Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sat, Mar 31

The Floyd Landis FFF website now features a 3:35 minute video (hosted on YouTube) , that was recorded during the 2007 Tour of California, when Floyd Landis held his fund-raising events in San Francisco, San Jose and San Pedro. Judging from Floyd's outfit that day, this is coverage from the San Jose event, that took place on Feb 21. The video explains the mission of the fund, features comments by Floyd, Michael Henson and Brian Rafferty during the San Jose event and an autograph session at the Smith&Nephew booth at the ToC. We also see Floyd doing what he'd rather be doing these days: riding his bike, here on his new bike that is covered with Jack Handey quotes.

Update 2/4: Added video to the post. It's not so much the spoken words, but rather the accompanying music, especially when you see Floyd on the bike, that makes this video so intriguing.



And Breaking News at DPF, where a Chris T Fairness Fund is being considered, after chris t was banned from the forum. Speculations ran high until it was told that the cause seems to revolve around an exchange between him and ChrisH.

At home, I wrapped up the month of March with a 40-mile ride, bringing the total for this month to 348 miles, and 755 miles for the year. Cyclists were out in force today, but so were SUV's. In Danville, a mom with her SUV (I think it was a X-Terminator XXXL) backed into a cyclist and forced him to the ground; luckily only the bike and the SUV got scratched. Danville FD and PD came with all they had; usually you never see one cop around, while on Diablo Rd, they could be making a lot of money just by giving people in their shiny SUV's, Porsches and Corvettes a speeding ticket. Diablo Rd between Mt Diablo Scenic Blvd and Danville is mostly narrow and without a bike lane, and at times the speed limit is 30 mph; yet, cars zoom by as if this is Infineon Raceway. I'm always glad when I make back it into town without a closer call.

Monday, March 26, 2007

3/26 CA Share The Road Update

To date and minute, 7957 signatures have been collected for a petition for the state of California to create a CA "Share the Road" specialized license plate (SLP). Proceeds from the sale of this plate, just like in 11 other states, would be designed to provide for education and other outreach efforts to cyclists and motorists to make California roads safer for everyone.

All efforts now hit a snag when it became known that the California Vehicle Code was amended effective January 1, 2007. A section 5060.1 was added, which reads:

"Notwithstanding Section 5060 or any other provision of law to the contrary, the department shall not accept an application for participation in a special interest license plate program under Section 5060 and shall not issue, under Section 5060, special interest license plates for a new program."

When looking at the original assembly bill:
"The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California [...] permanently enjoined the Director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing any new special interest license plate to private, nonprofit organizations under the current provisions of Section 5060 of the California Vehicle Code, unless the state establishes "neutral criteria to insure that the (plate) licensing decision is not based on the content or viewpoint of the speech being considered. [...] The bill would establish a new specialized license plate program that would require the issuance of those license plates to have a design or contain a message that publicizes or promotes a state agency, as defined, or the official policy, mission, or work of a state agency."

This means that proceeds would go to the State Treasury and in the end sponsor that very state agency that is being promoted through this SLP. IMO, this defies the whole purpose of a specialized license plate; this bill serves the state and not the people. Considering that there must exist a reason for this amendment, hopes look dim for a Share the Road plate, unless the DMV would step up ... an agency that managed to send me my driver license almost 10 months after I applied for it, and that makes me drive around WITHOUT plates for THREE months. Keep you updated.

MaryAnn back on the bike and racing

Back on Jan 21, I reported about MaryAnn Levenson, who was struck by a car on Dec 23, 2006, and seriously injured. Her recovery went extremely well: already in early February, she started spinning on a stationary bike, and on March 17, MaryAnn made her way back into racing. Read more about her in her journal. Good to see her back on the bike !

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sun, Mar 25

Several news sources, among them PennLive.com, released essentially a more or less identical report from AP on Floyd Landis' fundraiser tonight in Ephrata:

"Tour de France champion Floyd Landis says his legal battle over doping allegations has drained him physically, mentally and financially.

The effort "takes all of my energy and a lot of my time," Landis told reporters before a Sunday night fundraiser at which he was greeted by thunderous applause by about 300 people."

One indication of it was his answer to who he thinks would win this year's TdF:
"I don't care."

His plans for the time after the fight against the doping charge is over, are clear: return to pro-cycling, but he hasn't spend more time on deciding for which team to race:

"I haven't pursued it because there is no reason to believe I'll be able to ride anytime soon."

Cheer up, Floyd; your fans and supporters will be there with you all the way.

In the meantime, TBV has posted his report (with more to come tomorrow) from this weekend's events.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sat, Mar 24

The first, but brief mention of Floyd Landis' informal Champion Reception tonight in Ephrata, PA, comes from the Lancaster Online. Most of the article recaps some of the events that happened over the last eight months, as well as mentions the criticism of the current anti-doping system voiced by Michael Henson and Dr. Arnie Baker. It is positively being remarked that Floyd's hip is doing very well, and that his efforts of fighting the doping charge are gaining even more momentum. Floyd's long-time friend, Mike Farrington, gets the last word:

"I think things are looking very positive for Floyd, I think he has an excellent case. I have no doubt he's going to be exonerated. I just don't know how long it's going to take."

On the agenda tomorrow is the traditional FFF Townhall Fundraiser, which will feature Dr. Baker's slide show presentation, a Q&A session with Floyd, and a silent auction.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thu, Mar 22

This weekend, Floyd Landis will be in Ephrata, Lancaster County, PA, for the so far two last installments of his Tour de Innocence. The March 25 event sold out quickly, but Mike Farrington, owner of Green Mountain Cyclery and old friend of Floyd, added a second event on the night before. Details can be found at Floyd's Blog. Sources tell me that the Left Coast will send a delegation, and possibly there will be a report by Monday. No, not me; I will be taking another shot at Mt. Diablo.

At DPF, duckstrap posts a great summary about the GC/MS and GC/IRMS analysis, which seems to point to contamination of Floyd Landis' A and B sample. Since DPF tends to lose important posts once in a while (and who doesn't remember Floyd's rant regarding Greg Lemond), here's duckstrap's post:

You3, I think you may have found something important. Bottom line for those who don't feel the desire to wade through the following is that I believe there is evidence of significant chromatographic interferences in the GC-IRMS analyses that could lead to skewing of the CIR results.

First a review of analysis process. I will focus on the A analysis, but the B shows quite similar results. We have previously considered that there were 3 main analyses that the samples were subjected to: 1) Screening T/E, 2) Confirmatory T/E, and 3) IRMS. However, the IRMS analysis is actually two assay procedures. The first, in section 2.4.1, starting on p. USADA 0123 is another GC/MS analysis whose aim is to qualtitatively identify the peaks of interest. This should unequivocally show that the chromatographic separation is sufficiently complete that the subsequent IRMS results arise solely from the metabolites of interest. The second analysis is the actual GC-IRMS analysis (Section 2.4.2, starting on p USADA 0152), and is carried out on yet another instrument, with setup and GC conditions that are similar, but not identical to the analysis in 2.4.1.

[Click to continue reading]We first note that in the sample prep. three sub-samples were prepared, each containing an elution "fraction" (sorry, you3, it is not a "fragment") from the solid-liquid extraction (procedure is on p. 117). Of passing interest is that Fraction 1 should contain compounds that are more hydrophilic than those in Fraction 2, which in turn is more hydrophilic than fraction 3. As OMJ notes, this separation is good but far from perfect, as varying (usually minor, but …) amounts of substances found in one fraction can be found in the other fractions. So after the extraction procedure, we are left with these 3 fractions to be analyzed further.

1. Qualitative GC/MS analysis

The goal of the qualitative GC/MS analysis is to definitively identfy the chromatographic peaks whose carbon isotope ratios will be subsequently measured by IRMS. As we will see, similar to the confirmatory T/E test, LNDD did not do a complete job of this identification (or at least do not provide the complete dataset).

1.1 Standard mixture of metabolites (p. 130-131)

On page USADA 0130 are the results for a standard mixture of the metabolites of interest disolved in acetonitrile. This gives us the elution times for the peaks, and the abundance ratios for 3 diagnostic ions arising from each metabolite. The abundance ratio is simply the ratio of the response for the two secondary ions to the response from the most abundant ion arising from that metabolite. As shown on p. 131, the chromatographic peaks for these ions coelute exactly. What is not shown here is the entire mass spectrum for each of the chromatographic peaks. Therefore, we can see that each peak does contain the metabolite of interest, but the data shown do not verify that the peak contains only the metabolite of interest. As we have previously discussed, both things must be true for the IRMS results to be trustworthy. For this standard mixture, however, it is reasonable to expect no interferences.

Of special note is that the retention times for 5b-Androstanediol (5bA) and 5a-Androstanediol (5aA) are 15.17 min and 15.57 min, respectively.

1.2 Fraction 1 for the urine bland (UB) and FL samples (pp. 132-135)

Page 132 contains the chromatogram fraction 1 (F1) of the urine blank (UB). There are two peaks identified, one belonging to an internal standard, and the other belonging to 11ketoetiocholanone (11KE), as well as several other major peaks migrating later, but not identified or quantified. On the next page (p 133) are seven closeups of the chromatogram, one for each metabolite plus the internal standard (SI, which is added to each sample fraction). You can see that only the peaks corresponding to the SI and 11KE are clearly defined, while the others show hints of peaks but mostly noise. This is because these other 5 substances are not contained in F1, but will appear in the analysis of samples F2 and F3. Floyd's sample F1 follows, and is more or less similar to the urine blank, except that there are a number of very large peaks eluting before the SI and these are not identified. Note that the abundance scale on this chromatogram runs from 0-8,000,000 for the UB, and 0-2X10^7 for Floyd's F1 sample. Bottom line, though is that the F1 samples don't show much cause for concern, as the abundance ratios are similar those found in the earlier standard and urine blank samples.

1.3 Fraction 2 for the UB and FL samples (pp. 136-139)

OK, now look at F2. The UB shows only two major peaks besides the SI, etiocholanonolone (E) and androsterone (A), while the individual chromatograms show clear signals for these molecules, and mostly noise for the others. There are no peaks where 5bA or 5aA should be. However, let us look closely at Floyd's sample (p. 138; this is what you3 has noticed—very sharp!). The E and A peaks are quantified, and appear to elute appropriately. However, there is an enormous peak, the largest of all of them, that elutes where 5bA should be, and a smaller one where 5aA should be (note that the abundance scale runs from 0-1.25X10^7 on this page). So one significant difference between the UB and the FL sample is that, apparently, a very large portion of the 5bA and 5aA turn up in F2, rather than where they are suppose to be, in F3. But are these substance that elute at approximately the same time as 5bA and 5aA really those substances? If I look at the UB individual chromatograms on p. 137, I see mostly noise for the 5bA and 5aA traces, as expected. However in the FL chromatograms, p. 138 there appears to be a reasonably clear signal for 5bA, and a small bump for 5aA. However, although the peak corresponding to 5bA on p. 138 is larger than either the E or A peaks, the individual peak heights (p. 139) for 5bA and 5aA are much smaller than those for A and E. This would suggest that an unidentified substance is coeluting with 5bA in F2!.

I will also note that there is a second injection of Floyd's F2 sample on pp. 140-141. This appears to be a severely overloaded sample, with badly misshapen peaks. This appears to be the first sample analyzed (at 13:47 on 7/23) with the other one at 14:33 on the same day. Presumably, LNDD noticed that the column was overloaded and repeated the analysis with more dilute sample (this is not explained, however).

1.4 Fraction 3 for the UB and FL samples (pp. 142-145)

For the UB F3 sample, there are three peaks of interest: 5bA, 5aA, and 5b Pregnanediol (5bP, eluting at 19.14 min). Note that the 5bA and 5aA peaks elute at 15.17 and 15.51 min, very close to where these substances eluted in the standard mixture—nothing remarkable here. On the idividual chromatograms (p. 143), it is noteworthy that small amounts of E and A are found (especially A), suggesting that some of the A and E do not come out in the F2 eluate, but are retained in F3. Note that these are minor amounts, with the abundance scale running to 52K, compared to 360K for 5aA and 5bA.

Now let's compare the peaks for 5bA and 5aA in Floyd's F2 and F3 samples. In F2, the sample corresponding to 5bA is the largest peak in the chromatogram, with a peak height of ~1.25X10^7. The peak corresponding to 5aA is about 10-fold smaller, with peak height around 1.5X10^6. However, in the F3 sample (p. 144), we see that the 5bA peak height is about 7-fold smaller (peak height ~1.7X10^6) than in the F2 sample, although on the individual chromatograms, the abundance is similar between F2 and F3. Again, this clearly points to something extra in the F2 peak corresponding to 5bA. If there is a contaminating substance in F2 interfering with 5bA, how can it be known that there is nothing in the F3 sample without the mass spectra?


2. GC-IRMS Analysis

This is the portion of the analysis where the actual CIR's are measured, and its description and results start on p. 0153. Broadly, the sample is injected onto a GC with the GC conditions close to those used for the qualitative GC/MS analysis described above. The GC eluate goes into the IRMS instrument where the sample is burned, and the isotope ratio of resulting CO2 gas measured. Note that two substances eluting at the same time from the GC will have their IRMS results mixed, thus it is important that the GC peak be pure—hence the issues with the F2 5bA peak above. One of the first things to notice is the disconnect between the elution times observed in the GC/MS analysis, described above, and the elution times noted here. In the IRMS analysis, the chromatograms start after a delay of 760 sec (12.7 min), with the SI eluting in the neighborhood of 870 sec (14.5 min). For comparison, the SI elutes at 10.7 min in the prior GC-MS analysis, with the elution times differing for the metabolites as well (first number is from GC/MS, second from IMRS): E (14.35 vs. 20.5 in F2), A (14.6 vs. 20.95 in F2), 5bA (15.2 vs. 21.7 in F3), 5aA (15.6 vs. 22.25 in F3), 11KE (17.1 vs. 24.6 min in F1), and 5bP (19.2 vs. 27.5 in F3).

For each sample in the LNDD presentation of the IMRS analysis, a reference chromatogram from the GC/MS analysis is given first presumably to show relative peak order ,since the elution times don't match. This page is followed by a table of CIR results (containing the elution time of the quantified peaks, peak height and dC13Pk or the CIR value, among other numbers). Finally, the IRMS chromatogram for the sample (see for example pp. 0156-0158 for BU F1 sample) is shown, with each quantified peak being labeled with its CIR. It is also worth noting that the integration limits for each peak appear to be marked, with a typical large peak covering approximately 30 s. Thus any peaks eluting within approximately 30 s are likely to have some overlap. Turning to the F2 analysis, for UB we note only three peaks quantified, the SI, E and A, while in Floyd's sample, there are four peaks quantified, one of them corresponding to the F2 contaminant. Of note is that its CIR is -32.3 (again you3 observed this), very close to the value observed for 5aA. Further, the minor peaks that are clearly visible in the reference chromatogram are nowhere to be found or greatly diminished in the IRMS trace. Clearly the chromatographic conditions are not that similar—hence the questionable quality and utility of the qualitative GC/MS above.

In summary, there is clear evidence of a major contaminating peak in Floyd's sample that would coelute with 5bA, and this contaminant has a strongly negative CIR, comparable to that observed in Floyd's single positive metabolite, 5aA. We see evidence that these substances are not confined to just one elution fraction, and that the chromatography conditions vary considerably from the qualitative GC/MS where the metabolite identification should occur. LNDD do not provide definitive evidence to rule out the coelution issue in the form of complete mass spectra, which again, they did collect. Therefore, it is critical that the FL team get their hands on the computer files for all analyses. The complete mass spectra for the metabolites of interest are key.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

CA 'Share the Road' has reached 7500 signatures

Today's update from Michelle Kashima:

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE SIGNED THE SHARE THE ROAD PETITION!!!

We have reached our goal of 7,500 and are now flowing over with added signatures. If you haven’t signed please do! The petition will remain open until the first plate is on a car. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

http://www.petitiononline.com/str1234/petition.html

More information at http://www.sharetheroadsaveslives.com

What we must do next: A bill must be authored and supported by a state legislator to be pushed through all the steps required by the state of California in Sacramento. However we are not done, not by a long shot and we are asking for your help.

Please cut and paste the following and email it directly to YOUR state senator and assemblyman. You can find your state representatives for your district at the following websites:

http://www.senate.ca.gov/~newsen/senators/senators.htp

http://www.assembly.ca.gov/clerk/MEMBERINFORMATION/memberdir_1.asp

We need to get the attention of all the California state representatives that this special interest plate is VERY important to us all and will SAVE LIVES through education and hopefully stiffer penalties to those who hit us!

The letter to email (you may send your own if you would like, but please send one):

"To my state representative,

I am in support of the special interest license plate “Share the Road” and I am requesting that this plate be established and available for purchase.

Our state representatives have told us that we needed 7,500 supporters for the DMV to even consider such a plate. The cycling community of California has spoken and we now have over 7,500 signatures located at: http://www.petitiononline.com/str1234/petition.html

If we have the support to make this profitable for the DMV and the expense is covered by the plate cost then this special interest plate should not be ignored. We are tired of cyclists being injury or killed by motorists that do not obey the law, or are ignorant to the law because it is not taught in driver education or the DMV handbook. The proceeds of this plate must go to help educate everyone of their responsibility to share the road and impose a stiffer penalty for those who do not."


Thank you for your support.

Sun, Mar 18

Despite yesterday's plan to not ride today, my better half proclaimed in the morning that I should go out cycling, otherwise I'd regret it. OK, I listened. I pondered riding up Mt. Diablo again today. Still feeling a bit of yesterday's ride in my legs, I set my goal to go up to the South Gate and be done with it. Once I reached the Gate, I thought "if I'm already here, I can as well ride up to the Junction". 25 minutes later I reached the Junction (2164 ft elevation) where you can either continue on North Gate Rd, downhill to Walnut Creek, or turn right onto Summit Rd. Along the lines of "if I'm already here, I can ride as well another couple of miles", I continued up on Summit Rd. At Toyon Picnic Area, at an elevation of 2602 ft and 61 minutes after starting the clock at Athenian School, I decided to turn around since the the cool breeze took its toll and I was longing for a Latte, so I headed back down the 8.2 miles.

2007 riding stats: #of rides: 19, annual mileage: 664, pace: 3147.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sat, Mar 17

Today's goal was to ride up Mt. Diablo. 40 minutes / 6.2 miles after the turn onto Mt. Diablo Scenic Blvd I passed the 2000ft marker, and spontaneously decided to have enough, save the remaining 1849ft for another day, and rather do more speed intervals on the way to and back from Walnut Creek. Total mileage for today's route: 43.6 miles. Not sure about tomorrow yet, as my wife dropped hints about me spending too much weekend time on the bike.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wed, Mar 14

Rant and Steroid Nation discuss a slide that was presented by Dr. Arnie Baker at last weekend's FFF event in Chicago. The slide, based on data from the AFLD LDP, suggests, that the '995474 vs 995475' mix-up is not a mere typo, but rather another and bigger screwup by LNDD. While '995474' was the id of Floyd Landis' sample on Stage 17, '995475' is being attributed to another rider who was tested at Stage 19. So, 995474 (Floyd, S17) and 995475 (someone else, S19) were allegedly tested on the same day at LNDD, and this is when someone made a mistake and mixed up the samples and/or sample id's, leading to the wrong conclusion that Floyd failed the doping test. Let's recap the top finishers of the time trial from Le Creusot to Montceau-Les-Mines:

1. Honchar (UKR, T-Mobile)
2. Klöden (GER, T-Mobile)
3. Landis (USA, Phonak)

So let's ASSUME that at least the top 3 finishers are asked for a urine sample after the stage, and ASSUMING that testing them follows some order, how likely is it that the remaining two sample id's (998040 is Floyd's sample id for S19) shown in the slide (994187, 995475) belong to either Klöden or Honchar ? Could it be that easy to crack a rider's anonymity ? I hope not.

TBV comments on Rant's post, saying that a sample mix-up would explain why cortisone wasn't detected in Floyd's S17 sample. So the whole story remains interesting. I'm curious what the other 59 defense arguments are.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Share the Road - Update

Michelle Kashima sent out an update:

"WE ARE AT OVER SEVEN THOUSAND (7,144 AT THIS MOMENT) SIGNATURES!

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS SIGNED!

Let’s add California to the above state Share the Road plates

A reminder, we need 7,500 signatures to show the DMV we mean business and send up to Sacramento, so we need to do just a little more work to get the word out. Please contact everyone you know, and mention the Share the Road petition to all in passing. DO NOT STOP NOW!

There are still lots of areas in California where people do not know of Share the Road so let’s get out there and SPREAD THE WORD! There are still cyclists out there who have not signed, so LET’S GO! Please remember that all who sign must be a registered voter in the state of California, and only sign once.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT! I will continue to keep you informed of the advancement toward legislature for Share the Road!

Together we will make a difference."

The petition can be read and signed here.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sun, Mar 11

Plenty of sunshine, mid 70s yesterday, low 80s today ... and 81.4 miles of cycling for the weekend.
- Yesterday: Pleasanton - Walnut Creek and back: 36.1 miles.
- Today: Pleasanton - Sunol - Calaveras Rd and back: 45.3 miles.
2007 riding stats: #of rides: 16, annual mileage: 566, pace: 2951.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Rant met Floyd

Rant filed a comprehensive report about today's Floyd Landis Fairness Fund event in Chicago, check it out. An interesting bit of information was revealed to Rant by Dr. Arnie Baker:

"I spoke to Dr. Baker briefly, and he told me that the arguments shown in the slide show are just 4 of about 60 arguments that the Landis defense is prepared to use during the hearings in May. And he mentioned that these are not even the strongest of arguments. The Landis defense is holding their best cards close to their chest, so as not to tip their hand to the other side.

Baker isn’t just whistling Dixie about this. He showed me the table of contents to the ever-growing document that contains all of their arguments. I can tell you that what he stated about the number of arguments is correct. There do seem to be at least 60, or perhaps even more, listed. [...] Baker estimates that he’s spent between 1300 and 1400 hours going over the lab documentation, and he says he’s still finding new areas of concern in the data."

Next stop on Floyd's Tour is tomorrow in Denver.

What the UCI didn't tell

The UCI presented their "100%" anti-doping program today, which according to UCI's Anne Gripper "represents a quantum leap forward for the cycling world in its efforts to fight doping". Wow! TBV has posted some details of the program, but that's just half of the story. An internal paper, leaked from UCI via WADA to LNDD and let's not forget L'Equipe, has a lot more astonishing "100%" details:

  1. Every rider needs to guarantee 100% availability throughout the year for the out-of-competition tests, whether it is January, Christmas, April 15, or even the day of the Apocalypse.

  2. Every pre-race meal will be consumed to a 100% by the hungry anti-doping squad. Along the same lines, the anti-doping squad will get a seat in every team car, and tasting the content of 100% of all water bottles and energy gels before they're handed out to the riders.

  3. Every rider has to consent to donate their DNA to LNDD, their soul to UCI, their first-born to WADA, and 100% of their income to the development of new anti-doping methods and to the support of this absurd programme.

  4. 100% of riders caught doping will have to write "I will never dope again" 100 times on a blackboard and will get an episode of Cheaters dedicated to him.

  5. 100% of riders have to become a member of Jehova's Witnesses since their faith doesn't allow transfusions.

  6. 100% of riders have to consent to never ever create a Floyd Landis like Wiki defense in case they're charged with a doping offense. In addition, for 100% of accused dopers there's a default wait time of 1 year before *ADA proceedings begin.

    If you think this all is radical, get this:

  7. But regardless of #5, before every race, 100% of a rider's blood will be drained and replaced with a revolutionary dope-free substitute, which was cooked up^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hdeveloped in the holy labs of LNDD.
UCI's Pat McQuaid was quoted saying that "this is just the beginning". We suspect he's right.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Thu, Mar 9

Long awaited, finally here: Part 2 of "Judging Floyd". The article covers in detail selection of the arbitrators in the chosen panel-of-three. Each of the arbitrators is profiled, including their "track record" on convictions or overturns of previous cases. Both TBV/Hue and Rant highlight, that Landis' choice, Christopher Campbell (previously chosen by a number of other athletes to be "their" arbitrator on the panel), has decided on guilt of the athlete in 15 out of 18 cases. Now what do we make of that ? Among the cases is Tim Montgomery, banned not because of a positive doping test, but rather due to his involvement in the BALCO scandal, abnormal reading from blood and urine tests obtained at other occasions, and lastly, considered the fatal blow to the case, Kelli White's testimony. TBV/Hue also note that Campbell has written dissents for his three "not-guilty" decisions, one of them about Kyoko Ina (No, I'm not adding to the Tyler Hamilton saga), a U.S. figure skater. Ina was accused of refusing a late-night drug test, and made believe she could take the test the next day. Despite not having failed a drug test, she was threatened with a 4-year suspension. In his dissent, Campbell wrote:

"Yet when any organization, including the United States Doping Agency ("USADA") turns this fight against doping on innocent athletes, that behavior is unacceptable. [...] Ms. Ina is an innocent athlete. USADA has no compelling evidence to impose a sanction against her."

Nevertheless, Ina received a 2-year suspension. Both of Campbell's decisions sound fair to me, but we have to just look closer at case by case in order to judge Campbell better. However, Landis picking Campbell certainly must have good reasons.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Hiltzik chat transcript now online

The official transcript from today's chat session with Michael Hiltzik (LA Times) is now available. According to the moderator's comment at the end, there may be a follow-up chat session next week.

Tue, Mar 6

Yesterday, TBV and Bill Hue (well known to readers of the Daily Peloton Forum) published Part 1 of a series called "Judging Floyd" which summarizes Floyd Landis' case since the disclosure of his positive A-sample. The unbiased article explains well how the process went so far through the mills of UCI, USA Cycling and USADA, and why it didn't come as a total surprise that the USADA-appointed Review Board, ruled as they did, i.e. reject Landis' request for dismissal. The article also outlines what lies ahead for Floyd, and that the CAS arbitration panel soon will decide on his fate. It is not clear yet what the "judging" part of the series is, and what, if at all, the sentence will be.

Another point of view on the article: I'm puzzled about the references to the German Nazi government having invented synthetic testosterone and having used Auschwitz inmates for medical trials. I'm not really sensitive to the issue, since this is neither mine nor my parents' generation's "responsibility", and I'm not denying history either, but I don't like the political undertone in the reference to the "Nazi government" and its deeds; this is completely inappropriate considering that the topic is about Floyd's case. Even Bill's comment, "Those who deny history are bound to repeat it.", doesn't cut it, sorry. This is not the place for this opinion, unless it's being added that GW's grandpa, Prescott Bush, profited heavily from his involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany. But let's not go there. Secondly, a small inaccuracy: I believe that it wasn't IG Farben that invented synthetic testosterone; IG Farben is known to have invented other bad stuff which was also used on camp inmates. Rather, methods to prepare testosterone were developed in 1935 by mainly Adolf Butenandt and Leopold Ruzicka, who in 1939 received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work. Ok, phone lines are open.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Sun, Mar 4

Yet another great weekend for bike riding, with temps in the low 70s. My goal had been to bike at least 70 miles.
- Yesterday: Pleasanton - Walnut Creek and back: 35.3 miles.
- Today: S. Livermore Rd - Mines Rd - County line (mile 20.2) and back: 43 miles
2007 riding stats: #of rides: 14, annual mileage: 485, pace: 2809.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Fri, Mar 2

Sara Best works on a profile of Oscar Pereiro for the DP, and wants to portray him as "Oscar, the bike rider" and not the one who may or may not take the 2006 TdF title from Floyd Landis; yet she doesn't know quite what questions to ask him. Oscar was just recently interviewed by CN's Shane Stokes, and I believe that Oscar's own experience with the *ADA powers has apparently eliminated his anger towards Landis:

"For sure, I lost a lot. Winning the Tour de France in July and winning it much later is not the same. I've also lost out on criteriums, sponsors, publicity opportunities... it is incalculable." Yet, as regards Landis, he is able to be somewhat philosophical. "I think that all that has happened has been enough, it is not possible to be angry with him after what he has gone through. This has been very tough for him. Maybe he did something wrong, but he has paid a lot.

However, Oscar has not given up on the thought of being named the winner:
"As regards the decision [about possibly being named winner of the Tour], I don't know when it will be made. I cannot say how I would feel until that point in time, until the moment when the news comes in."

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Earthquake

At 8:40pm, 11 minutes ago, a 4.2 quake rattled the East Bay, followed by a 2.8 aftershock at 8:46pm. The quake was centered north from here, and 1 mile north-east of Lafayette. By 9:02pm, there were two more smaller aftershocks. Our house jolted and grunted, but no damage.

Thu, Mar 1

It's March already, two months and 406 miles into the year. My goal for the weekend: to add at least 70 miles to the count. It's been busy lately, so I haven't been able to ride as much as well as stay as involved with Floyd's case, but it seems that everyone wishes that May 14 comes quickly. Some folks really need a break and get a life again.

TBV has spotted not only a twin but also now a triplet of Floyd Landis. Wonder who of those actually tested positive ? Will the real Floyd please stand up ? One of those three seems to be enjoying himself with DP's Cathy Mehl and an unknown fan.

Another FFF event has been scheduled in Chicago on March 10; this time it's an afternoon event. Rant already signed up, and will hopefully also provide a comprehensive report of the event. Don't forget to take pictures. Thinking about it, has anyone heard anything about the Capistrano Beach event ?