. Now we go to the Giro, eight days before it starts, we show and we still win it. The team is a good level and that speaks a lot.

Reuters has the latest on Gatlin's Florida case, where the judge has given in to the USOC, and Gatlin, for now, is out of the trials:
Judge Lacey Collier lifted a 10-day restraining order that would have allowed the 26-year-old Gatlin to take part in the trials in Eugene, Oregon starting on Friday.

The judge ruled that determining the United States' participation in the Olympic Games was the "exclusive jurisdiction" of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

Now, maybe Gatlin appeals up the Federal chain.

The AP has it too but gets an "oops" point for the Judge's gender and gets bonus points for knowing the Judge's gender when we didn't.
A federal judge now says sprinter Justin Gatlin cannot compete in this weekend's U.S. Olympic track and field trials. The decision reversed his earlier order that allowed Gatlin to run.

Judge Lacey Collier said Tuesday the court had no authority to overrule the recent Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling that upheld a four-year doping ban against the defending Olympic 100-meter champion.

Chicago Tribune carries more of the Gatlin hearing yesterday, quoting IOC director of legal affairs Howard Stupp:
"Should he wish to appeal this CAS decision, he must go before the Swiss Federal Court"

The (UK) Press Association says Judge Collier has delayed a ruling until perhaps today (she did; see above).

The (UK) Guardian says the alphabets involved are likely to appeal a ruling in Gatlin's favor, presumably up the Federal chain. We not sure why they would do that if they deny US Federal Jurisdiction. Maybe it's the international agencies who feel that way, yet they showed up in the US court, which may be taken as submitting to jurisdiction. It'd be hard for the USOC and USATF to deny US jurisdiction.

The IAAF is HQ'd in Monaco, and positively crowed "IAAF defeats Gatlin in CAS appeal."

Later, Reuters and AFP report that the USOC is appealing the TRO granted Gatlin, and the international alphabets are saying no matter what a US Court says, he can't run in international competition without a Swiss ruling. Since he needs to compete in the US Trials this week, a US Court order should suffice for that; and should he qualify by competition, he has time to go to Swiss Court. It's unlikely he could get to Swiss Court in time for the trials, so what he's doing may make practical sense -- and the agencies can just try to win in their home court rather than in the US. Which makes us wonder why the USOC would feels the need to dispute the TRO at this point, since that is unlikely to be the last word.

NBC Sports/MSNBC is reporting Terry Bradshaw has admitted he and other Steelers used steroids for "healing" in the 70s. The at-the-time Raiders fan in TBV goes, "ah ha!", but expects similar things were being done near the Oakland/Alameda County Coliseum as well.

The Pittsburgh Tribune notes many deaths of Steelers from that period:

Seven died of heart failure: Jim Clack, 58; Ray Oldham, 54; Dave Brown, 52; Mike Webster, 50; Steve Furness, 49; Joe Gilliam, 49; and Tyrone McGriff, 41. (In 1996, four years before the steady succession of Steelers deaths, longtime center Ray Mansfield died of a heart attack at 55.)

There is speculation that steroid abuse could have played a role in some of the deaths, but no hard evidence. It's just as plausible that weight issues were a factor. Counting Mansfield, five of the eight heart-attack victims played on the offensive or defensive line.

Remember to repeat the conventional wisdom, that cycling is a particularly dirty sport.

Have you had your pills has been vegging out, but somehow got a clue the Landis decision will be in by the end of the month. We'll see.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Gatlin TRO Documents

We've got some copies of documents in Gatlin's Florida case, and placed them in the Archive.

From the TRO, being the first judicial review of the CAS decision:

[W]ithout a finding of fault on this first violation, Plaintiff would not be subject to an enhanced penalty under the current rules. However, because at the time of Plaintiff’s first violation the rules did not require a formal determination of whether an athlete was at fault, no such determination was ever made.2 Defendants, in considering the second violation, nonetheless maintain that they cannot revisit the first violation and formally determine that Plaintiff was not at fault. In what can only be characterized as a procedural mire, Defendants suggest that Plaintiff may try yet another round of administrative appeals to the discretion of the various Defendant agencies in an attempt to gain a beneficial ruling in this regard.

In the midst of this intractable situation, it is abundantly clear that, if anyone were to actually deal with the facts of this case head-on, they would readily conclude, formally, that Plaintiff was not at fault for the first violation, and would as a consequence end his suspension immediately. The only obstacle to this result appears to be a “musical chairs” situation in which nobody appears willing to take that step.

Today we learn the IOC and USOC have told this court they think this case should be in Switzerland, not the US, and the music should keep playing until Gatlin's time is gone.

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Is Travis Tygart Taking PDDs?

In yesterday's roundup, we had some quotes from an article in the Denver Post (now available again) about Travis Tygart and the USADA. A number of things Mr. Tygart said there seem significantly out of touch with reality (as noted at Rant), that one has to wonder about his grip on the facts. Can he really be this mistaken, or is he taken grossly out of context?

Let's look at some of the whoppers in what we quoted from the article.

If there's anybody out there that has the sophistication and the wherewithal to defeat the testing system, it would be Floyd Landis or a Justin Gatlin, and they're not," Tygart says.

Let us put aside Landis for the moment, since the case still isn't finally decided, and it is probably inappropriate for Tygart to be commenting on the case at this point at all.

The implication given here about Justin Gatlin is that he somehow had sophistication or wherewithal to defeat the testing system. This is just wrong on a number of different levels. Gatlin has never tried to "defeat the testing system." He has never disputed test results. He has been, in the most cooperative ways possible, trying to get an interpretation of sanctions that he thinks is fair, based on the specific circumstances of his positive tests. He has played nice, said nothing bad about USADA in public, worn a wire for investigations, been a spokesman for the cause, and Tygart is still slamming him in inaccurate public statements.

"When you have an effective out-of-competition, intelligently based testing system like we have in the Olympic movement in the United States, there's very little room for a cheater to survive."

Unfortunately for Mr. Tygart, he doesn't cite any cases coming from his "effective out-of-competition, intelligently based testing system."

As far as we know, exactly zero of the major cases of the last few years have come from USADA's out-of-competition testing, or targeted testing. The cases he cites immediately preceding this unsupported statement, Landis and Gatlin, come from in-competition testing. Marion Jones, Kelli White, Tim Montgomery -- not OOC testing, in fact, not testing at all.

“My job,” Tygart says, “is to not let a skilled advocate like Howard [Jacobs] or anyone else use smoke-and-mirrors and technicalities to let a cheater like Tim Montgomery go free.”

Montgomery got a two year ban when USADA asked for a lifetime ban.

So what is Tygart saying?

He seems to be wanting to give credit for cases to programs that have not produced the cases he is crediting them for. He seems to be saying that Gatlin tried to cheat the tests. He seems to be saying that "technicalites" should not be considered in doping cases. He seems to be saying that a doping case under his prosecution could leave someone "free", or not - as if it were a criminal charge, with incarceration (non-"free") as an option. A number of athletes would be delighted to face jail in exchange for the rules of evidence that apply in courts.

He seems, at the bottom, to be saying his agency and the tactics he is advocating have been doing an effective job at reducing doping in the sports it watches.

He seems, as it seems his agency does, to be overreaching.

He's making claims that aren't supported by facts in evidence, and counting on general ignorance of the details and the dislike of "dirty dopers" to let him get away with misleading falsehoods to puff up USADA's image.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

There are times an organization becomes so blind to its true mission that its tactics become corrupt parodies, and the organization doesn't even try to hide them anymore. Mr. Tygart's misleading statements above suggest USADA may be past that point.

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Monday Roundup


The USOC and IOC told the Gatlin Court in Florida today that they don't want to play there, but in Switzerland, according to the AFP and AP. We now have Friday's TRO that will let him run at the US Trials.

The CyclingNews says Eugenio Bermudez, the secretary general of the Spanish Cycling Federation, was acquitted last week of leaking information from OP. The court also supported former Spanish Superior Council of Sports director Rafael Blanco, who was accused by former Liberty Seguros manager Manuel Saiz of "prevarication, falsification of documents and revealing secrets." So some kind of proceeding was held to determine where the OP leaks came from and who made them -- it just didn't go anywhere.

CyclingWeekly provides its usual hodgepodge of news from the cycling world and says that this week is when we should hear the Landis verdict from the CAS. Let's hope this is correct, but we are not holding our collective breath.

HuffPost has a roundup of interesting articles about commercial interests, the IOC, and the Beijing Games. Remember, about doping in cycling and the Landis case, "It's the Olympics, stupid."

Take a look at "The Beijing Olympiad: The Political Economy of a Sporting Mega-event", which talks about "the "IOC's commitment to a market-oriented, private-sector partnership approach to financing the Olympics." The authors call this part of an "Olympics social compact," one that provides an extraordinary convergence... between modern Olympism and the ideals and tendencies of market capitalism."

There's a riff about exploitation of the working (athlete) class to be made, but we wouldn't dare.

Rant covers many topics this morning including: Justin Gatlin's chance at making the Olympics, China's belated "crackdown" on drug labs, the placebo effect and HGH, and good old Travis Tygart who Rant thinks took a confusing cheap shot at Floyd Landis in his Denver Post interview yesterday.

Spinnin' Wheel notes Versus' "take back the tour from the dopers" movement and is rather confused by who is included in its ad, and who is not. Speaking of "cheap shots" (see Rant above) Floyd Landis was sadly front and center in the backwards running ad showing his winner's jersey being taken from him. Versus seems to have no compunction about kicking someone -- who still awaits a CAS decision by the way -- when he's down if it seems to meet their commercial interests by attracting viewers.

Jack saw the new Versus commercial too, and didn't think it was fair.

Racejunkie rambles on about lots of things today. One good point is why has no one has ever been held accountable for the "hosing" Floyd Landis got from the press due to the "leaks" of his "positive" in 2006. We wanna know about that one too, RJ, but don't expect much of an answer as long as he's generally held to be a "dirty doper". DD's get not any sympathy or protection of rights -- see Saiz above, or Tygarts comments of yesterday.

Going Against the Daily Grind writes about Fatty's triathalon this past weekend and says he wound up with a Fat Cyclist jersey that was destined for Floyd Landis. Sounds like a great event for a great cause, and Floyd's loss.

Brad Keyes went too, and was demoralized in the first transition. So was UT Rider. But Kanyon Kris was undaunted, and krushed the event with perfect form, though he wonders if the duck is a doper.

Hands relaxed, pointing in target direction. Photo: KK

Reminder: TBV Triathalon Oct 5th, RSVP.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Roundup

The Denver Post prints a story about USADA "crusader" Travis Tygart who is determined to rid Olympic sports of "evildoers": cheaters and the suppliers who provide PEDs to them. Even though former Landis lawyer Howard Jacobs is quoted in the piece as saying Tygart has used "McCarthy-like tactics" Tygart is convinced he is doing the absolute right thing in his zealous quest to defeat those who would besmirch sport and cheat the system, such as the "sophisticated" Floyd Landis:

If there's anybody out there that has the sophistication and the wherewithal to defeat the testing system, it would be Floyd Landis or a Justin Gatlin, and they're not," Tygart says. "When you have an effective out-of-competition, intelligently based testing system like we have in the Olympic movement in the United States, there's very little room for a cheater to survive."

Tygart believes his job is to not let those like Howard Jacobs stand in the way of his quest, and he is convinced of USADA's absolute right to go after and convict anyone it considers a "cheater". This is despite any "technicalities" which may indicate necessary exoneration:
My job," Tygart says, "is to not let a skilled advocate like Howard or anyone else use smoke-and-mirrors and technicalities to let a cheater like Tim Montgomery go free."

There may be a mirror that Tygart should look into more closely.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday Roundup

The CyclingNews says the UCI is prepared to contest any plans on a return to competitive cycling by Alexander Vinokourov. The UCI dropped plans to appeal his case to the CA when he retired, but rumors persist that he is training for the Olympics and the UCI vows this will not be allowed:

"We have had indirect reports that Vinokourov is training again," said UCI legal adviser Philippe Verbiest to AFP. "Should it appear that Vinokourov really is training for a comeback we will start up the appeal procedure again." According to the Belga news agency, the Kazakh cycling federation has made little secret of its desire to see the 34 year-old participate in the Beijing Olympics.

In other news, the hacker who got access to Michael Rasmussen's email has been jailed proving once again that your email password should not be something the average Joe can guess. Finally, Bjorn Leukemans will learn his fate on Friday the 27th when a decision in his testosterone usage case will either be thrown out completely, or submitted for reexamination.

VeloNews reports Tom Boonen is back to winning races after his dust up over out of competition cocaine use, by the way he says he's learned a lot about cycling.

Gift Cycle, a program that takes gifts of an artist's work from one town to another artist in the next, is resting today in beautiful Lancaster, PA. Farmersville to be exact, as it appears they stayed with the most generous Neal and Tammy Martin who are good friends of the Landis family. It is rumored that sleeping in a signed Floyd Landis t-shirt will allow one to climb hills with the greatest of ease, good luck with the project!

SpeedDream Sports (Shirk Cycling) has us as a team favorite link. Thanks! lists us as one of but 10 US sites for cycling news -- good company.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Roundup

Late in the day, the AP reports that Justin Gatlin has gotten his first good news in two years. A Federal Judge in Florida has granted him an order that may allow him to compete in the US Olympic Trials, and possibly compete in Beijing. A further hearing is to be held on Monday.

"In the midst of this intractable situation, it is abundantly clear that, if anyone were to actually deal with the facts of this case head-on, they would readily conclude, formally, that plaintiff was not at fault for the first violation, and would as a consequence end his suspension immediately," the judge wrote.

On the other hand, the USOC predictably doesn't like it:

"We view this as an anti-doping matter and believe the appropriate forum for adjudication and resolution is through the American Arbitration Association or the International Court of Arbitration for Sport," USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said at the time.

Well, "he would, wouldn't he?" -- it's his ox that got gored. In the same vein, USADA wants people to look at the court they prefer as well:

"Mr. Gatlin's defenses to his steroid doping violation have already been fully considered and rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport which he agreed has exclusive jurisdiction over this matter," USADA spokeswoman Erin Hannan said in a statement.

Not if the Feds think they have jurisdiction, and Gatlin couldn't go there until he had exhausted his remedies through the sporting judicial system. Done and done. Is this the first crack in the dam, or a small hole that will get plugged?

Bill Hue notes:

The Judge seems to be saying that Gatlin's rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act were violated by USADA and the applicable US Olympic federation when he was punished (the first prosecution) for taking an ADD medication appropriately, with a doctor's supervision, in consideration of all applicable anti-doping rules. At that time, using their amazing abilities to manipulate public perception, USADA captioned the incident as an "amphetamines" violation. The Judge in granting the Temporary Restraining Order, found Gaitlin to have a reasonable prospect of success on the merits. In other words, he was likely to prevail on that theory.

When an athlete escapes the Star Chamber and finds a forum concerned with fairness and due process, his/her chances of success certainly change significantly. Whether the Judge's decision will have any effect on the IOC is at issue though, as I have noted in previous articles highlighting the U.S. Federal Court's lack of jurisdiction over International Olympic disqualification matters.

Reuters has a similar report. We don't have the ruling, but will look.

The CyclingNews reports authorities in China have commenced closing down many of the steroid labs that are purportedly a major source of the PEDs that find their way into the "marketplace". Also in a double blind study conducted by WADA and ASADA to determine the possible effects of HGH, it was suggested that "doping" test subjects with placebos did have some effect in enhancing test performances.

CyclingNews letters range from comments on ASO world domination, along with more fallout from Tom Boonen's positive for cocaine.

HuffPost/Stanley Bing mocks the idea of the AP charging $12.50 for a link to a story. We agree-- such an environment would kill what we do here. The doctrine of "fair use" in copyright is a big target for those who want to prevent "piracy" of ideas, at the expense of the informed discussion and debate that is key to a healthy participatory democracy.

An emailer points out the case of NFL Player Ryan Fowler, who is twisting in the wind on some steroid use allegations. Fowler has come out denying everything this week.

A few weeks ago, we mentioned the steroid dealer David Jacobs, who had been found shot dead in his home, after he had spoken to the NFL about players he claimed to have supplied. The death was ruled to be a suicide.

It appears that Fowler was one of the names mentioned, and the league has threatened him with a suspension. However, there's apparently no evidence, and the league is supposed to have a confidentiality policy preventing mention of such things before there is a suspension. Typically, the NFL says, "So and so has been suspended for a violation of the league's substance abuse policy" and no more. With the accusation now having been made public, Fowler is experiencing the joy of limbo.

It's not clear to us how Fowler's case became public knowledge. reported last week getting a confirmation from Fowlers attorney, and the AP a little later, but we don't know how someone got a tip to call the attorney to ask.

The good news is that, unlike cycling, he's still getting his paycheck and is free to practice and play while this works through. The bad news is that it's likely no one will be held accountable in any way for the confidentiality breach. Of course, if it's like Boonen, it might turn out to be someone thought to be on Fowler's side who tipped off the press.dfs

The Outside Magazine
article on Joe Papp is now online. It's not kind to Landis, but not outrageously mean either. Papp comes off as a confused pawn.

Bike World News is starting up another Floyd Watch, disappointed the award isn't out yet.

LunarPoodle imagines a cross-examination at the Landis appeal, probably not taken from the actual transcripts. If only we had a few good men.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday Roundup

Bike Biz says that the Olympic issue of Journal of Mass Spectrometry reveals a new and "improved" method of testing for testosterone usage:

A team of scientists the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory at the University of Utah have developed a test that makes use of liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. This method has incredibly high sensitivity (down to 1 ng/ml) and increases the power with which officials can search for both testosterone and epitestosterone within a sample.

Our system means that we can determine testosterone/epitestosterone ratios in a sample with greater confidence, and therefore be in a better position to spot doping violations without falsely accusing innocent athletes,” said lead investigator Dr Jonathan Danaceau.

But, not everyone agrees that this an actual step forward towards the more accurate detection of testosterone. TBV is quoted:
“[It’s] the bad test made cheaper and less prone to execution error, but leaving the same problems - high/low mode people, the recently noted genetic issues, and general variance. Will WADA re- evaluate the 4:1 limit with this method?”

Expanding, this is not a "new test", but an improved method of carrying out the confirmation of the T/E test. As we recall, there are two parts to a T/E test: a screen, which remains unchanged, and a confirmation. In the existing methods, the confirmation is done by GC/MS, and the GC/MS step is where the LNDD messed up by not collecting and examining enough diagnostic ions to meet identification requirements. The new confirmation method is faster/cheaper then the GC/MS method, is more sensitive for low values of T and E, and it is said to be easier to get the diagnostic ions. This is all good, and an improvement over the existing methods. Bravo.

However, it does nothing to address the fact that the T/E test isn't a very good one.

The most recent news is that for more than half the population, the T/E test can make an incorrect conclusion about doping. Thirty some odd percent of dopers have "lucky" genetics that will prevent them from showing positive on even the 4:1 value; and some proportion of clean people have the "cursed" gene that will have them appear positive even when they are not doping. This method does nothing to change those statistics.

For several years it has been recognized by CAS and WADA that to get an AAF upheld based on a T/E alone, the values needed to be sky-high, an/or a longitudinal study done to understand the physiology of the individual in question. (This is presumably among the data collected by the passport system.)

Now, the T/E test (both parts) is used as a screen for the tedious and expensive carbon istotope ratio test (CIR IRMS), and that can be triggered by the simple screen without the confirmation step. In fact, it's always OK to run the IRMS, without having even run a T/E test, though that is expensive to do. ( Landis got nowhere arguing the IRMS should not have been run with invalid T/E results.)

What this article does is improve the least interesting of the methods involved in the Landis case. If there had been improvements making the IRMS test cheaper and more robust, that would be a real significant breakthrough. But, in our opinion, improving the T/E confirmation step just provides a marginal, though significant gain for the budget of testing laboratories. It does little to improve the liklihood that innocent athletes are cleared, or guilty ones found to have doped.

If I was a doper, I wouldn't feel threatened by this test at all. If I was already beating the old T/E tests, I'll be beating this one too.

The article may be accessed for the next month at the Wiley web site.

Bike World News wonders if today, June 19th, is the day we might all hear the CAS decision in the Floyd Landis case. BWN wonders if Landis was a no-show at the Lumberjack because of intense training for this year's Tour de France, should a favorable ruling come his way. Sounds far fetched, but stranger things have probably happened.

Sing Zion shares attendance numbers for a Mennonite adult choir and maybe we now know what Floyd Landis has been doing with his time.Then again it's probably a different Floyd Landis, or is it?

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